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Town hall meeting coming to The Pony

Pemberton council to launch its Strategic Plan in casual setting

By Cindy Filipenko

The Village of Pemberton’s new Strategic Plan will be launched at the current council’s first town hall meeting. The meeting/AGM will be held at The Pony Espresso on Tuesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. The format will be casual and will encourage public participation.

“The intent of the meeting is to get input as opposed to lecturing or sitting up at the front,” said Lori Pilon, chief administrative officer for the VOP.

The Strategic Plan should provide a basis from which much discussion will be generated. The eight-page document divides the plan into four pillars: social sustainability, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and good governance. Essentially a blue-print for mayor and council for the duration of their terms, the plan incorporates both projects that are underway, such as the $100,000 Pemberton Regional Airport Authority business plan, and those which have yet to be started, such as implementing gateway signage.

With a number of vacant storefronts in town, the economic sustainability aspect of the plan will surely attract attention. Among the proposed projects for economic sustainability are: redeveloping Frontier Street, participating in the contracting of an economic development officer in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, applying for boundary expansion pending the completion of the sub-regional planning study and supporting Tourism Pemberton in its efforts to help diversify the local economy.

“We’ve allocated $30,000 to contribute to Tourism Pemberton,” confirmed Pilon.

Those funds will be used to help the organization promote the valley for destination tourism through its marketing programs.

Tourism Pemberton is in the second year of its five-year marketing plan.

A presentation to council on May 15 by Kevan Ridgley, CEO of Vancouver Coast and Mountains Tourism, noted that the return on tourism marketing dollars was 36:1. The tourism industry in B.C. is currently valued at close to $10 billion annually.