Chamber reorganizing, ready to assist

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It took less than 30 seconds for High Prairie town council to discuss a letter from the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce at its meeting Nov 8.
Chamber president Barry Sharkawi wrote council with a list of concerns and offered assistance from the chamber in any way they can. Council received the letter for information with no discussion.
Sharkawi wrote the chamber is actively reorganizing after what he called two years of “semi-hibernation. He promised new elections for the executive in the new year, as well as canvassing for old and new members.
“To this end, we are asking yourself, and other local governments, what plans or activities you have in the coming weeks, months and years to also help make our region a vibrant, prosperous, healthy and safe place to call home,” Sharkawi wrote.
The same letter was sent to Big Lakes County.
The letter cited 12 matters.

  1. Is council creating a strategic plan, covering the next two, five years or more? Such a plan would address or identify needs and opportunities in business, industry, education, recreation, housing, health, and community safety.
  2. Is council building and maintain relationships with other local governments, including First Nations and Metis Settlement councils, as well as neighbouring towns, municipal districts and counties?
  3. Similar to above, building and maintaining relationships with school and colleges, business and industry.
  4. Are there ongoing, or future plans, to improve usage and financial performance of local recreational facilities?
  5. Will the public be asked for input into development of the old hospital site in High Prairie?
  6. Is the old hospital site going to be a stand-alone concept, or part of overall future strategic planning of the town?
  7. Will the public be asked for input on possibilities for the existing downtown core area, and the west, south and east commercial areas? Are there any plans for efforts to attract new business, industry or job opportunities to the community or region?
  8. What is the status of working with the Slave Lake regional governments on economic development for the High Prairie area?
  9. Are there any plans to replace dead trees on boulevards around High Prairie, and along Railway Avenue?
  10. Is there any investigation or activity looking into renovation and repair programs for housing stock in the region in need of repair?
  11. Given that Tim Hortons will soon open, and there are ongoing efforts to add new commercial tenants to the East Gate development, has any thought been given to the fact there is no sidewalk network to the area?
  12. A concern was raised that the hospital’s cafeteria hours do not match visiting hours at the hospital. The chamber also asks if there are any efforts to make the hospital a complete, functioning entity offering health services and amenities one would expect.
    Moving forward, Sharkawi stressed the importance of working together with all local governments and organizations to face all challenges.

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