The town is hiring a full-time chief administrative officer (CAO).
A full-time CAO will provide support to administrative staff over the next five to 10 years as the town pursues several development projects, including a $12-million pool, a new $12-million college campus, a community forest, seniors’ housing, a community centre, a sturgeon recovery facility and perhaps even a YMCA.
“Those projects are certainly going to require some strategizing so that we’re ready to be the place that people want to call home,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen.
Thiessen said the town hasn’t yet developed a definite plan for implementing projects and confronting growth – in the next several years, the town foresees hundreds of people moving to the community for jobs in the natural resource sector.
“We just know that, strategically, we as council need to be prepared and give staff support over the next number of years,” said Thiessen.
The number of administrative staff at the municipal office has been reduced in the last two years, mainly due to retirements, but council has always budgeted for a CAO position, said Thiessen.
“It’s not new money, it’s not going to increase taxes,” he said.
Chief Financial Officer Joe Ukryn has served as the town’s CAO since 1999. When the town hires a full-time CAO in the next few months, Ukryn will continue working as director of administration until he retires.