High River To Annex 1700 Acres On January 1st

Now that High River has gotten the go ahead from the provincial government to annex 1769 acres of land, the town is now looking to the public to find ideas of what to do with it. The annexation takes effect on January 1 ,2012 and the towns senior policy planner Ian Fawcett says will greatly change High River.

"With the addition of the land, High River will have effectively increased its geographic area by 50 per cent," says Fawcett. "This is an incredibly important annexation because it will provide the space needed to meet expected growth over the next 30 years." Fawcett says during the next 30 years, the town's population is expected to grow to over 30,000.

The town has already began public consultations but the last open house has not been since earlier this Summer. Fawcett says the next step in the process is to prepare a growth management strategy.

Fawcett says a number of questions will be presented at the open house.

"Things like, 'How they would like to see suburbs developed?' 'What sort of employment opportunities would they like to see come into town?'"

He says from what they've heard so far, people like High River because of it's small town feel. He says what they're really interested in hearing about are ideas of how to grow the town without losing the small town feel.

The town will hold three open house between now and June, when the consultations are expected to wrap up.