We are a community that preserves, enhances and enriches our evolving rural way of life for all generations to live, work and prosper as members of this farming and ranching community. 

The municipality provides leadership that will ensure that all citizens can continue to enjoy a safe and sustainable rural community that recognizes agriculture as a cornerstone. 

We value people.


We value our history.


We value our environment.


We value the principles of honesty, integrity and respect. 

This Strategic Plan identifies our key strategic priorities over a 5-year period from 2022-2026. The Strategic Plan, and the Business Plan of each Municipal Department is updated annually as part of our budget process. 

Each Municipal department will undertake an annual business plans that will highlight their mid and long-term goals which align with the municipality’s strategic plan.    These plans identify operational objectives, key strategies to achieve those objectives and performance measurements or indicators that will demonstrate the success in meeting municipal objectives.  


We will honor our history and traditions while we plan and prepare our community for the future.



The principles of transparency, respect and honesty will guide the daily operations and conduct of municipal council and staff. We will make fair decisions. We will honor agreements and hold others to the same standard.


Economic Growth & Diversity

We will seek to generate a business-friendly climate which aid in regional economic activity and prosperity. We will actively seek opportunities to attract new industry. We will seek to retain existing industry.


Municipal Infrastructure

We will construct, operate and maintain municipal infrastructure which is safe and effective.   We will seek opportunities to collaborate on essential public services with other organizations both private and public.



Within our fiscal means we will seek opportunity for collaboration with other municipalities and organizations that will provide benefit to the citizens of the Municipal District of Willow Creek.

Strategic Priority: Keeping governance processes current


Key Initiative: Review municipal bylaws and policies to ensure continued relevance.


Success: In 2022 update the municipal land use bylaw to ensure integration of the Hamlet of Granum.


Metric for Success:  M.D. of Willow Creek Land Use Bylaw is amended and updated.


Success: Ongoing review of the M.D. of Willow Creek Policy Manual to ensure relevancy 


Metric for Success: Municipal policy manual size and complexity is reduced.


Strategic Priority: Increase public safety 


Key Initiative: Intermunicipal Emergency Services Agreement.


Success: Monitor the Willow Creek Intermunicipal Emergency Services Agreement for effectiveness.


Metric for Success:  Delivery of Fire Service is consistent across the municipality, fire operating budget stabilizes at 2020 levels, disputes and complaints pertaining to operating and capital budgets and emergency services response decrease year over year. 


Success: Implement the fire services training program to meet the established level of service consistently on an ongoing basis.


Metric for Success: All new firefighters complete NFPA 1001 level 1 training within 2 years of entry in to the fire service. 


Key Initiative: Support Rural Crime Watch within the municipality


Success: In 2022 support the development of a rural crime watch associations across the entire MD in partnership with local rural crime watch associations, the provincial crime watch association, the Fort Macleod Crime Prevention Action Committee, local citizens, the MD of Willow Creek Peace Officer Program and the RCMP


Metric for Success: Reduction in reported rural crime year over year. 


Strategic Priority: Identify opportunities to assist community groups


Key Initiative: Provide administrative guidance to community groups


Success: Assist community groups in accessing grant funding.


Metric for Success: Community groups report increased access to community facility enhancement grants, Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta funding and other grants that aid in the sustainability of non-profit and charitable groups within the municipality.


Metric for Success: Number of community groups assisted each year increases year over year.


Strategic Priority: Support Agriculture


Key Initiative: Identify and deliver agricultural services that will benefit to both primary agricultural producers and the environment


Success: Support Agricultural Service Board programs and services through the annual budget process


Metric for Success: Annual reporting which demonstrates effectiveness of the ASB programs and services.


Success: Through the municipal land use bylaw seek to limit the loss of productive agricultural lands to other uses.


Metric for Success: Annual reporting indicates a conversion rate lower than comparably sized rural municipalities.



Strategic Priority: Relationship with Provincial Government 


Key Initiative: Advocate for changes to provincial legislation that negatively impact municipal processes including Alberta Health Services, Natural Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Utilities Commission


Metric for Success: Changes to legislation pertaining to quasi-legislative boards that increase transparency.


Strategic Priority: Accessible, timely and understandable information about Council decisions, actions and priorities.


Key Initiative: In 2020 update the municipal website and ensure the accessibility to public information and services. 


Success: Individuals and businesses are able to access information on governance, economic development and municipal services 24/7.


Metric for Success: Website analytics demonstrate an increased use of municipal website and online services

Strategic Priority: Economic growth within the municipality.


Key Initiative: Attract new citizens, commerce and industry to the MD.


Metric for Success: One new business or industry in the Claresholm Industrial Area each year during for the next 5 years. 


Metric for Success: Population growth during the strategic planning period 2022-2026 demonstrates growth of population in excess of 1% and assessment growth of 2% year over year. 


Metric for Success: Year over year increase in residential, commercial and industrial growth in the Hamlet of Granum.


Key Initiative: Participate in regional economic initiatives.


Success: The MD will actively participate in regional economic committees and initiatives which will promote local and regional growth. 


Metric for Success:  regional initiatives lead to demonstrable growth of commercial and industrial development within the region on an annual basis.


Metric for Success: Annual growth of assessment base of the municipality. 

Strategic Priority: Manage, invest and plan for sustainable municipal services


Key InitiativeInventory of Infrastructure Assets


Success: By the end of 2022 an inventory of municipal assets has been documented.


Key Initiative: Current Service Level Formalization


Success: By the end of 2022 all municipal services have a defined and easily understood service level.


Key Initiative: Service Costs and Risks are Documented and Understood


Success: By the end of 2023 the costs and risks associated with service delivery is documented and understood.


Key Initiative: Asset Management is normal business


Success: By the end of 2025 Asset Management is fully implemented with a Council approved Level of Service complete with costs and risks established for municipal services. 


Success: Full accountability to the public on realized service delivery through reporting mechanisms.


Success: Public feedback mechanisms are established.


Success: Service based budgeting for annual municipal operating budgets.


Success: Revenue supports sustainable service delivery


Strategic Priority: Advocate for a regional waste to energy project

Key initiative: Examine options for waste to energy plant 

Success: Advocate for opportunities for a waste to Energy project    


Metric for Success: by 2023 a proposal for regional review is developed that is both economically and environmentally sustainable

Strategic Priority: Successfully Implement Intermunicipal Agreements.


Key Initiative: Maintain all Intermunicipal Agreements.


Success: Council approval of all required Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework Agreements.


Metric for Success: The Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework Agreement enhances intermunicipal relationships with demonstrated success.


Success: The Intermunicipal Emergency Services Agreement provides a common level of service across the municipality.


Metric for Success: Demonstrated competency for service delivery and annual operating and capital budgets’ met. 


Success: The Intermunicipal Recreation Services Funding Agreement followed. 


Metric for Success: Annual recreation funding agreement maintained through budgeting.



Strategic Priority: Internet Service for Municipal Citizens.


Key Initiative: Pursue internet connectivity for all municipal citizens.


Success: 90% of ratepayers have quality & affordable internet access by 2025 and 100% by 2030.


Metric for Success: Broadband grant to enhance connectivity in underserved areas of municipality 


Key Initiative: Identify collaboration opportunities with the private and public sector.


Success: Partner with private and public entities to enhance internet access.


Strategic Priority: Enhance Communication with the Province of Alberta for Services Received by Municipality 


Key Initiative: Meet regularly with Alberta Health Services to discuss emergency medical services.


Success: The relationship between the M.D. and AHS shows marked improvement as demonstrated by improved communication, responsiveness and action.


Metric for Success: A final decision is arrived at pertaining to the use of municipally owned ambulances within the M.D. before the end of 2022.