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New CAO looks to Pincher Creek’s future

New CAO looks to Pincher Creek’s future
“There’s lots of work to be done internally before we can make changes in the community,” says Angie Lucas
“There’s lots of work to be done internally before we can make changes in the community,” says Angie Lucas
IMAGE: Laurie Tritschler
Angie Lucas, right, sits beside outgoing CAO Laurie Wilgosh at the Town of Pincher Creek’s open house Feb. 1.
IMAGE: Laurie Tritschler
Angie Lucas, right, sits beside outgoing CAO Laurie Wilgosh at the Town of Pincher Creek’s open house Feb. 1.

New CAO looks to Pincher Creek’s future

By Laurie Tritschler
By Laurie Tritschler
Shootin’ the Breeze Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Shootin’ the Breeze Shootin’ the Breeze Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
March 18, 2023
March 18, 2023

Pincher Creek’s new chief administrative officer has set her sights on long-term planning as mayor and council update the town’s policy framework.

Angie Lucas, who officially took the reins late last month, said last Friday that Pincher Creek is already a regional centre.

From its retail shops and parks to its hospital, Lucas said the town and its roughly 3,400 residents are a steady draw for about 35,000 people across southwestern Alberta.

The region is still emerging from an economic downturn that hit before the Covid-19 pandemic, but, “It’s 2023 now, and people want to do business here,” Lucas told Shootin’ the Breeze.

 

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The town is facing a number of challenges, though, especially its lack of affordable housing. 

“If people want to come here and work, there’s nowhere for them to live. And if businesses can’t get staff, they can’t grow,” Lucas said, noting that mayor and council are on top of the situation.

“There’s plenty of long-range capital planning to do,” which already has Lucas’s staff taking stock of municipal facilities. 

Are we looking after them correctly? What’s our operating budget saying?” she pondered.

 

 

More immediately, the town’s municipal development plan — a living document that broadly envisions Pincher Creek’s future — is now 10 years out of date.

“There’s lots of work to be done internally before we can make changes in the community,” she said. 

To that end, Lucas brings years of experience in Alberta and neighbouring British Columbia, having served in top administrative positions with Calgary’s Tsuut’ina First Nation and nearby Wheatland County. 

Born in England and raised in Australia (Lucas joked that she’ll never outgrow her “Aussie twang”), she holds a master’s degree in environmental design and planning from the University of Calgary.

 

 

Credentials aside, Lucas was the last candidate standing after a tough selection and interview process that started back in September. 

Lucas has been working alongside outgoing CAO Laurie Wilgosh since January. 

Wilgosh will step down for good in March, having held the position for 14 years.

 

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Pincher Creek’s new chief administrative officer has set her sights on long-term planning as mayor and council update the town’s policy framework.

Angie Lucas, who officially took the reins late last month, said last Friday that Pincher Creek is already a regional centre.

From its retail shops and parks to its hospital, Lucas said the town and its roughly 3,400 residents are a steady draw for about 35,000 people across southwestern Alberta.

The region is still emerging from an economic downturn that hit before the Covid-19 pandemic, but, “It’s 2023 now, and people want to do business here,” Lucas told Shootin’ the Breeze.

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

The town is facing a number of challenges, though, especially its lack of affordable housing. 

“If people want to come here and work, there’s nowhere for them to live. And if businesses can’t get staff, they can’t grow,” Lucas said, noting that mayor and council are on top of the situation.

“There’s plenty of long-range capital planning to do,” which already has Lucas’s staff taking stock of municipal facilities. 

Are we looking after them correctly? What’s our operating budget saying?” she pondered.

 

 

More immediately, the town’s municipal development plan — a living document that broadly envisions Pincher Creek’s future — is now 10 years out of date.

“There’s lots of work to be done internally before we can make changes in the community,” she said. 

To that end, Lucas brings years of experience in Alberta and neighbouring British Columbia, having served in top administrative positions with Calgary’s Tsuut’ina First Nation and nearby Wheatland County. 

Born in England and raised in Australia (Lucas joked that she’ll never outgrow her “Aussie twang”), she holds a master’s degree in environmental design and planning from the University of Calgary.

 

 

Credentials aside, Lucas was the last candidate standing after a tough selection and interview process that started back in September. 

Lucas has been working alongside outgoing CAO Laurie Wilgosh since January. 

Wilgosh will step down for good in March, having held the position for 14 years.

 

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Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

Local Stories Obituaries Story Idea?

 

 

 

 

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