Councillors want to help with Ponoka’s growth

While Ponoka’s economic development officer is working to drive business to town, councillors are asking, “How can we help?”

While Ponoka’s economic development officer is working to drive business to town, councillors are asking, “How can we help?”

Coun. Marc Yaworski mentioned he knew Sarah Olson, economic development officer, has been in touch with a company considering moving to Alberta. “Is there anything we can do to be proactive on this?”

She said the company had replied to her queries and would be in touch if interested. The business representatives did not indicate exactly where they wanted to locate only to say somewhere between Alberta and Saskatchewan. “We were not specifically a targeted place.”

Classes during the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) that councillors recently attended discussed economic development and Coun. Carla Prediger took part. “One of the things they highlighted was the need for communication. As soon as somebody knocks on our door, the answer’s yes.”

Olson said she worked with companies as much as possible to garner interest. “If I need to pass it on to our CAO or development officer…Then I make those connections for the business owner.”

Coun. Teri Underhill asked if Olson would need help from councillors during times when she is working with a company. “That was our mandate.”

“Absolutely,” replied Olson. “If council wants to be involved with that, not a problem.”

Outdoor hockey rink ready soon

Cold winter weather has made it easier for town staff to prepare the Scott Seaman’s Outdoor Rink.

“I can report the ice on the outdoor rink will be ready to go Friday,” said Wes Amendt, community services director.

“There’s a whole bunch of kids that are happy to hear that,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett.

While the ice looks ready — members of the Ponoka Fire Department have been flooding the outdoor rink — there is still need for another half an inch of water on the rink, said Amendt.

Bonnett asked about the possibility of preparing the Centennial Park Pond for pond hockey again but Fire Chief Ted Dillon said there is some liability to doing that. “There’s always been a concern in the spring and the fall, even with signage and that.”

“It’s a nice atmosphere, there’s no doubt about it,” he added.

A Bobcat went through the ice in the pond a few years ago and Dillon did not feel it advisable to use the pond.

The fire department has flooded an outdoor rink that residents built up in the Rotary Park in Riverside, explained Dillon. Volunteer firefighters will flood any public outdoor rink to give crews training with their pump trucks.