If a regional economic development coordinator was put in place for small North Okanagan communities, the City of Armstrong has an interest.
Community Futures North Okanagan representatives made a proposal to Armstrong council about the possibility of creating an economic development officer position for communities like Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Enderby and Lumby.
“This is all in the very beginning stages,” said Coun. Paul Britton. “They’re looking at an advisory committee, who would make up the committee, what the costs would be. They’re wanting to know if we’d be in favour.”
The City of Vernon has its own economic development officer. Community Futures is looking at the rural areas.
“I would think we’d want to participate with all of the small communities if it was a shared partnership,” said Mayor Chris Pieper.
Coun. Shirley Fowler said the proposal was asking for the city to indicate a willingness to go forward.
“Are we interested in hearing more about it, and how finances and governance would be upheld?” said Fowler, who added that creating such a position would not just be about attracting new business and industry, but retaining what Armstrong already has.
“That would be the key point for Armstrong,” she said.
Mayor Pieper said the position would add another ally for the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, which works well with Community Futures.
Council voted unanimously to support a motion indicating willingness to proceed if the other small municipalities are interested.