By J.W. Schnarr
Local elected officials from 23 southern Alberta communities will be coming together to discuss a number of pressing issues, many of which are shared by residents in and around the Municipal District of Taber.
The SouthGrow Regional Initiative will be holding its Annual General Meeting on June 10 at the Lethbridge Lodge beginning at 6 p.m.
One of the ongoing projects this year has involved updating the profiles of member communities. A consultant has been meeting with administrators and economic development professionals to gather information for each community profile. The plan is to build the community profiles into a large profile that encompasses the entire region, and provide webspace for that information which can be used for marketing purposes and for the communities to use in advertising. Once the profiles have been completed, SouthGrow intends to move into the next phase of their project, which would involve a business action strategy.
Another issue SouthGrow has been working on involves the use of fibre optic broadband Internet lines in rural areas. A report was commissioned by Taylor Warwick to map those lines in rural areas of member communities.
SouthGrow’s management board will now be looking at that report in order to come up with a plan they hope will be the best way to support the issue. Previously, SouthGrow representatives had met with former Minister of Service Alberta Stephen Khan and former Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development Verlyn Olson to stress the importance of broadband access in rural areas.
Finally, a report on the top tourism opportunities available in member communities is nearing completion, with the plan being to forward copies of the report to the Tourism Business Development and Investment department of Alberta Tourism.
SouthGrow is an economic development alliance of 23 south central Alberta communities with the goal of working together for greater prosperity in the region. The organization represents more than 130,000 people. For more information on SouthGrow, please visit their website at http://www.southgrow.com