The town of Blackfalds may now be the size of a city, but Mayor Richard Poole says applying for city status isn’t automatic.
“There’s a lot of pros and cons and whether or not that’s something that we need to do would be something we’ll look at very carefully. We have some communities in Alberta that are over 25,000 that are still towns,” said Poole before town council received the census report for ratification at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
He said whether or not the city status is sought will be determined by council with input from key stakeholders like residents and staff.
In the 2018 census town’s population reached 10,125. At 10,000 Alberta communities can apply to become cities.
“I think what is really exciting is passing the 10,000 threshold and that makes a lot of difference in attracting people willing to invest in our community.”
The town grew by 2.1 per cent while the provincial average was at .9 per cent growth.
Blackfalds has been one of the nation’s fastest-growing small communities. Population has more than doubled since 2007 when the population was 4,843.
In 2017, there was a 4.2 per cent increase.
Poole said the town is comfortable with this year’s increase, but eagerly anticipates future growth.
“We’re looking forward to a rebound in the whole economy over the next year and we’re looking forward to the results of that.
“Blackfalds has been unique in the fact that we’ve had councils that were really excited about the opportunity that increased population brings. We’ve been able to expand our facilities. We have wonderfully new facilities in our town that are exciting to our residents and visitors alike.”
Poole also thanked residents for the record number of houses that participated in the census — 99.77 per cent of all Blackfalds 4,357 addresses.
“There were only nine incomplete addresses.”