In an effort to help residents attain affordable housing, City Administration is working with a consultant to perform a housing study that will assess current needs and create a strategy to accomplish this task. Council identified housing as a priority in the 2017-2021 Strategic Focus Areas and approved the study in the 2018 budget. A steering committee of various housing organizations has been created to work with City staff and the consultant to achieve this goal.
City Council and staff once again invited residents and businesses to become engaged in the annual budget process through an online budget engagement tool, Citizen Budget. The interactive online platform provides feedback on budgetary spending and service levels to management and Council prior to the 2019 budget deliberations.
The Brooks Region's economic development team partnered with Community Futures Entre-Corp and the Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce in completing a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey. In 2018, we focused specifically on the retail and food & beverage sector.
The first phase of the BRE survey focused on resident feedback and the second phase focused on business feedback. Our team collected 420 completed surveys from residents and 51 business surveys/interviews in the second phase. These interviews helped us identify, among other things, the business needs, concerns and opportunities in the region.
The Government of Canada introduced legislation to make recreational cannabis legal. The Alberta provincial government has established regulations on who can own recreational cannabis retail stores, where they can be located, hours of operation, rules for staff, safety, as well as security requirements. While these regulations are province wide, municipalities will have flexibility on some measures so that they make sense for their community.
The City of Brooks requested the community’s feedback, along with the experiences of other jurisdictions to develop measures that work for our City. Engagement through a survey was open to all participants who were likely to be impacted, influenced, and have interest in the topic of the legalization of cannabis. Please click on the link for more information.