A committee designed to help spur economic development within Lantzville has officially taken flight.
The District of Lantzville’s economic development strategic plan and community branding select committee held its first meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The EDCB committee was created earlier this year with the purpose of providing input, feedback and helping to formulate the a economic development and community branding strategy for the district. It will meet once a month and is comprised of seven individuals, including three community residents and three people representing special interests, who were all appointed by Lantzville council.
Committee members are are Wendy Campbell, Doug English, Darwin Mahlum, Deb Melertchuk, Ronnie Jackson, Sarah Wallbank and Coun. Will Geselbracht, who is Lantzville council’s representative.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, told the committee that they will work with staff to select a consultant, who will help formulate a economic and branding strategy. He said once a consultant has been hired, the committee will help them on a variety of ideas and issues, including the economic impact of Highway 19 in Lantzville, which physically divides the community.
— Nicholas M Pescod (@npescod) November 8, 2017
“That’s an issue in an awful lot of communities, but it is a big issue in this community,” Campbell said. “All you have to do is be up on the highway and see everybody coming down and not knowing where they turn [to go to Lantzville]. So, how do you bridge that?”
Campbell said the committee will also be working with the consultant on creating a brand for Lantzville. He said the Lantzville’s current logo, which is a drawing of district hall, has been around long before the community was incorporated and was never meant to be permanent.
“We have never created a brand … and we’ve never really grown up as a municipality,” he said.
Speaking to the News Bulletin afterward, Campbell said he’s excited to see the committee finally underway, adding that it is a diverse group of individuals who have a range of expertise. He said that the committee has the ability to make recommendations to council on a variety of things, such as creating a business licence bylaw, which he has not been instructed by councillors to create at the moment.
“If they believe through the process that they are going to go through that a business licensing bylaw or whatever, they certainly could recommend that to council because they report to council,” he said.
Committee member Darwin Mahlum said he was happy with how the first meeting went and is pleased to know that recommendations made by the committee will go before council.
“I was glad. [It] is exactly the right thing to do because nobody is considering the economics,” he said. “I hope it has an influence.”