The Village of Wabamun’s new public square opened today, as part of the community’s plans to enhance the downtown core, a project funded in part by the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) Community Benefit Program. This is the first community project developed and constructed as a direct result of the TMEP Community Benefit Program. The construction of the public square began in September 2017 and officially opened to the community today with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Wabamun Mayor, Charlene Smylie, Province of Alberta officials and Trans Mountain representatives in attendance.

The Village of Wabamun  and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in November, 2016 for a Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) of $125,000 to fund the Wabamun Common Project, a plan to beautify the “heart” of the community which includes the addition of a public square for events and celebrations. A plaque commemorating the company’s contribution will be added to the space this winter. The first community event will take place in December, 2017 as part of the Christmas in the Village and Light Up celebration.

 “This is a significant milestone for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and demonstrates our ongoing commitment of providing direct benefits to all communities impacted by our expansion,” said Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada Limited.  “Residents now a have a new place to gather for community events and celebrations and we’re proud to be involved in a project that enhances the sense of community for the people of Wabamun.”

“The Wabamun Common Project is a very exciting project for our community. It will tie our downtown core together and will improve the look and feel of the heart of Wabamun. It will be a welcome addition to our fabulous existing visitor amenities and it meets many of the goals put forward in the Municipal Development Plan (2010),” said Charlene Smylie, Mayor of the Village of Wabamun.

“Along with the removal of a number of overhead power lines and addition of trees and greenery, the Common will improve public parking and safe pedestrian access into our busy Senior Center. The most exciting part is the addition of the public square which can host street musicians, artists and local events such as our Christmas Light Up. We greatly appreciate the funding support of Trans Mountain, the Wabamun Seniors Society and the Province of Alberta.” Trans Mountain has been pursuing Community Benefit Agreements with communities along the pipeline corridor to provide direct benefits to those affected by construction of the approved Expansion Project. To date, Trans Mountain has signed 19 agreements with local governments along 95 per cent of the pipeline route that will provide funds to help with initiatives from education and training opportunities, to investing in infrastructure, park and trail improvement projects. The funds help compensate for public inconvenience and temporary disruption caused in route communities during the construction phase of the proposed Project. Local investments like these are in addition to the $52 million in annual property tax payments to pipeline corridor communities with the expansion, landowner compensation and economic development opportunities created by the construction and operation of the pipeline. Trans Mountain values the 60-plus years of relationships it has with the communities along its existing pipeline system and the Expansion Project.