Villagers talk future economic development ideas

Written by Terri Huxley

Village of Elnora staff and council held their first Committee of the Whole meeting in the afternoon Fri. Jan. 28 to discuss economic growth and housing.

These topics will be considered for implementation in the revision of the local strategic plan.

The strategic plan is a living document updated annually and visited often to give the municipality long-term ambitions to focus on.

Approximately 22 people came to share their thoughts on how to make Elnora a hub of growth and healthy activity.

Many echoed the need for better housing including rent availability, development incentives and lots made ready that could attract newcomers into the community.

These ideas were tied to the need for a larger tax base which was brought forward numerous times, prompting a need for a ‘restart’.

There was also mention of utilizing as many avenues of communication like newspapers and online as possible to attract newcomers as well.

One example was to connect with Travel Alberta by putting in information on the community.

Having that information handy gives researchers interested in adventure at nearby locations to also be directed to Elnora, such as searching for Dry Island Buffalo Jump.

It allows the community to capitalize on nearby traffic.

There was mention of having a restaurant in town such as a pizzeria but it was noted that many cannot survive off of 10-15 customers per day foll owing the first few months when there is an initial buzz about the new place. 

This has been done before and failed which prompted a need for a larger population to work with to keep these types of businesses afloat.

Visitors of the meeting also suggested making a yearly calendar available from the start of the year to showcase annual events.

It was important to note the need for services with suggestions raised such as a monthly dental day where residents could book and have their appointments done while the professional was in town one day out of the month.

Professional services could include foot care, dental work, nails, hairdressers, doctors, hearing tests, optometrists, etc.

Residents agreed that having a combination of presence, services and lot availability was the way to move forward.

Council was pleased with the turnout and the suggestions brought forward by the residents that attended at the local Legion.

All information will be taken back to the office for further discussion and possible addition to the strategic plan.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.