Sustainability Plan

Did You Know ... The Town of Athabasca Sustainability Plan (TASP) is nearing completion. Input gathered at three public focus group sessions will help guide the plan, to be finalized by year end.

Sustainability Plan nears completion

The Town of Athabasca Sustainability Plan (TASP) is a document that will help Town Council and Town staff make decisions relating to infrastructure, economic initiatives, social services, heritage initiatives, recreation initiatives, cultural initiatives and governance initiatives.

Planning documents affected by the TASP include the Municipal Development Plan, Land Use Bylaw, Area Re-development Plan and Heritage Plan.

Residents and community stakeholders have contributed to the development of the TASP through three public focus group sessions held in June, October and November of this year. Information gathered at these sessions was compiled by Jane Dauphinee, a Planner with Municipal Planning Services (Alberta) Ltd., and will be used to help formulate the final draft of the TASP. This draft will then be presented to Town Council for review and approval with the goal being to have the plan adopted by the end of the year.

Fifth pillar of sustainability added to plan

Originally, the TASP was being structured on four pillars of sustainability: Community Well Being, Strong and Supportive Social Infrastructure, Economic Prosperity, and Environmental Integrity and Protection. Specific objectives relative to these four pillars were reported in an earlier Town Council News story: Town of Athabasca Sustainability Plan

However, through the focus group sessions, it became apparent that a fifth pillar was in order: Transparent and Responsible Governance.

The initial overview of this pillar states that “Transparent and responsible governance is essential to realizing our sustainability goals. Relationships built, decisions made and actions taken by Council and administration all affect whether or not the Town of Athabasca is an economically, socially, cultural and environmentally sustainable community which fosters a culture of responsibility.”

The overview also notes that “governance” is not to be confused with “government.” Governance refers to the environment and institutions in which the government functions and its relationships with stakeholders and the broader community.

Attendees at the third public focus group session in November discussed and debated details of each of the five pillars at great length. Many agreed that it was a tall order to try to create focus and consensus on so many vital issues in such a short period of time, however progress was made in several areas and the input and direction received was valuable to the overall process.

Once the final draft of the TASP has been presented to Council and approved, it will be made available to the public.

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