July 9, 2021

Win A Free Business Licence — Participate in Taste of Okotoks

Get your restaurant registered to take part in a community-wide event that provides valuable exposure to your business! You could also win a free business license for 2022!

The deadline is July 15th! 

How to register your restaurant:

  • We've made it super easy to sign up this year. We only need the basics!
  • Fill out our registration form. Don't worry, it'll take only a minute.
  • It's free to sign up. This is a great opportunity for all food-serving businesses.
  • *We do require a special, and a photo of said special to be listed on the website.

*If you want to sign up now, and send your special later with a photo, please submit your photo and special prior to July 15.


Send us your patio photo!

The Town is helping to promote businesses with patios this summer!

Details of your business patio will be included on a map that allows visitors and tourists to find you easily. All you have to do is send us an email with the following information: your business name; your business address; and most importantly, attach the best photo of your patio.

Start here!

Okotoks Fifth Season — Construction 

It’s synonymous with summer, and we have all talked about it at some point. Many of us have been frustrated it interfered with our already tight timelines. We have no doubt bemoaned, criticized it and at one point or another, questioned its purpose — of course, we're talking about construction.

Colloquially referred to as our “5th season,” capital-led construction projects are an inevitable facet of municipal planning. And, while it may seem at times these processes are counterintuitive, or in some cases blatantly at odds with logic and reasoning, there is a lot of thoughtful consideration that goes into the process.

The Economic Development team sat down with Ed Smith, Engineering Technologist with the Town of Okotoks, and asked a few questions about construction in Okotoks.

1. What are some examples of municipally-owned assets that require maintenance and repair?

All surface works, such as your roads, sidewalks and curbs. But also you need to take into account deep utilities such as water, storm and utility lines. They are town-owned and they all have a service life. Depending on what asset is failing or showing distress — the goal is to catch it before you get to a removal and replacement scenario.

2. How do we go about prioritizing or deciding on what to address first?

There are different approaches the Town can utilize depending on the nature and scope of the project. Sometimes repairs and maintenance are driven by complaints received from the public. Sometimes it’s noticed by municipal employees. But there are also third-party companies who measure the SDI (surface distress index) — which measures among other things, the ride-ability, breaking points, and deterioration of infrastructure such as, sidewalks and asphalt. One of the most extenuating factors is how busy or how many trips occur on roads or sidewalks. For example, maintenance requirements for Southridge Drive are going to be greater than for Milligan Drive, which would, in turn, be greater than Cimarron Grove Drive.

In some cases, we can plan for work, but it could get expedited due to an unforeseen event. In other cases, additional work may be added to the scope of a project to take advantage of time and place. And in some other cases, it’s a matter of making the most of an opportunity, such as helping aid servicing to new development.

3. What does the process look like in procuring services to maintain and repair these assets?

The typical process for a larger scale project first involves identifying a location or area of concern. Once identified, we then issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) to various consultants, with a high-level description of what is required and what we expect. With that information, interested parties make submissions, which are reviewed. Once a successful submission is awarded, another RFP is issued for construction, which covers the actual construction and work for the project. All of this is dependent on the scope of the project. Some projects require greater review, are greater in RFP length and in some cases require public consultation, others can be completed quite quickly.

4. What sort of timelines do you typically work within?

This really depends on how elaborate the project is. Where is it located? How busy or well used the area of concern is, and how much work needs to be accomplished. Timelines are also tied to our budget cycle — money that has been allocated for a specific year should be tied to work completed in that same year; this can be in stages for a project, or for the entire project. Through the planning process, we remain cognizant of potential disruptions to the public and businesses and do our best to mitigate any negative effects.

5. Why does it always seem to take longer than anticipated?

The million-dollar question. Sometimes there are underlying factors we do not necessarily know. Sometimes underground infrastructure has moved. Sometimes there is an issue with the supply of raw materials for repair. And in some cases, the project may exceed the budget, which requires a review of the RFP. There is also the case of some projects having aspects that just take time to complete. In these cases, there are elements that are beyond the Town, contractors or the consultant's control.

6. What is one of the most common questions you receive regarding construction?

“Why don’t you do it at night?” Well. you pay a premium for that work. Crews get paid additional for working in the evening, which also requires light lamps (additional cost), and those are connected to a generator, which creates its own issues.

Another common question, is “Why is it always in the summer?” All of our work is weather-related, and given the climate we live in, there is a small timeframe to complete everything in the year. We typically need to squeeze 10 months of work into a 5-6 month period, which means we are just trying to get as much done in the shortest amount of time.


This article is being provided as part of Okotoks Economic Developments' commitment to keeping the local business community informed on topics that affect them. Our commitment to local businesses is to let them know about projects that affect them as early as possible so that they can plan and prepare for any possible disruptions. If you are a business owner and have a question about construction and your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Polling Topic

Please help provide your response to the polling topic below. The aim of this is to get a general sense of interest from our readers. You response helps us improve the Business Beat

Has Town-led construction projects interfered with your business in the past 5 years?

Previous poll results

We asked: “Is your business prepared to re-open in line with Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan?”

Answers: 6

Yes: 1 (100%)

No: 0 (0%)


Town of Okotoks grieves loss of long-time mayor

It is with great sadness that the Town of Okotoks announces the passing of Mayor Bill Robertson on July 7 after a brave battle with cancer.

“On behalf of Town Council we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Elaine, their children Michael, Jeffery and Bradley and all members of his family,” said Deputy Mayor Florence Christophers. “Bill will be profoundly missed, both as a great leader in our community and as a mentor and a friend.”

Flags have been lowered to half-mast in honour of the mayor, and a memorial has been created at the Municipal Centre with a book of condolences that residents are invited to sign. The book will be open to the public during regular office hours Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sending your condolences

Council endorses civility amendments to policy

Council approved amendments to the Good Order and Civil Conduct Policy that will promote greater civil discourse. The amendments were approved during the regular meeting June 28.

“The amendments to this policy formally establish the importance of promoting and encouraging civil discourse between members of staff, Council and community members,” said Deputy Mayor Matt Rockley. “As the Town strives to create and nurture an environment that encourages the free exchange of diverse ideas and points of view, these amendments serve to remind us that we are all neighbours.”

The amendments expand the types of behaviour that are unacceptable and the actions the Town can take when inappropriate situations occur.

Learn more

Follow your outdoor watering schedule!

Managing our water resources wisely is important so our community can rely on our water system for many years to come. We rely on you and all our local residents and businesses to help practice responsible water use.

Your outdoor watering schedule

Upcoming Events

Indigenous Business Development Services: Startup Steps

July 29, 1:30 pm

Have an idea and considering starting your own business?

During this 90-minute interactive session, you will discover if entrepreneurship is right for you. You will also be educated on how to take your idea and make it a reality by assessing whether your idea is viable, as well as be provided with the tools, resources and guidance to help you along the way.

Presented by a Business Link Indigenous Business Development strategist

Register for free today!

Register for this training

Emergency Preparedness Program: Protect Your Business from the Unexpected 

July 21, 11 am

The COVID-19 pandemic, major floods, and wildfires have made businesses aware they need to plan and be prepared for unexpected times and emergencies. The Emergency Preparedness Program gives Alberta entrepreneurs the tools and knowledge they need to mitigate the effects of any future business interruptions.

Presented by:

  • Leann Hackman-Carty, Hackman-Carty and Associates
  • Andy Fennell, Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar

Register for this training

Members Show and Sale

Until September 17

Visit the Okotoks Art Gallery to shop beautiful artwork and hand-crafted goods made by local artists. Open Wednesday-Saturday 11 am to 4 pm.

Learn more about the Show

Celebrate Okotoks Market + community event 

July 27, 10 am 

Okotoks Marketsquare is welcoming all types of locally-owned businesses to participate at this community event, supporting local makers, creators, restaurants, breweries, brick and mortar, services, and more!

Submit your application!

Are you organizing an event or webinar you want to share with the public?

If your business is in Okotoks, we can help you spread the word. Submit your event and we'll list it on the website.

Submit an Event

New Business Listings

The Town of Okotoks is thrilled to welcome the following new businesses to Town:


  • S-Cubed Environmental - waste consultant company
  • GO! Glass @ Accessories - windshield repair shop
  • Gong Cha - bubble tea shop
  • The Hidden Gem - inside vendor market

Home-based Businesses:

  • Boy O Boy Flowers by Nikolle - floral design, sales & giftware
  • Bratts Contracting - appliance installation contractor
  • Curadecks - home office – deck building
  • Darcy Wasylyshen - painting contractor
  • Family Fix Fitness - fitness classes virtual and in-person outside
  • Inspectwest Home Inspection Ltd. - home inspection services
  • Principe Production - photography & videography
  • Santos Creation - handmade crafts

You can find more information on these new businesses as well as many others at our online business directory.

Online business directory

Business support programs

Critical Worker Benefit program expanded - restaurant workers and security guards are now eligible

Eligibility for the Government of Alberta’s “Critical Worker Benefit” has recently expanded to include dine in restaurant employees, truck drivers, farmworkers, security guards, cleaners, funeral workers, and taxi drivers who can demonstrate they worked at least 300 hours during the eligibility period. Eligible employees can receive up to $1,200 under this program.

Employers will be responsible for distributing the $1,200 to their eligible employees. Private sector employers can now apply on behalf of employees. The deadline to apply is July 23rd, 2021.

Learn more and apply

Aboriginal Business Investment Fund - for Indigenous community-owned economic development projects

The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) can partially or completely fund capital costs for Indigenous community-owned economic development projects. Projects like these improve social and economic outcomes for Indigenous Peoples and their communities.

To get funding, projects should be close to starting operations or breaking ground within the fiscal year following funding.

ABIF provides between $150,000 and $500,000 that could be up to 100% of eligible project costs.  government and industry funding sources.

Learn more and apply!

Save money on water bills. Xeriscape your yard and apply for a rebate. Your garden does not need too much water to be beautiful!

Xeriscaping involves landscaping a large area with plants that are appropriate to dry climates and providing healthy growing conditions. Xeriscaping creates an environmentally friendly and beautiful landscape that can be maintained with little or no supplementary watering.

The Town offers rebates for businesses that choose xeriscaping. Besides the advantage of having to pay less on water bills, businesses can can receive a 50 percent rebate to a maximum of $200, on a selection of 65 drought-tolerant perennials, shrubs and trees, and receive up to $3,000 towards the cost of xeriscape landscaping projects.

Learn more and apply

Check out the more comprehensive listing of support resources available to Okotoks businesses.

COVID-19 Business Resources

Town Information

Council meetings
COVID-19 updates
Business Events

Connect with Us!

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