|Town of Cochrane|
Overview of Cochrane
|Motto: How the West is Now|
|Municipal district||Rocky View County|
|• Mayor||Ivan Brooker|
|• Governing body|
|• CAO||Julian deCocq|
|• MP||Blake Richards (Cons-Wild Rose)|
|• MLA||Cam Westhead (NDP)-Banff-Cochrane)|
|• Total||30.03 km2 (11.59 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,159 m (3,802 ft)|
|• Density||585.5/km2 (1,516/sq mi)|
|• Municipal census (2015)||23,084|
|Time zone||MST (UTC-7)|
|Postal code span||T4C|
Cochrane // is a town in the Canadian province of Alberta. The town is located 18 km west of the Calgary city limits along Highway 1A. With a population of 17,580, Cochrane is the second largest town in Alberta and one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. It is part of Calgary's census metropolitan area and a member community of the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP). The town is surrounded by Rocky View County.
Cochrane was established in 1881 as the Cochrane Ranche, after Matthew Henry Cochrane, a local rancher. It became a village in 1903 and it had a newspaper and volunteer fire department by 1909. Cochrane incorporated as a town in 1971.
Cochrane is situated at the base of Big Hill in the Bow River Valley. It sits at an elevation of 1,186 metres (3,891 ft). The town is intersected by Highway 1A and Highway 22. Cochrane has a reputation for its western culture, which can easily be felt when one wanders the streets (particularly Main Street). The town is a popular destination for ice cream and coffee in its quaint western-oriented stores as well as for windsports, golfing, hiking and other adventure activities.
Cochrane is also a small industrial centre. Major industries include lumber, construction, retail, and agriculture (ranching). It is notable as being one of a very few communities in Canada with no business tax.
Cochrane is known for outdoor pursuits. It is a centre for paragliding instruction, with the renowned Nick Mueller family operating a school at the top of the Big Hill.
The hill is also a popular training ground for cyclists from the area, who take advantage of its 7% grade and 3.5 km distance.
|Source: Statistics Canada
The population of the Town of Cochrane according to its 2015 municipal census is 23,084, a 11.5% change from its 2014 municipal census population of 20,708. At its current population, Cochrane is one of the largest towns in the province and is eligible for city status. According to Alberta's Municipal Government Act, a town is eligible for city status when it reaches 10,000 residents.
In the 2011 Census, the Town of Cochrane had a population of 17,580 living in 6,523 of its 6,824 total dwellings, a 27.8% change from its 2006 population of 13,760. With a land area of 30.03 km2 (11.59 sq mi), it had a population density of 585.4/km2 (1,516.2/sq mi) in 2011.
In 2006, Cochrane had a population of 13,760 living in 4,969 dwellings, a 14.3% increase from 2001. The town has a land area of 30.03 km2 (11.59 sq mi) and a population density of 458.3/km2 (1,187/sq mi).
Arts and culture
Cochrane Ranch provided the corral setting for the 1954 National Film Board of Canada documentary Corral, by Colin Low, whose father had worked as a foreman at the ranch. This film played theatrically across Canada and was named Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival.
Cochrane houses attractions such as Cochrane Ranche Historic Site and Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Foundation Library And Archives, located in the Cochrane Ranchehouse.
Cochrane is home to many annual events each year:
- Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair: Early May
- Canada Day (July 1)
- Town of Cochrane presents the Canada Day Family Concert : Canada Day (July 1)
- Labour Day Rodeo & Parade: Labour Day weekend
- Terry Fox Run: September
- Christmas Lightup: Late November
- Municipal politics
Cochrane has a town council consisting of an elected mayor and six councillors elected at-large. Councillors are elected by the eligible electors by voting for up to six candidates and the six receiving the largest number of votes being elected. The position of deputy mayor is rotated through the councillors over their term. Elections are held on the third Monday in October every fourth year.
- Provincial politics
Cochrane is located within the provincial electoral division of Banff-Cochrane. It has been represented in the Alberta Legislature by Progressive Conservative MLA Ron Casey since the 2012 provincial election.
- Federal politics
Cochrane is located along the southern most boundary of the federal electoral district of Wild Rose. Blake Richards is representing Cochrane in the House of Commons since 2008. He replaced long standing MP Myron Thompson, who was originally elected as a member of the Reform Party in 1993.
Cochrane is home to schools from both the public Rocky View School Division as well as the separate Calgary Catholic School District and the Francophone school system, the Greater Southern Alberta Catholic Francophone Region #4 (CSCFSA).
As of 2008, there are currently nine public and separate schools in operation within the town boundaries.
- Rocky View School Division
- Bow Valley High School: Grades 9–12
- Cochrane High School: Grades 9–12
- Elizabeth Barret Elementary School: Kindergarten, Grades 1–4
- Glenbow Elementary School: Kindergarten, Grades 1–5
- Mitford School: Kindergarten, Grades 1–8
- Manachaban School: Kindergarten, Grades 1–8
- Cochrane Christian Academy: Kindergarten, Grades 1-8
- Calgary Catholic School District
- Holy Spirit: Kindergarten, Grades 1–8
- St. Timothy: Grades 7–12
- Nôtre Dame Des Vallées: Kindergarten, Grades 1–8 (French-Catholic school GSACFR#4 or CSCFSA)
In November 2006 the Rocky View School Division accepted a proposal by the Cochrane Christ-Centred Education Society to set up a Protestant Christian education program in Cochrane. The Cochrane Christian Academy opened its doors at Mitford Middle School in September 2007, offering kindergarten to grade 4. Approval for expansion to include grade 5 for the 2008–09 school year was given by the board of trustees in April 2008.
There are currently two trustees (one from each board) elected to represent Cochrane Schools at their respective boards. As of January 2008 these trustees are:
- Dr. Bruce Pettigrew: Rocky View School Division, Ward 6
- Serafino Scarpino: Calgary Catholic School District, Wards 1, 2 and Cochrane
The Greater Southern Alberta Catholic Francophone Region #4 has one trustee for the Region from Cochrane.
Historically from 1964 until the 1980s, downtown Cochrane had a wood-preserving facility that used creosote to treat railway ties. It was owned and operated by Montreal-based Domtar Corporation, "one of the world's largest paper producers." In the 1980s Domtar sold the land to developers. In c. 1986 Edmonton-based Springwood Developments, a commercial real estate development firm, purchased the land. By 2003 Cochrane Properties, a subsidiary of Conor Pacific Environmental Technologies Inc., had constructed a new shopping centre south of downtown Cochrane on a section of the larger brownfield land site, that was less contaminated.
By 1998 the old Domtar site was still "a barren piece of ground." By December 2002 the Town of Cochrane's chief administrative officer, Julian de Cocq, credited the Brownfield committee created in 1998 with the successful site remediation. The brown committee included the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC), the town of Cochrane, Glenn Martin, president of Glenn Martin Consulting Inc., "Alberta Environment, the Calgary Regional Health Authority, a facilitator from the Alberta Community Development and others. By early 2000 after almost a year of intense meetings, all parties has signed on. By December 2002, Glenn Martin Consulting Inc claimed that 20 acres of formerly-brownfield land were declared clean, 14 acres were developed and six acres were services but still vacant.
The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC), an apolitical organization, was established in 1989 by concerned Cochrane residents with solid technical knowledge "to leverage its small resources through a wide variety of projects and organizations to find workable solutions" for local and regional environmental issues. CEAC member, Tim Giese, a research chemist in Calgary, explained that "creosote is a complex hydrocarbon source. It protected wood from rotting because it is toxic to most living things" but the site also had pentachlorophenol-contamination, which seeps into ground water and migrates.
Robert (Bob) E. Nowack, Chairman and CEO of Vancouver-based Conor Pacific Canada Inc., described how they reclaimed this shopping centre site by hauling away top layers of contaminated soil which was trucked to a government site where "it will be chemically treated for years." It was noted that the section of the contaminated site that Conor Pacific remediated and developed was "only superficially polluted before the reclamation. Contamination only went 30 to 50 centimetres into the earth." Nowack noted that the creosote-contaminated land surrounding the specified brownfield development site, Nowack noted that "anything that migrate[d] off-site is still Domtar's concern" and that these brownfields were much more seriously contaminated with some areas going down as deep as 30 or 40 feet.
Community Revitalization Levy (CRL)
In February 2012 then-councilor Ivan Brooker and Paige Milner, the town's senior manager of corporate services, promoted the establishment of a Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) in Cochrane. The Council announced that they had already notified the Alberta Minister of Municipal of Affairs about their decision and were awaiting on their approval. Once accepted it is the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta that would create the "CRL regulation and approve a CRL bylaw and community revitalization plan." The Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) redirects an estimated $5.6 million in property taxes on the future increased value generated by future new developments until the debt is repaid in 2032. Property tax revenues resulting from new development, above the set baseline tax set prior to development, are diverted from public funding such as municipal revenue and education towards the repayment of the loan to leverage redevelopments in Cochrane such as remediation of sections of and redevelopment of the area in and around Domtar's former site — now a creosote-contaminated brownfield. Cochrane took on a further debt of up to $3-million in 2013 through the CRL thereby increasing their total debt to $15.5-million which represents "34 per cent of the town's MGA limit-within the median debt levels for similar municipalities." The CRL was approved by the province of Alberta in December 2012.
- Rob Cote, professional football player
- George Fox, musician
- Ethan Gage, professional soccer player
- Mason Raymond, professional ice hockey player
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