Committee Tables Idea for New Office
A proposal to hire a full-time economic development officer has been referred to budget deliberations by Yorkton City Council. The proposal, from the city’s economic development committee, calls for the spending of $92,000 annually to operate the office. Speaking at Monday’s city council meeting, the committee chairman Bill Oliver says the recommendation came out of a meeting held in March between the committee and the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce. He says the decision was made because the city needs to move more aggressively on matters of economic development. ‘The slow economy and the fact that most other cities have elected to make economic development a full time job indicates that it is necessary to put Yorkton in a position to take action,” he says. “The joint committees agreed that to move forward, we can no longer be content to react to proposals as they arise by must actively participate in the market.” During the meeting, Mr. Oliver stressed the importance of having a full-time economic development officer. At present such work is done by the committee, with staff help from city hall. The budget for the office would include $40,000 in salaries, $20,000 for advertising, $20,000 for travel expenses and seminars, and $10,000 for promotional material. he also told council the cost would work out to $5.85 per capita which is in line with what is paid in other Saskatchewan cities. As examples, North Battleford spends $5.10 per capita while Swift Current spends $6.19. Although council made no decision on the proposal at Monday’s meeting, it did debate how the program would operate. There was a difference of opinion between Mayor Ed Magis and Ald. Stan Kyba on whether the city or the committee should have authority over the economic development officer. Ald. Kyba told council he would prefer the position be separate from city administration, and possibly operate through the Chamber of Commerce. he says they are the business owners and know the benefits and pitfalls of operating there. “As politicians we may not do as well,” he says. Mayor Magis, however, says council would have ultimate control over the position since it granted the funding and appointed the members of the economic development committee. Council, however, decided to make decisions on the structure of the officer after it decided whether or not it would allocate funds for it. The next budget meeting will be held Monday evening.
Article courtesy of The Enterprise Newspaper
April, 1989 Information Provided By Yorkton Centennial Committee Booklet