Downtown committee seeing movement

Plans are starting to take shape for the Ponoka Heritage and Downtown Revitalization Committee that has recently been created.

Plans are starting to take shape for the Ponoka Heritage and Downtown Revitalization Committee that has recently been created.

One of the fruits of those plans was the Town of Ponoka’s proclamation that May 9 to 15 be called Community Clean-up Week in Ponoka. That proclamation was only just approved Tuesday, April 12 during a regular meeting of council, explained committee co-chair and councillor Teri Underhill.

She said there have been a handful of meetings of the committee with a balance of short-term and long-term planners making up the committee. The group, also led by co-chair Manley Shaver, has developed four points of focus:

Quick action plan: to create events and other actions that have short-term benefits such as the clean up week;

Architectural/heritage: the goal is to revive former plans such as the Avi Friedman concept, a document commissioned by the town some years ago planning downtown revitalization;

Strategy and planning: while this effort is still in early stages, Underhill suggests it will find ways to harness the strength of downtown;

Community relations booster: the committee’s goal is to create some pride in Ponoka’s downtown area. “We want to make sure there is a constant positive message of our downtown,” Underhill said.

She says the committee brings a balance of members who want to see immediate action and others who prefer long-term planning. “There’s a lot of input. There’s excitement.”

Eventually the committee would like to bring a concrete plan and recommendations to town council to help guide the direction of downtown development and growth.

As for the clean-up week, Underhill said there is a big day planned to help spearhead clean up in the downtown area along with a fun barbecue at the park across from the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse.