Town of Peace River will be reinstituting an economic development officer position in the 2024 fiscal year.

Administration added the full time position to the 2024 budget, after council determined the position was necessary to add into the organizational structure.

“Council had approved the formation of an Economic Development Committee early in the present council term,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer, explaining why council felt the addition of an EDO was necessary.

“As council and administration have seen the evolution of the work of the committee and some of the goals that the Town and the committee have, council has seen that more administrative time is needed to fulfill some of the expectations. Present staff were facilitating this work while still expected to do their regular assignments.”

Manzer says council and administration are currently working on next year’s operating budget and are expecting to have it approved before the end of 2023. She adds a complete job description needs to be developed and the position will then be advertised to find the appropriate candidate.

“The development of the job description will help determine the type of experience and credentials for the position,” she notes.

“Essentially, the economic development committee is a group of volunteers and one councillor with administrative support that included up to four staff who had that support and time added to their already full assignments,” she adds. “So, to more effectively do the work to support the goals of increased economic development in Peace River, council approved the economic development officer position that will focus solely on the economic development role and goals.”

Manzer says the position is crucial to help Peace River recognize its growth potential and to help facilitate plans that the economic development committee are formulating.

“For many years, some in the community have indicated that an EDO would be worth the dollars to attract tax paying development to the town,” says Manzer.

“This council started with the economic development committee whose volunteers have done a lot of work including two job fairs. Council considered the advice from the committee and successfully applied for the Rural Renewal Stream.”

Manzer anticipates the EDO position to add roughly $53,000 to the overall town budget, as some of the funding for the position will come from other budget areas.

“Council is hoping that an EDO will bring new or increased investment to the town,” says Manzer.

“The economic committee’s budget has facilitated a study that is to gather information and bring suggestions for both types of investment and strategies to attract the investment to the town. The EDO will be focused on these strategies and goals.”

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News – southpeacenews.com

Original Published on Dec 10, 2023 at 16:05

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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