Enderby has thrown down the welcome mat, and that will be the ongoing goal in 2017.
The city has launched a number of initiatives to attract tourists, investors and potentially new residents.
“House sales are good and there’s investment in commercial and light-industry. The more people that relocate here, the stronger we will be.”
As a way of bolstering the workforce, McCune would like to see the city partner with the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District and Okanagan College to offer training programs.
In terms of attracting new residents, McCune is convinced the small town lifestyle and recreational opportunities work in the community’s favour.
As an example, he was recently speaking to a woman from the South Okanagan, and she said, “My husband and I are talking about moving there. We’ve heard good things about Enderby.”
But if business and new residents are to come, the city has to be able to handle them.
Likely at the top of the list for 2017 is upgrades to Salmon Arm Drive.
“The road is in terrible condition and every corner is sloped the wrong way,” said McCune.
“We need to upgrade the water, sewer and storm sewer. It (road) connects everything on the Knoll and is the main access to the upper part of town.”
However, before any work can proceed, the city will have to look at the potential costs and whether senior government grants are available to help ease the burden on local taxpayers.
McCune insists investments in infrastructure are vital and he points to the recent upgrades to Cliff Avenue.
The project included replacing uneven sidewalks, dysfunctional road gutters and unhealthy trees. A new plaza, backlit pier gateway structures and seating were also installed.
“Downtown turned out great and there’s been a lot of investment there as a result,” said McCune.
Another priority for the city in 2017 is continuing to strengthen its relationship with nearby communities and particularly rural Enderby and the Splatsin.
McCune says partnerships can provide a variety of services to residents while also improving infrastructure and focusing on economic development.
“We need to work together,” he said.