Village of Wabamun Strategic Planning 2019
In 2010 the Village of Wabamun undertook a revision of their major guiding legislative documents, including their Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development Plan, Sustainability Plan and Area Structure Plan.
The shut down and demolition of the Wabamun Power Plant and associated Whitewood Mine site in 2010-11 had major impact on the village, from the loss of more than 60% of taxation revenue, to changing social structures and varied employment bases.
In the nine years since the closure many things have changed in the village and community leaders have focused on taking advantage of the village’s location, infrastructure, amenities and of course its access to Lake Wabamun. A shift from a one industry driven community to a more diverse recreational tourism economy is no small task and the change from coal use in power production to natural gas has had an even further impact on our residents and employment opportunities.
As part of the Coal Transition program put forward by the previous provincial government the village was able to access funding to update our main guiding documents and facilitate a strategic planning process to bring village residents into the decision making process and to help guide the future of the community.
The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) and 13 Ways https://www.13ways.ca/ were engaged to undertake the strategic planning process so that the opinions of our residents could be garnered freely and honestly. In March of 2019 the process began with Doug Griffith’s 13 Ways group undertaking dozens of one on one interviews. It continues into May 2019 with 13 Ways working with ARDN to facilitate numerous focus group sessions of 6-8 people per group. These interviews and sessions are designed specifically to engage members of the community and to allow them to identify issues and opportunities. Council was asked to provide a list of names of those community members they felt represented different opinions and facets of the community and who would be willing to participate in interviews or focus groups. Many other individuals were selected at random by 13 Ways and still others were identified through social media sources. Open house sessions will follow in June to allow further input from other community members.
The input gathered during the process will help provide direction and guide council in future decision making and determining priorities for the community. Doug Griffith is renowned throughout North America for his community building and strategic planning. His group has a specific process they use for this type of engagement and ARDN is assisting him with the process.
The Village Council appreciates everyone’s involvement and the results of the process will be made public once complete.