The last week has been crazy with people giving us feedback on a variety of topics. Everything from photo radar, construction, recycling, levies, utility bills and even chickens.
First off photo radar whether you agree or disagree with it has significantly changed people’s driving habits. This has resulted in a safer community and I want to remind people this revenue does not go into general revenue but will be used for various capital improvements, programs, and efforts to improve safety.
As for construction, it’s frustrating but reasonably on schedule. Our intention was to have most of the work done by end of Sept and we are working towards that goal. Crews are doing a lot of concrete work and while waiting for things to cure, it slows things down.
Another issue we have heard about a lot lately has been Recycling, which according to unofficial numbers released at the last council meeting looks like it is staying, but may not be picked up every week.
One other topic that has been heavily debated on social media and through the online survey is Levies. This is a big decision and will need more time to come to a decision and as will the issue of utility accounts; we are not sold on the proposed process yet.
Something that has become clearer over the last year is our residents are more connected to what is happening in Slave Lake than ever before. They are hungry for information, they want to have input, and they have ideas. To be completely honest with you…..council loves it!
In order to continue to improve on that Council spent some money this year on a new website. We had lots of complaints that our current website wasn’t easy to navigate, find information, the system was not user friendly, the search engine needed some help and we were missing some features.
In May, our staff began working with a company to re-build and re-launch a new interactive website. And on Sept 22 we launch our new site.
The new website will be easy to use, visually appealing and highly interactive. The site will allow residents, like yourself, to sign up for notifications, which will be sent directly to your cellphone, mobile device or email. This way you can keep up to date on what is happening in the Town of Slave Lake, and how some issues are going to affect you.
One of the biggest changes is our new interactive community calendar, User groups, community organizations, and non-profit groups will be able to advertise their upcoming events on the website with a click of a button. We will have one calendar that shows all events, from Town Events, Programs at the MRC, Pool Public Swims, and Community submitted events.
We have tried to make the new website a one stop shop for visitors, and new residents. Business owners will have the opportunity to submit vacat jobs to the employment opportunities board. Business owners will be able to submit any job within their organization onto the job posting for up to one month, yet again this is of no charge.
The search engine is new and improved and we have removed a lot of our old data so users don’t get mixed up on what is the most current bylaw, form, or schedule.
Now if that isn’t exciting enough, let’s talk pot holes. Let’s say you have a pot hole in front of your house and you want to remind us to fix it. How neat would it be if you had an app of your phone that you could take a picture of it and send to our operations dept. Rather than calling back and forth, updates on what and when repairs are being done would be uploaded right to your phone, sent directly to your e-mail.
This new feature on the website and mobile application, which will be launched shortly after the website goes live on the 22nd of September will give residents the chance to view the status of other resident’s issues. Issues could range from a broken slide at Schurter park, to a pot hole, to a pile of snow or frozen drain.
If all this sound too good to be true, I assure you it’s not. This is real, its starts next week and it will fundamentally change the way we stay connected with our residents. I think its exciting and I hope you do to. We look forward to hearing what you think. Keep giving us feedback, ideas and help.
What makes this community great is that we are working to make it a great place to live. Thanks for all the input and trust me when I say we are excited for the end of construction season too!