Chamber to comply with council’s request

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The local chamber of commerce is creating a concrete proposal to revitalize downtown and garner town council’s support.

At its regular meeting Feb. 21, the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce formed a committee to plan for downtown revitalization.

“We should write a letter to all downtown businesses to see if they are interested in downtown revitalization,” president Barry Sharkawi says.

He was appointed to a committee along with secretary-treasurer Jeff Burgar, Richard Golany and Chris Sundberg.

Director Sharon Cox says the chamber needs to find out if affected businesses support the project before plans progress.

“I want to see businesses step up,” Cox says.

Chamber executive secretary Brogan Severson says very few downtown businesses are chamber members.

“First we have to find out what businesses want,” director Linda Cox says.

Burgar suggests a separate meeting to discuss downtown revitalization.

High Prairie town council denied a request of $35,000 for downtown revitalization at a budget meeting Dec. 19 citing they needed to see a plan in place before consideration is given for approval.

“I would like to see a list of priorities from the chamber,” says High Prairie Councillor Brian Gilroy, a chamber liaison for council.

The committee will draft a list and a budget before presenting a proposal to town council.

The committee will also draft a request that the town contribute the revenue from business licence fees to the chamber.

Sharkawi presented the proposal.

Director Linda Cox suggests the chamber also approach Big Lakes County.

The county does not have business licences.

“We are the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce,” Cox says.

She emphasizes “and area”.

“We could do more small projects if we have more money,” Cox says.

The committee will also find ways to recruit more members and encourage more members to be active.

All chamber meetings are held the third Thursday at Amiro’s Steak House at noon.

The next meeting is set for March 21.

For more information, phone Severson at [780] 523-5368.

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