New bylaw promotes collaboration for delivering community economic development

Lacombe City Council finalized a fresh community economic development structure at their meeting Monday. The goal of the newly crafted bylaw is to provide a clear set of responsibilities and expectations for programs spearheaded by city administration and its various community partners. The bylaw update is intended to provide high level guidance to Echo Lacombe and other community groups who receive support from the City of Lacombe.

It provides for a heightened level of accountability as the groups are asked to report back on their progress annually while aligning their initiatives to Council’s strategic plan. “Community economic development has been evolving since the original bylaw was passed in 2010,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “Council wanted to ensure the realities of the current environment were properly reflected in this revision.”

Most notably, the creation of Echo Lacombe Association has produced a partnership for delivering several grassroots programs that did not exist when the original bylaw was passed. Echo Lacombe’s vision is to improve the quality of life within the city by fostering a collaborative environment focused on cultivating innovation, nurturing a business friendly culture, promoting sustainable growth and creating a safe, inclusive, vibrant and healthy community.

The organization is perhaps best known for operating the Echo Energy initiative, a social enterprise that directs its profits back into local community projects.

It also spearheads a variety of programs including the Downtown Storefront Enhancement program and business partnership fund.“This bylaw enshrines the city’s community partnership approach as a key factor in community economic development success,” said Mayor Creasey. “The change aligns well with Council’s strategic plan and fosters the collaboration we feel is vital to moving our community forward.”