BLC citing growth possibilities

Richard Froese
South Peace News

More potential for economic development is on the horizon for the county.

Big Lakes County Economic Development Authority executive director Lisa Baroldi updated council at its regular meeting Sept. 25.

Promoting the county across Canada in various mediums has helped raise the profile of the county and enticed investors.

It has helped spread the news we are doing good things in Big Lakes County,” Baroldi says.

Broadband continues to be a top priority to help attract and build business.

I think it’s important to expand broadband to build business and economic development,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

Currently, the county is leading an inter-municipal project to expand broadband regionally.

That is such important infrastructure,” Baroldi says.

Interest by investors has also been expressed in agriculture.

We’re at the stage where we’re starting to implement strategy,” Baroldi says.

The county is reaching out to companies to establish a fertilizer retail hub.

If there is no interest, then we would look to facilitate a local solution such as a co-op,” Baroldi says.

To develop niche crops, the county plans to host a workshop for local vegetable producers in November.

The county is also seeking ways to grow the High Prairie Seed Cleaning Plant and is currently researching opportunities for other revenue streams such as exporting a locally branded product.

Tourism is another sector on the top of the list.

We want to create an action group of tourism operators, coming together to move forward,” Baroldi says.

A planning session of tourism operators was scheduled for Sept. 29 to discuss goals, priorities and strategies.

The county is conducting research with the help of the Government of Alberta to improve our tourism sector profile to add more on the demand side,” Baroldi says.

Several other projects are on the table.

She plans to host a workshop with the new council and EDA after the elections on Oct. 16.

County staff continues to work on a county economic profile featuring highlights of the sector profiles and key information.

Entrepreneur and employment opportunities have also been added to county Websites.

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