A new mayor and council should be an important turning point for the community of Williams Lake.
The previous mayor and council did a good job in attracting more retail outlets up in the Walmart, Prosperity Ridge development, and they should be congratulated for that.
Williams Lake is attracting shoppers from east, west, north and south, and that is good for the city, make no mistake about that.
Note, I said for the community of Williams Lake.
While Williams Lake’s city boundaries are tightly limited, a greater area is where probably close to 60 per cent of the population now resides and shops in Williams Lake.
If the greater Williams Lake is going to construct a better foundation for the future, the City of Williams Lake, the new mayor and council working with the Cariboo Regional District need to focus on attracting industry to Williams Lake.
Seriously the city and the CRD need to make this a priority.
The only way we can fill empty spaces in our downtown core is to strengthen our economic base. People in the tourist industry are doing a great job, however, much of this is seasonal.
A strong industrial base has to be the solution; from small manufacturing to really large projects, could enhance the city and the greater area’s economic foundation.
What is not necessary is paying some high-falluting professional advisory group to come to Williams Lake. Every time we hire these kinds of groups they definitely come with a very high sticker price.
I think, what is more important here, on a local level is that a combination of a city and CRD industrial development committee be formed.
A gung ho committee, I think, could be tasked with finding things that would fit into our Williams Lake and area lifestyle.
Individuals in such a determined committee might spend a few hours on the computer to possibly learn what is out there.
Right now a major part of Williams Lake industrial base is wood oriented; as this base retracts Williams Lake will continue to suffer.
I would think in this world there are products that could be manufactured right here in Williams Lake that could take our current wood base to another level, not that a committee should be tasked with just researching only wood based products, while looking to bring new manufacturing strategies to Williams Lake.