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Box 113, 210-2nd Ave South, Marwayne, Alberta  T0B 2X0

FCM Award

Marwayne is leading the way in sustainable community development

 

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) 2016 winners showcase best practices in environmental plans, programs, and projects — in communities of all sizes and all regions across Canada.
 
On February 10, 2016, the Village of Marwayne was presented with the FCM 2016 Sustainable Communities Award "2016 Neighborhood Development" for our Centre Street Revitalization: From the Bottom Up! project.
 
To see the news release: January 20, 2016 FCM News Release
 

Receiving the Award

From left to right: Mayor Jenelle Saskiw, Village of Marwayne; Ben Henderson, GMF Council Chair; Sylvie Goneau, FCM Third Vice-President; Brock Carlton, FCM CEO
 

Project Summary

In 2011, council and a group of motivated citizens decided that they needed to address Marwayne’s struggling downtown sector and its very tired looking façade. They formed an Economic Development Committee (EDC) and spearheaded a strategic plan with the vision "to build a development-ready community that would help entrepreneurs think beyond the traditional way and increase opportunities for Marwayne to prosper.” Their decisions would be grounded in the Village’s 2009 AUMA award winning Marwayne Sustainability Plan:  Looking to the Future.  The Village had moved toward sustainable asset management and developed a systematic, proactive capital renewal plan based on sound data from a consultant engineer. The 2009 foundational goal was to ensure a positive environment to generate economic activity in the community for the purpose of retaining and increasing services desired by the citizens and fostering an environment for economic wealth and quality of life.  By 2011, enough community interest was generated to move forward.
 
The Village’s capital renewal plan determined that the next priority was the sewer main and water lateral replacement on Centre Street.  As planning began, Council realized that there was a possible contaminated lot, a major environmental factor in this area, that could impact the health of the citizens and renewal of the surrounding infrastructure if remediation went ahead. Given the risks, it would not be an integrated asset management approach to find out that the contamination required the removal of the newly installed infrastructure. The snowball effect quickly took over. If the infrastructure was ripped apart, dug out, and hauled away, were we to put it back as it was, or were we to use this opportunity to make changes to enhance the streetscape of the Village Centre Zone?
 
Council opted for a holistic approach to tackle a project that had environmental, social, and economic factors. They decided to clean up the brownfield, replace expired sewer and water mains, and install a storm sewer. When putting Centre Street back together, they committed to reducing the carbon imprint of Centre Street and creating a pedestrian friendly, walkable downtown. Changing people’s environment is always scary, but to meet its goals, the EDC reduced Marwayne’s wide street width, which reduced its carbon imprint with less asphalt, made room for trees and green boulevards, and created social interaction spaces, new sidewalks and streetlights.
 
Fixing infrastructure was only part of the issue. At the heart of the matter, the EDC asked, "How can we help the independent business owner?” The EDC asked the Village to update its land use bylaw and then partnered with Community Futures to set up a grant program to assist business owners with their business fronts.  Three years later, the project was completed.
 
Check out the FCM profile video and case study.
 
Photos
 
Investment Opportunities:
We invite you to consider developing in downtown Marwayne, click here for investment opportunities or commercial land for sale.
 
FCM Conference 2016:
Mayor Saskiw made two presentations on the Marwayne project:
  • February 10, Workshop:Imagining Canada: Enabling Municipal Leadership through the Green Municipal Fund.  This workshop they are profiling successful, model projects that have taken a problem (like leaky water pipes) and turned it into a value-added opportunity (like revitalizing Centre Street, re-mediating a brownfield and increasing rainwater absorption and permeable surfaces).
  • February 11: Workshop:  Lean and Green:  Efficient Policy Ideas for Rural Communities.  This workshop examines how small and rural communities have increased their economic vitality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and saved money.  Learn about diverse innovation approaches such as how to revitalize your downtown core, increase walkability and help local businesses thrive.
FCM Webinar "Ideas to Move Brownfield Projects Forward" March 24, 2016
 
CAO Joanne Horton presented on FCM's national webinar "Ideas to Move Brownfield Projects Forward".  Marwayne's water and sewer infrastructure project became a development opportunity by remediating a site that now hosts community activities. The presentation and recording of the webinar are available at this link.
 
Partners and Collaborators:
Village of Marwayne, Marwayne EDC, Marwayne Chamber of Commerce and Marwayne Agriculture Society
 
Community Futures, Alberta Municipal Heritage Partnership Program, Alberta Transportation, Alberta Culture
 
Resources:
 
The below resources contain the engineer plans, design objectives, renderings, communications and planning documents regarding this project.