City set to reveal new economic roadmap
Plan to offer initiatives on development and investment
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 06:00 am
City planners are set to take the wraps off a long-awaited economic blueprint that they say will offer immediate and concrete initiatives to drive the local economy forward.
The plan, which has been a year in the making, is to be unveiled Tuesday at St. Albert’s annual business breakfast. Key speakers are Mayor Nolan Crouse, city manager Patrick Draper and Guy Boston, executive director of economic development.
“In years past this breakfast has always talked about what’s in the plans, what’s in the works, what is coming,” Boston said.
“This year is about what is here and now. So all of those things that we promised, we are now delivering at this breakfast.”
The event, to be held at the Enjoy Centre, is expected to attract a few hundred guests, ranging from business owners and potential investors to landowners and developers.
Crouse will speak on the progress made on the 20-Point Economic Development Plan, and council’s economic development focus in 2013.
But Draper and Boston will provide a more detailed look at what is changing in the city, and share new initiatives to encourage economic investment.
“We are very aggressive with the invitation list, hoping that we can get a significant number of the land owners that have not gotten any development planned,” he said.
“The key thing is to encourage those who don’t plan to develop their land, if they are not developers, to sell their land, or if they are developers to work with us on a development plan.”
Draper said that also involves working with existing businesses.
He hopes that individual businesses and developers will listen to the different speeches and find new ways to contribute to the community and move their businesses forward.
“We will talk about how we want to lead and engage businesses in the community as well as new businesses that may want to come here,” he said.
What the city needs is light industrial development, said Lynda Moffat, president and CEO of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce. That would grow its employment base.
But there are also opportunities in the commercial sector, she said.
“I am hoping to see the employment lands really move along,” she said.
“They’ve done a wonderful job so far in getting those secured for development and I don’t want them to let up the pressure on that.”
The breakfast will run from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.