2016 was a big year for the Town of Okotoks and Town Councillor Tanya Thorn.

Thorn was proud of a number of projects the Town tackled last year, but on top of that list sits the Annexation Agreement.

She says she was lucky to be apart of the Annexation Negotiation Team and is pleased the Town was able to come to a unified agreement with the M.D. of Foothills for such an important project.

"The fact that we managed to come to a consensual agreement with the M.D. of Foothills and get that application in I think is a huge accomplishment for both ourselves and the M.D. of Foothills...the annexation is a key part of our growth plan. People find they love this region, they love this community so we need to be in the position to take our share of people that are coming here and manage what that looks like for this community."

No project has been easy though, Thorn says she has learned that in order to get a task done efficiently, being able to communicate and work together with neighboring municipalities, councils and with residents is key.

"I think the more we can work together....the better the solutions we will find for our communities as a whole, so I think consensus building has been the biggest learning for me, also that you know, sometimes things don't happen over night."

As for 2017, Thorn says there are a lot of projects that she is enthusiastic about but the Business Visitation Program with the Okotoks Chamber really stands out for her.

I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes once we reevaluate our survey results and then getting to build some relationships with our business community. So for me that's a big one. I'm a big believer that we need to improve our public engagement process and this project will allow us to do that engagement side of it on the business side."

Thorn says for council as a whole, Okotoks' water situation is most likely the top priority in the new year.

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