December 14th, 2017

New mayor looks to keepMilk River a vibrant community

By Kuhl, Nick on December 6, 2017.

Demi Knight

Southern Alberta Newspapers

– Milk River

With the general municipal elections in October, many areas in Alberta saw changes in their local governments – one being the community of Milk River.

With a 44 per cent voter turnout on election day Oct. 16, Milk River now finds itself “under new management” with new mayor, Peggy Losey.

After choosing to elect a woman with strong values to keep Milk River a vibrant town that compels residents to stay and visitors to consider it a beautiful place to live, Losey is ready to give her all to the town she loves.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” says Losey on her decision to run for mayor. “My family is here and now they have children and I wanted to run because I really love where I live, and I want to help make it a better place and keep it going for my kids and their kids and all the other family that’s here and love this town, too.”

With the town seeing growth over the past five years from 811 residents to 827, one of Losey’s main goals as mayor will be to help stabilize and increase the town’s population as well as creating a more vibrant and exciting municipality for the younger demographic to stay in or come back to once they’re finished with their education.

“I’m not sure how we’re going to go about it, but I would like to see it grow a little,” says Losey of her plans to increase the young population in the area.

“I want to see it keep going for years to come and with rural areas, it’s so hard because a lot of people are moving away to the city and we’re having less people stay overall.”

With the 2016 census showing the average age of the population of Milk River at 50.5 years, the town is facing a low school enrolment problem. Losey adds it is important to make it a place that people of all ages can grow in and enjoy – such as in schools.

“We have lower enrolments in the schools and less young people are staying in our community. I think mostly from having a lack of things to do. But we want to change that so young people can stay or come (back) home.”

“We still want people to go away and get educated if they need or want to,” adds Losey. “But, we want to make the town a place that they can come back to and want to live in.”

With a rich history, a warmer southern climate and surrounded by natural beauty, Milk River is nestled perfectly in the Prairies and has endless opportunities to grow and build across southern Alberta.

With that in mind Losey also says she has another plan in place and would like to expand economic opportunities within the town during her time on council.

“We want to have new businesses come to town so then we can have growth, enabling more jobs and opportunities for young people to stay and keep our school active. We hope that with bringing in a new business it will show more businesses the opportunities here and hopefully bring in more and become this domino effect.”

With several plans in place to elevate the town and its impact on the province, Losey is excited on entering her four-year term as new mayor of Milk River, as four councillors stand by her side and work together to create opportunities and a brighter future for the town.

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