For three days last week, city hall staff and councillors attended the annual Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference in Edmonton.
Mayor Rob Saunders said that the conference was a success by any standard.
“We were able to mix and mingle with the new premier, who also gave a address,” he said. “We also were able to speak with some of our colleagues from around the province, along with the cabinet ministers in the province.”
Saunders said that AUMA provides important framework for the municipalities in Alberta.
“Most of the municipalities belong to AUMA and through the current president, we have a AUMA board that we all come together, and bring forward the issues of concern, which will come out as possible policy,” Saunders said.
“It is also a chance for us to network with other municipalities and share best practices and understand what other communities around the
province are doing.”
Some of those best practices that Saunders, the councillors and staff members who attended the three-day conference brought back to the Border City were dealing with smart cities.
“There are so many topical areas, we are talking about smart cities, we are talking about communications and connectivity to become a smarter city. We also talked about best practices in waste water treatment, we talked about brown fields in cities,” Saunders said, adding that brown field development and the approach on the issue was discussed at some length.
“If we have brown fields sitting and have reasons that they are developed in a certain time frame then we need to learn how to approach those areas and alleviate those brown field development areas,” he said.
Saunders said that there was a wide range of topics that he and the other Lloydminster attendees took home that can help the city grow.
Another benefit to the three-day conference was meeting with stake- holders in key industries, Saunders said.
“Networking with key service providers that address key services for municipalities, is another benefit to the conference,” he added. “There is a trade show for key service providers, which provide best practices in key areas.”
Saunders said that he and his fellow council members met with a range of people in a variety of areas.
“The thing that we do when we go to these conferences is to split up and get a cross section of councillors and administration involved in
numerous sessions during the three days,” he said.
With a new cabinet in place in Alberta, Saunders–along with Coun. Jason Whiting – met with two new cabinet minister during the conference.
“We had met with the new Infrastructure Minister Manmeet S. Bhullar, and newly appointed Minister of Finance Robin Campbell.”
Saunders said that the conference is probably one of the most valuable opportunities for the Border City to be involved with other municipalities and the provincial government to better not only the municipality, but the province.