Economic committee puts forth recommendations

District of Clearwater wants to meet with Telus to discuss cellphone and broadband Internet for Grier Subdivision and Upper Clearwater

District of Clearwater wants to meet with Telus staff – key Telus staff – to discuss cellphone and broadband Internet service for Grier Subdivision and Upper Clearwater.

The recommendation to send a letter to Telus was one of four recommendations sent to town council by its economic development committee for its Mar. 20 meeting. All were approved.

Telus is a for-profit corporation, Mayor John Harwood said during discussion. He wondered about the cost, as it likely would require more than one tower to serve all of Upper Clearwater.

Councilor Merlin Blackwell noted that 125,000 visitors travel the road to Wells Gray Park each summer.

Students at Clearwater Secondary School need high speed Internet to do their assignments, said Shelley Sim.

Some businesses in Upper Clearwater cannot provide credit card service over the Internet because satellite Internet is not secure enough.

Harwood suggested Wells Gray Country (Area A) director Tim Pennell also be invited to the meeting, as much of the area is outside municipal boundaries.

The second recommendation was that the District meet with Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to discuss pullouts for large maps on Highway 5 at either end of town. Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce also would be invited to participate.

It was pointed out that Thompson-Nicola Regional District has helped Thompson Headwaters (Area B) set up effective map pullouts for Avola and Blue River.

Jon Kreke suggested the Chamber might be able to sell ad space on the map boards.

Recommendation three was that the District and the Chamber move forward on setting up sector meetings for businesspeople from forestry, retail, agriculture and so on.

Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has held similar sector meetings and they have proven useful, said Merlin Blackwell.

Mayor Harwood said he supported the concept but did not want to see the municipality pay for the meetings.

The economic development committee’s fourth recommendation to council was that it move forward on setting up a forestry working group, as recommended by the local Healthy Forests/Healthy Communities committee.

 

A public dialog held last November as part of the province-wide Healthy Forest/Healthy Communities program identified six main themes: more sustainable and stable employment; ongoing centralization of government decision-making; more local influence in forest land decisions; the need for a forestry vision for the North Thompson; changes to the current timber tenure; and education and training.