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West Kelowna council meeting highlights: January 14, 2014

January 15, 2014 - 10:11 AM

Economic Development Strategy
Council approved the 2014 Economic Development Strategy provided the District’s Business Development Officer. Highlights of the plan for 2014 is to open the new Brown Road upgrade in Westbank Centre with a public event to celebrate the revitalization project, the development of an online directory of West Kelowna businesses, and ensuring important wayfinding signage in the industrial area is installed. The strategy was drawn from strategic planning discussions, the 2013 Breakfast with Business and Manufacturing Roundtable events and various District master plans and documents. The strategy focuses on six strategic areas:
-  Foundational Marketing
       Enhance website presence
       Establish social media presence
       Development of an online business directory
-  Westbank Centre
       Westbank centre promotion materials
       Brown Road Kick-Off Event & support during the event season
-  West Kelowna Industrial Area
       Name Industrial area and install wayfinding signage
       West Kelowna based training opportunities for industrial businesses
-  Residential Attraction
       Attend Alberta homeshows with COEDC as partner
-  Business Retention Activities
       Continue monthly visits of West Kelowna businesses with members of Council
       Breakfast with Business Annual Event
-  Core Services
       Site selection and zoning support
       “Doing Business with DWK” outreach
The 2014 Economic Development Strategy relies on a number of internal department and external agency partnerships to see the stated goals and objectives achieved. External agency partnerships include:
-  Greater Westside Board of Trade
-  Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC)
-  Okanagan Valley Economic Development Society (OVEDS)
-  Okanagan College
-  Neighbouring Local Governments
Strategies and practices by other local economic development agencies have been reviewed to identify cooperative opportunities and avoid duplication of services.

Tourism Strategy
Council approved the 2014 Tourism Strategy provided by the District’s Business Development Officer. Council was advised that 2013 tourism activities included securing the Westbank Museum as the Visitor Information Centre for the community, supporting the development of agri-tourism clusters, enhanced social media presence and interaction, and supporting the growth of events and activities, including the Westbank Farmer’s Market. A significant achievement in 2013 was aiding the Westside Wine Trail in developing events and establishing itself as a not-for-profit society. The 2014 work plan focuses on promoting businesses, amenities and attractions to Okanagan residents and visitors alike. The goals include:
-  Publications
       Publish a new 2014/2015 Visitor guide
       Publish new 2014/2015 Hiking/Biking guide
-  Promotion
       Visitor Centre Operation
       Launch new website
       Increase social media
-  Community Product Development
       Farm Gate Cluster Development as a tourism destination
       Farmers Market support
       Westside Wine trail Society support
-  Industry Engagement
       Host industry staff familiarization tours
       Develop tourism staff focused social media stream
       Meet with clusters of similar tourism businesses

Casa Loma Drainage
In response to concerns from local residents with the appearance of the Casa Loma Drainage – Phase 1 open ditch drainage project, Council directed that staff obtain a Class A cost estimate and informally petition the 19 affected properties to see if there is support for the creation of a local service area to pay for improvements to an urban standard with underground utilities. Council also directed staff to draft a policy that provides guidelines and direction when dealing with aging and inadequate storm water infrastructure throughout the District, in an effort to ensure lessons learned from the Casa Loma Drainage Project.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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