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District of Clearwater encourages small business development

The owner of the new Tim Hortons under construction in Clearwater plans to hire about 50 people
A new Tim Hortons being constructed at Clearwater Shopping Centre takes shape. Expected opening date is Dec. 19.

The owner of the new Tim Hortons under construction in Clearwater plans to hire about 50 people and to keep the restaurant open 24 hours a day.

That's the report from District of Clearwater chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx.

Resumes to work at the new restaurant are being accepted now. People should contact the local WorkBC office for details.

A job fair for prospective employees will be held either late this month or early in November.

Opening date for the new restaurant is set for Dec. 19.


Municipality moving on many fronts

The new Tim Hortons is just one example of economic development the District is involved with, she said.

Another is working with a business that wants to open a store in the space formerly occupied by Safety Mart in Brookfield Mall.

One cause for delay has been that, while the prospective tenant would like some major upgrades done to the space, the mall is under receivership.

The District continues to work to make more land available for light industrial development, Groulx said.

The area around the eco-depot has much potential for growth, she pointed out.

Extension of the town's sewer system to Raft River Elementary School was recently completed.

School District 73 drove the project. District of Clearwater asked that the extension be gravity-fed from the school to the bottom of Hospital Hill.

That means that the households and businesses there will be able to connect to the new sewer, enhancing their property values.

A latecomer agreement is to be negotiated for those wanting to connect.


Seniors village gets go-ahead

Town council approved a rezoning application last summer to allow a high-density housing development near the hospital to go ahead.

The development would target people aged 55+.

Groulx said she believes the owner now is putting together m marketing packages for the development.

Also making progress is a campus of care that would be located between Evergreen Acres seniors housing and Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital.

The proposed campus of care would potentially include independent living and assisted living units.

A decision on whether Kinder Morgan's proposed twinning of the Transmountain pipeline is expected in December.

If that project goes ahead it would have important implications for the municipality, both short-term and longterm, she said.

Groulx said that key challenges for any economic development in rural B.C. include community capacity, workforce, infrastructure, housing capacity, daycare, acceptance by the community of diversification, and ensuring the quality of life.


Seeking more high tech jobs

“Some people still think that economic development is getting 50 industrial jobs,” Groulx said. “That's not the way it is anymore. The tech sector has much higher growth and pays more than industrial jobs. To get those jobs, though, we need things like high-speed Internet and better cellphone service. The quality of life is also important.”

Clearwater's CAO noted that the District will again be partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and Wells Gray Country services committee to host a “pub night” for local business owners. Date and venue are to be announced, but it probably will be sometime in early November.