Mitch Thomson, institute executive director, said nothing formal has come before county council yet.
“But at this point, we’re creating the space to engage in new partnerships, like potentially Mountain View County or other municipalities or community organizations,” Thomson said.
“Mountain View County has always been an active member at the Olds Institute board table. However, they have not had voting privileges. So (we’re changing) our bylaws to enable organizations like them to participate more fully.”
Olds Institute is a non-profit organization that focuses on community and economic development. It was founded by four partnering members: the Olds and District Chamber of Commerce, Olds College, Olds Regional Exhibition and the Town of Olds.
One of its initiatives includes Mountain View Power, an electricity, natural gas and green energy retailer that spends its profits on community projects. Last year, it contributed $5,000 toward construction of the splash park in Olds.
Another is Olds Fibre Ltd., which offers television, phone and Internet service through its provider O-NET.
Under the new bylaws, which still need to be ratified at the organization’s annual general meeting, there would be three types of members: founders, core and public.
Thomson said Olds Institute already works regionally through organizations like the Central Alberta Economic Partnership and Central Alberta Access Prosperity.
Citizens are less interested in boundaries than they are in improving quality of life, he said.
“I think there are great opportunities to work with Didsbury and Carstairs and Bowden, Trochu and Three Hills. I think the province is expecting regions to act like regions and work together.”