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Municipality of Chester plans for growth with $1.98M funding boost

By Evan Taylor Mar 19, 2024 | 3:25 PM

The Municipality of Chester (MOC) has launched an ambitious plan aimed at priming local communities for significant residential, commercial, and industrial expansion. This strategic initiative, dubbed the “Charting a Course for Growth” plan, emphasizes long-term strategies supported by Municipal Council, spanning economic development, tourism, and infrastructure enhancements.

“Our communities are on the brink of exciting growth, and this plan sets the stage for a prosperous future,” states Brian Webb, Senior Economic Development Officer for the Municipality. “After extensive research and consultations spanning 15 months, we are poised to leverage opportunities and address critical needs identified by residents and businesses.”

The plan is multifaceted, encompassing various key components to facilitate sustainable growth. These include:

  • Projections on population and workforce dynamics to guide housing requirements and address anticipated demand for various occupations.
  • Reviewing housing policies, such as Land Use By-Laws and Sewer By-Law, to ensure they align with growth objectives.
  • Assessing housing infrastructure to accommodate expansion, including wastewater systems and water supply considerations.
  • Conducting a comprehensive Recreation Needs Assessment to identify enhancements and gaps in recreational facilities amidst population and visitor growth.
  • Engaging with residents, organizations, and industry stakeholders to gather insights and ensure community readiness for anticipated growth.
  • Implementing strategies to attract and retain a skilled workforce, addressing employer needs and labor supply barriers.
  • Upgrading transportation and active transportation infrastructure to support growing communities.

A recent boost to the municipality’s efforts came in the form of a $1,986,000 funding injection from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF). This funding will be channeled into nine key initiatives aimed at expediting housing supply and addressing affordability challenges. Projects include reviewing by-laws and municipal specifications, developing strategies for higher density development, and implementing an online permitting system, among others.

“This significant contribution will enable transformative projects that position us for sustained growth,” remarks Allen Webber, Warden for the Municipality of Chester. “With the support of our federal partners, we are well-equipped to maintain our rural charm while embracing modern expansion opportunities. These funds will play a pivotal role in establishing our region as a top destination for years to come.”