Its been no secret that Alberta's energy sector turbulence in 2018 has made life difficult for a number of residents who worked in the field.

Foothills County Reeve Larry Spilak says, oil workers aren't the only locals who had a tough year.

"The drought was a huge issue, especially for our farmers and ranchers of course. They had to deal with it and we had to deal with it as well. It created a lot of uncertainty as far as revenue goes for many of our residents."

Spilak says in regards to the anemic oil pricing, they found the bright side to the dip, but he'd much prefer a healthy employment economy for locals.

"In someways it's a positive and that's only because of the current cost of oil. Of course it costs us less to pave roads and maintain them. We'd much rather have a higher price on oil and consequently have more residents employed, however road maintenance is about the only shining light."

With an impending provincial and federal election, Spilak says there's some uncertainty in regards to MSI funds.

"The incoming election may change the economy, we don't know where the MSI funds are going to. MSI funds of course are what the province gives back to the municipalities to run the business. There's been some talk about changes in that, and we are of course concerned about that. Hopefully it won't change things up too much."

However, Spilak is looking forward to a critical project that finally got its green light, heading into the new year.

"The most important thing that happened within the county last year was the Aldersyde water treatment and wastewater facility was improved. What this does is set us into a position where we will be able to supply water and wastewater for the future growth of our industrial corridor, which is something we have been working very hard towards for many years."

 

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