Lake Country council approves economic development plan

Many issues identified and several for immediate action as Lake Country sets priorities for economic development

District of Lake Country economic development manager Ryan Roycroft speaks to Lake Country council

District of Lake Country economic development manager Ryan Roycroft speaks to Lake Country council

The District of Lake Country has adopted an economic development plan for the next two years as it moves forward in its attempts to solicit new businesses to Lake Country.

Council heard a report from economic development manager Ryan Roycroft at its March 5 meeting, and voted to target 11 key issues that need attention to help with economic development in Lake Country.

“This is an 18 month work-plan to start working on those issues,” said Roycroft. “Economic development is one of those fields that can go very broad so it’s very important to narrow down the focus. This will be the guiding document behind our strategic focus on economic development over the next 16 to 18 months.”

The work plan was developed after the district hosted a two day session late last year that included a diverse group of stakeholders from the community as well as a local government consultant. Based on those sessions, over 60 significant issues were brought forward before being distilled down to 11 items, seven of which needed immediate attention.

Among the issues needing immediate work was developing a tourism strategy, a marketing plan and the future plans of Pelmewash Parkway. The priorities for immediate attention are all local issues, touching elements such as housing policy, local tourism promotion and land inventory.

It also included the future of Main Street, which council recently passed a tax incentive plan for as well as the district continues to look for developers to build out the street

“I had hoped to have Main street built out already and moved on to other things,” said Roycroft. “But we will have a very focussed marketing plan for Main street and targeting those with the motivation to get going is definitely a focus.”

The work plan received support from members of council, who unanimously passed the recommendation.

“There are a lot of benefits to this plan,” said Coun. Jamie McEwan. “As we move forward I think this is a great initiative and I think we definitely have a positive future with this kind of planning ahead of us.”

The economic development plan for the district will be carried out by current district staff and working on the top priorities are not expected to cost the district anything, according to Roycroft.