Madawaska Valley seeks to rejuvenate township 0
Madawaska Valley council received an update recently from the newly-formed Economic Development Advisory Committee learning the volunteer group has been targeting several areas that might enhance the township.
Established last November, the committee tries to assist the municipality in economic development, focusing on topics such as tourism and business growth and development.
Doug DeLaMatter, chairman of the advisory committee, said the membership has discussed at length various options that could make Madawaska Valley a more attractive place for new businesses and tourists.
Improving signage and infrastructure is important, he said, however the township could be more proactive publishing a business information package that would be available to prospects or dispatching a welcoming committee or ambassador who would seek out external business opportunities. Tourist booths could also be manned during major community events, such as the Great Race.
Mr. DeLaMatter said they have also discussed what support they can receive from Renfrew County noting that the upper-tier has exhibited the region at trade shows, including delegations to Europe.
The committee also expressed concerns over the declining number of volunteers in the area and the resistance on the part of some in the community to welcoming new growth.
“We can’t maintain the services of the past if we don’t deal with the fact that the population is aging and we need to change things,” he said.
Council lauded the committee for its efforts to come up with economic development solutions.
“It sounds like you’ve been very industrious in your efforts towards improving our area economic-wise,” said Councillor Bob Kulas, chairman of the economic development committee.
Mayor David Shulist said the advisory committee has been engaging in an effective brainstorming exercise. Mr. DeLaMatter added that he hopes to bring some concrete action items as recommendations to council.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist