Blackfalds continues to grow
The Town of Blackfalds, the fourth fastest growing community in Canada, continues to be having a major growth spurt.
The town released its annual 2012 municipal census on Tuesday with a head count showing that the population of Blackfalds rose 5.75 per cent in just one short year.
The population officially stands at 6,767 — up from 6,399 in 2011.
In 10 years Blackfalds’ population has more than tripled.
What is even more staggering, says Town of Blackfalds mayor Melodie Stol, is the dramatic numbers showing how young the community is.
The town’s municipal census indicates that there are 180 three-year-olds and 174 two-year-olds in the town.
“That is a lot of kindergarten aged children coming up in just two short years,” Stol pointed out.
The numbers show a need for Alberta Education to approve an existing capital plan to add a kindergarten to Grade 6 school to Blackfalds. And the census is telling the province that the decision needs to be made sooner rather than later, Stol said.
“This is crunch time. We don’t want to be standing there looking foolish like we didn’t know that all these kindergartens are coming,” she said.
“This is not going to be a surprise to anyone so let’s get everyone to the table and make a good solid plan to meet these needs locally.”
Approximately 943 people between the ages of 26-30 make up most of the population in the town.
While there are 180 children in one age group, there are only 146 people over the age of 66 living in Blackfalds.
Town officials went door-to-door from May 18 to June 4 to compile Blackfalds census numbers. They also counted the number of occupied and unoccupied dwelling units.
There are approximately 3,083 homes in Blackfalds, up from 3,032 in 2011. But another thing that should be taken into account, Stol said, is that there are 98 homes currently under construction.
“That is about 300 more people in less than a year,” she said.
Having a larger population means a positive impact when it comes to receiving provincial dollars but it also communicates the need to have family-orientated businesses and services in Blackfalds, Stol said.
“Things like our field house project, if we were not growing things like this would not be possible.”
The Blackfalds field house is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014. It will be the home to various recreational activities such as indoor play spaces for a variety of sports, walking and running tracks, pools, fitness equipment and lease spaces for local businesses.
Stol says the census will be distributed to the town’s important partners such as Alberta Health Services, school boards, businesses and the province for effective planning and decision-making purposes.
In 2006, the town’s population was 4,571. It encountered a 47 per cent growth rate, or 1,455 new residents since 2001, making it one of the fastest growing communities in Central Alberta.