According to a new survey, the highest answer Naicam respondents gave for the major challenges facing the community in the next five years is lack of employment opportunities in the community.
This data was collected by the Village of Naicam for research the community is conducting to influence their future community development plan.
Following employment opportunities, respondents had written concerns for challenges with aging municipal infrastructure, low population growth, and lack of core retail services.
“It’s pretty common things in small towns right now, trying to keep commercial alive and keep the town viable,” said Leah Richardson, Naicam’s community enhancement co-ordinator, adding that once a community starts to lose people, it reduces the number of children, which in turns affects how viable the school is.
This will be Naicam's first community plan since 1985. Richardson said their priorities have not remained the same since then.
“It was so out of date to the point where I don’t know what kind of community plan that was developed back then,” she said.
“It basically had our vision, our focus should be on creating a seniors’ community and I’m pretty sure that’s not what currently anyone wants us to focus on – attracting seniors. That doesn’t really help you create a vibrant community.”
According to Richardson, in the current year, the town is prioritizing attracting businesses into the community.
“We just can’t afford to lose any more businesses. It’s kind of that vicious circle. The less businesses you have, then people go elsewhere to be able do their business, and the more they go elsewhere to be able do their business and if they want to go elsewhere to do their business, the less people you have shopping at community businesses.”
The survey to influence the new community plan was distributed through utility account number, with each account receiving a copy in their mailbox.
Following the survey portion’s completion, the Village of Naicam will be hosting a town hall meeting which is expected to take place later in the summer.
Richardson said they will be waiting until they feel it is safe to hold the meeting in person to give everyone a chance regardless of technological literacy.
Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal