Pincher Creek town council summary

·3 min read

Pincher Creek council met Nov. 23 to receive an update on the town’s economic development plan.

In October 2019, council and administration contracted InnoVisions and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in economic development, to help address challenges surrounding the impending closure of the Shell Waterton Complex.

The project has now shifted gears to helping local businesses and the regional economy navigate the tumultuous Covid-19 circumstances.

While the development plan is still focused on utilizing the community’s assets to simultaneously support existing businesses and encourage new investment, retention is now the main focus, said InnoVisions president Natalie Gibson.

“If you can’t keep the existing businesses you have,” said Ms. Gibson, the economic plan “would have not lent any value to the community.”

As soon as the pandemic forced a provincial lockdown in March, the development planners put together a survey for local businesses to gather information on their immediate needs and concerns. The results were one of the first collected data sets on how Covid-19 was affecting small businesses in rural areas.

Ms. Gibson said the feedback was instrumental in helping the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce organize the Business Recovery Support Plan and #lovelocalPC campaign.

“We’re hearing from some of the businesses that they are able to pivot, that they appreciate the coaching program,” she added. “They’re looking at the resiliency of can they hang on for x number of months, but more importantly can they diversify their business to lessen the ripple effect.”

Results from a November survey are currently being gathered, with another potentially set to occur in February.

A realignment of the Business Recovery Support Plan is planned for the start of the new year. Aspects of the town’s community economic strategy will also be finalized by March. A presentation will be made to council and the community at that time.

Businesses interested in the program or in need of assistance are encouraged to reach out to the chamber at info@pincherchamber.ca or 403-627-5199.

Passing on Santa

Council voted not to attend the Bellecrest reverse Santa Parade planned for Nov. 26.

With new provincial health restrictions announced Nov. 24, parade organizers ended up cancelling the event.

Operations Q3 report

The third-quarter operations report was the final topic of discussion.

Highlights included the water main break repair at Veteran’s Street, and the Willow Street regrading and drainage project being completed.

Inspections and repairs at the old RCMP building at 659 Main St. were also finalized so the site could be used by Alberta Health Services for conducting Covid-19 testing.

Council did request a follow-up question be sent to operations regarding the ideal ratio between treated water sent out to residents versus water collected for treatment.

214,326 cubic metres of treated water was distributed from July to September while only 191,443 cubic metres was collected.

Though the amount of water returning to be treated is typically lower, since not all water use is able to be captured by drains, past issues with water leakage made council curious what was considered a good ratio between water intake and distribution.

Next meeting

The next council meeting will be held virtually Monday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. The meeting can be accessed at https://www.gotomeet. me/TownofPincherCreekCouncil, and agenda packages are available online at https://bit.ly/ PcCouncil.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze