Attention: Ponoka town council and the chamber of commerce
Regarding the rebranding of Ponoka; it seems to me you missed the boat years ago when you did very little to support Alberta Hospital Ponoka as the province decided to downsize the hospital.
For many years I have felt most of your efforts have gone toward the Ponoka Stampede — an event that lasts for one week of the 52 available each year.
But we can’t change the past and I applaud your attempt to brand the town as “Senior Friendly.” I see signs on some stores (the ones that haven’t closed yet). As a senior citizen, I’m not sure how that’s working. Retail stores in the downtown area are closing with alarming regularity. Businesses have not made washrooms readily available for seniors who are walking — but we can’t buy shoes in Ponoka anyway. Greyhound has totally abandoned any semblance of passenger service for small towns, and even larger ones for that matter.
If you really want to support seniors, here are a few suggestions:
• Try to attract a department store where we could buy some basics, including shoes
• Encourage existing businesses to provide washrooms for customers
• If you can’t bring the stores to us, find a way to provide scheduled transportation to and from large centres such as Edmonton or Red Deer at least once or twice a month.
Apparently, Red Deer is providing bus service from Red Deer through Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House daily. I am sure Ponoka could come up with a way to accommodate people with an alternate method of getting to where the businesses are if you can’t bring the stores to us. Maybe our friends and family could also come to see us occasionally if such a service were available.
Costly? Maybe, but so is seeing people move to a more senior-friendly community.