Growth and sustainability are vital for any small town to exist today. In the case of Gull Lake, as with many other towns, one of the main reasons for the decline is the decline of the rural populations that make up the town's trading area. As the number of people living in rural areas goes down, it has an effect on the town as a whole. For example, fewer kids going to school means fewer kids using our recreation facilities. With fewer families living in the town's trading centre, there are fewer people to support local downtown businesses. Fewer people also means fewer healthcare services, such as the closure of a hospital.
To get back on track toward growth and sustainability, we must accept new ideas and change. We have a significant amount of work to do to address a number of the obstacles we face to achieving sustainability. Our town faces challenges such as a lack of accommodations and commercial light industrial lots, as well as the need for a downtown revitalization strategy to deal with vacant buildings and lots. Not to mention our aging infrastructure, particularly our aging water plant, as well as the infrastructure beneath the streets that delivers water to our homes and transports waste to the lagoon.
Having sat on council for several years, I can say confidently that no town council can address all of these challenges on its own. These challenges must be addressed as a community. That will mean everyone working together, including town council, residents, and businesses, to combine our resources and ideas. The more people that work together, the quicker they can address the challenges that face our town.
Two important initiatives are now underway to assist in dealing with the challenges we face and putting our community on the path to prosperity. This year, the town resumed its strategic planning that began in 2017, enlisting the support of residents to prepare a strategy to help us deal with the challenges we face. The formation of a community-based cooperative is the second initiative that is being undertaken, and its purpose will be to assist in the discovery of and funding for viable projects that can promote business investment in the community.
Whether you have lived in town for a long time or have recently arrived here and have suggestions for how we might take our community forward your input is needed
. If you would like to serve on a committee, volunteer to help, or learn more about these programs, please contact Lindsay Alliiban, (Economic Development Office) (306)741-3775.
Building our community together is what brought us to where we are today and it will also help us succeed in the future