ELK POINT – The community’s derelict buildings and winter streets laden with ice and snow that have made it “challenging to show properties” have had an impact on local real estate sales, broker Desiree Maas told last Wednesday’s meeting of the Elk Point and District Chamber of Commerce.
Town of Elk Point CAO Ken Gwozdz noted that snow removal is done in accordance with a priority list, with residential streets plowed three times during the winter, and the focus now on pothole repairs. Regarding the derelict buildings, he suggested the Economic Development Committee could work with the town and bylaw officer to see that rectified, and suggested writing a letter listing that issue.
“We are enforcing that but it takes time.”
Realtor Shirley Harms indicated that these problems could make the community lose potential investors, in addition to new residents, with only one home and one commercial property sold in recent months and “it’s time to stop talking and start doing.” Chamber president Terri Hampson said she knows that these changes are “a slow moving machine, and a process, but we can’t just stop and settle, we have to keep having expectations.”
The building and street issues were brought forward in the round table portion of the meeting, after updates on current projects and upcoming events were brought to the table.
The chamber’s pancake breakfast for the U13 Provincials was far from a success, with only about 40 breakfasters on hand. The chamber has donated the full bag of pancake mix to the library, and some of the remainder to the Christian Community Church. “It has to be in the arena if we do it again,” Hampson told the members. It was suggested that a chamber member should be added to the provincials committee next time Elk Point hosts a hockey provincials tournament.
With membership committee chair Maas noting that some businesses are reluctant to join the chamber because of a perceived necessity to volunteer at events, which she has told them is not the case. Harms, who heads the Extravaganza committee encouraged her to get buy-in for that event from the retail businesses, because “it all hinges on them. When the stores were open late that night, everybody loved it. If the retailers won’t stay open and be part of it and donate, it won’t work. It’s important to keep the downtown open until 8 or 10 that night.”
Hampson is getting quotes on the expenses for the Business Awards and First Responders Recognition gala planned for Oct. 21. She will meet with Staff Sgt. Nolan and has also reached out to the fire department to invite them to join the committee.
2nd Chance Trail Ride
Letters have been sent to the Town of Elk Point and MuniCorr asking for permission to use the staging area and to have the trail ride parade through the downtown area about 4 p.m. on May 13 on their way to the Allied Arts, with the RCMP leading the way if personnel are available.
A meeting regarding the Rural Renewal Stream community designation has been slated for 6:30 p.m. on May 2 at Northern Lights to explain about grants that could be available to streamline settlement and employment for people coming into the area, which some say falls under the heading of “red tape reduction.”
Wanda Cochrane told the chamber that planning for Canada Day is “going really well” with fireworks slated for 11 p.m. on June 30, “and we’re also planning events for Friday night, possibly a ball game, and entertainment.” July 1 will be “a jam packed day, with the pancake breakfast, parade, a bouncy house, sumo suits for the kids, entertainment, over 50 vendors for the indoor market and a beer garden. We’re looking for somebody to organize a farm challenge as well.”