Gull Lake moving forward
By Craig Baird
Situated at the crossroads of two major Saskatchewan highways, Gull Lake is in the perfect position to grow as a community and Gull Lake Town Council is looking to a variety of areas to help make that happen.
“The community is moving forward with five key areas; planning, economic development, tourism, event planning, and public relations,” Mayor Blake Campbell said.
In the first area, planning, council is moving forward with joint planning meetings with the RM of Gull Lake to develop a suitable place for a commercial/light industrial subdivision.
“We will also be working with the RM and Department of Highways to develop the much-needed Dangerous Goods Route,” Mayor Campbell said. “By working together with our neighbouring rural municipalities, we can pool our ideas and resources to create opportunities that will attract people and businesses to the Gull Lake area.”
Council did some strategic financial planning to help plan for the future needs of the town this year.
“This will be an ongoing project and will be updated and reviewed on an annual basis as future community needs are identified,” Mayor Campbell said. “Strategic Planning gives council the ability to be proactive and prepared financially to deal with future projects when they arise.”
With economic development, council has been looking at potential locations for a motel in Gull Lake.
“A shortage of motel rooms or bed and breakfast accommodations was identified as a need to allow for future growth,” Mayor Campbell said. “Council will be moving forward with plans to attract a new motel to increase the number of overnight accommodations in town.”
In regards to the beautification of the town, plans are already in place for next year’s Community in Blooms competition.
“Council will also support the Cemetery Committee with its efforts to restore and beautify the cemetery,” Mayor Campbell said.
Tourism will be a big part of Gull Lake moving forward, and council has already put a few feathers in its cap on the tourism side of things.
“This year we helped organize the Canada Day Celebration at the Museum, the Community Market, the Sunbridge Community Picnic, and the Christmas Cove were great projects for tourism,” Mayor Campbell said. “Council will continue to work with the Tourism Committee and help them in their efforts to create tourist and community-related activities.”
Council also joined the Cypress Hills Destination Area Organization to promote tourism in the southwest this year.
In terms of public relations, council is moving forward to make sure good news stories about the town are broadcast far and wide.
“To accomplish this, we will be working with the Advance, blogging on our website, and using our Facebook and Twitter,” Campbell said. “We need to keep moving forward with the projects we are working on to keep Gull Lake’s momentum moving forward.”
With the southwest booming, council is hoping that Gull Lake will do the same and there will be some residential growth over the next few years.
“I am confident that if we work hard, we will be able to attract a motel to Town in the next three to five years, and possibly a new business for the downtown,” Campbell said. “Looking down the road 15 to 20 years, we know that in order to stay sustainable, the community will need to continue to see some positive growth.”
Council has a goal of a population of 1,400 to 1,500.
Currently, the biggest challenge facing Gull Lake is infrastructure.
“Our water plant, lines, sewer system, and streets are reaching the end of their useful life expectancy, and are starting to need attention,” Campbell said. “While council has taken steps with its Strategic and Financial Planning to address these issues, they are significant and will no doubt require council to adjust its plans from time-to-time as these systems age.”
Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance