2013 Shaping Up to be a Busy Year in Gull Lake
This year is shaping up to be one of the busiest Gull Lake has seen in the past few years. With the new Committees of Council recently established with resident involvement, many important events and projects are in the works. While each committee focuses on its own tasks the collective goal of all of the Committees is to ensure the future sustainability of our town.
The Economic Development Committee is currently conducting one on one meetings with business owners in the community. Meetings have started with the Downtown Businesses to listen to their concerns and needs. The informal meetings have already identified a number of concerns and potential improvements that can be made to help improve the business climate in the downtown. Once the meetings have concluded the results will be compiled and shared with the local businesses.
Also of concern in the downtown are the vacant buildings that sit empty. Contact has been made with the owners of the vacant properties asking them to meet with Council to discuss their plans for the property, and to offer assistance in coming up with potential solutions. Vacant property has a negative impact on our downtown businesses in the fact that they do nothing to bring people to the downtown, and that the longer they sit empty they deteriorate over time.
Once meetings have been concluded with the downtown businesses the Committee will shift its attention to the businesses in the Commercial/Light Industrial area to listen to their concerns and needs. One issue we will be discussing with our Commercial/Light Industrial Business is the lack of available space, and the needs they may have to expand their businesses.
The Planning Committee has taken on the responsibility of planning for the future needs of the town. Currently the Committee is meeting with the RM of Gull Lake to explore solutions to potential problems, and look for opportunities that will benefit both the Town and the RM. The committee is also working on finalizing the zoning bylaw and making improvements to the Towns Website.
The Downtown Beautification Committee is focusing its efforts on improving the look and feel of the downtown, and the community as a whole. As you know Gull Lake has entered the Communities in Bloom and will be evaluated later this summer on how our community looks. The Committee will be starting with a downtown improvement project to which Council has approved $13,500 to be used to give the downtown a face lift. The Committee will be calling for volunteers to help with local improvement projects both in the downtown and around the community. Everyone is invited to a pancake breakfast on April 27, 2013 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Elks Hall where more details will be released.
The Tourism and Recreation Committee is currently involved in establishing a local farmers market to be held in the downtown later this spring. The committee will also be looking for other activities that can be held in the spring and summer months to help bring people out to the downtown to help support our local businesses.
The Special Events Planning Committee recently met and discussed the Winterfest annual event. The meeting identified what went well and what could have been done better to improve the next Winterfest. Improvements have been identified, and the Committee will meet later this fall to plan for the second annual Winterfest.
The Council also met with the Department of Highways and the RM of Gull Lake on December 17, 2012 to discuss the proposed Dangerous Goods Route. The meeting was a productive meeting, and Council is optimistic that progress is being made that will see the route established in the near future. The establishment of the Dangerous Goods Route will help make our community a safer place to live, and reduce heavy truck traffic on the truck route.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for making an effort to keep our sidewalks clean in order to keep people safe by not having to walk on the street. I think we are all looking forward to spring, warmer temperatures, and the melting of the snow.
Have a happy Easter