By Chad Ingram
Published April 6 2017
Minden Hills council is embarking on an economic development strategic plan for the municipality it aims to have completed before the current council term is over in late 2018.
Councillors discussed the timeline for the plan for which it is applying for funding from the province’s recently rebooted RED (rural economic development) program during a March 30 meeting.
A successful application would mean that half the project costs – an estimated $40000 – would be covered through RED.
A couple of major plans were developed by the the previous Minden Hills council – a cultural plan in 2012 and village development master plan focusing mainly on beautifying Minden’s downtown in 2013 – and a parks and recreation master plan was developed during the present council term.
“The RED application will build upon all of these good works that have already been done” said Reeve Brent Devolin. “There is a lot of work that has been done that we can draw on.”
Councillor Jeanne Anthon questioned whether council would want to proceed with the project with or without the RED funding.
Devolin said he was in favour of completing the plan with or without any grant money from the province.
“Personally . . . we need to do this” he said.
The deadline for the RED application was last week and the township plans to release a request for proposals for the plan this August with that bidding period ending in September.
A report will be brought to council that month with councillors awarding the contract to the winning applicant. In November staff would meet with consultants and the township would also begin advertising for members of a task force to work on the project. The task force would be appointed in December.
Two public meetings will be scheduled for July of 2018 for residents to contribute input. The plan is scheduled to come before council in August and be adopted in September of 2018.