Big Lakes County to host reception for energy industry

Estimated cost of Calgary event pegged at $10,000 and includes training

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Energy companies operating in Big Lakes County will get a special honour.

At its regular meeting Sept. 11, county council finalized a date to host an energy sector appreciation reception Oct. 28 in Calgary.

Council approved a recommendation from the Big Lakes County Economic Development Authority (EDA), which passed the motion at its meeting Sept. 5.

The EDA recommends council travel to Calgary since most of the energy companies are based in Calgary, says a report to council from EDA executive director Lisa Baroldi.

Council will also be in Calgary for an economic development training conference, with 50 per cent of costs covered by a provincial Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) grant approved in 2018.

About 70 energy companies operate in Big Lakes County, the report says

“One of the takeaways from our energy sector tour (in September 2017) was the need to improve our communications with and appreciation of energy companies,” Baroldi says.

“Those companies account for a significant portion of Big Lakes County’s tax revenues, making the energy sector among the county’s most important sectors.”

The reception will include speeches and provincial and federal officials will also be invited.

“It is an opportunity for council members to meet new companies that have purchased assets in the county and spend time with long-standing companies,” Baroldi says.

Cost of the trip and the reception is about $10,000, she says.

The CARES grant saves the county $950.

Economic development, bolstering the energy sector and attracting new investments are top priorities for the provincial government.

“Municipalities will also carry more of the load of capital expenses,” Baroldi says.

“It is recommended that all county council and staff be involved in seeking out and supporting economic development opportunities by focusing on building relationships in key sectors like energy.”

Council will also have opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with individual energy companies.

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