Mayor Rick Bonnett

Mayor Bonnett excited for Ponoka’s future

Town of Ponoka mayor speaks on upcoming plans and the new council

It’s a busy time of year and the Town of Ponoka’s new council is ready for action.

That’s one of the key messages Mayor Rick Bonnett presented members of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon Dec. 21.

“They bring a whole new fresh perspective to council,” said Bonnett of the new members.

One issue he feels is important that came out of this last election is the importance of collaboration. “We’ll be looking for lots of feedback from the community as we go (forward).”

The town also intends to collaborate with community groups such as the Ponoka Chamber and the Ponoka Stampede Association or other sports groups. With that idea in mind, he asks businesses to check their hats at the door and try to make Ponoka a great location to bring people in.

Community Learning Centre update

Much of the infrastructure has been developed and the walls are being moulded now at Eagle Builders’ plant.

Bonnett expects the walls to go up in January and then by July 2018 the building will be ready to use.

Another area of excitement is Ponoka’s Downtown Action Plan. It’s a document that sets some major changes to the downtown infrastructure.

“This is something that’s going to be rolled out over time,” said Bonnett.

He clarified that all the changes within the plan will be conducted over a long period of time.

Advocating for Ponoka

Town council took in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference in Calgary last week.

He said along with the learning that comes with the conference is some important networking and speaking for Ponoka’s future goals. In this case the field house plans that would see improvements to the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex.

“That’s a facility that doesn’t get built without some government granting,” said Bonnett.

Rather than costing a couple million to build, it’ll be closer to $15 million and Bonnett feels collaboration on all levels of government is needed.

On the growth end of things, the town knows the annexed land by Highway 2 will need some work, although added that it may take some time before that’s ready.

“We need to be prepared for the next round of (economic) upswing,” said Bonnett.

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