The Village of Burns Lake’s paving plan was the most popular topic during the public engagement events that were held over a two-week period last month.
Council has recently increased the village’s road repair budget from $40,000 to $200,000 per year. Last year, the village applied for a grant to undertake phase one of the Eighth Avenue repaving project. However, the grant application was not successful. At the time, council said that Eighth Avenue’s repaving project would remain a priority and that the village would continue to maintain the avenue until another grant came along.
Individuals and business owners also put forward ideas about traffic flow and parking signage, including easier access and signage from Hwy. 16 for the public parking lot by the post office.
The community also asked the village to install a stop sign at the intersection of Government Street and Third Avenue, making it a four-way stop. This task was completed last week. In addition, Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold said council received several comments about economic development, including the need to support local businesses and attract new businesses.
“Some folks expressed that we should create space for more businesses and tourist activities on the lakeshore,” he said.
During the public engagement events, council asked residents what they thought the village was doing well. The highest response was complimenting the village’s public works crew. The village also received feedback from Lakeside Multiplex users.
“The recreation users are pleased with the facility and many provided feedback that the Lakeside Multiplex has had a positive impact on their fitness lifestyle,” said Strimbold.
The public engagement events included a meeting with the members of the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, a “coffee with the mayor” event at A&W, and an engagement booth at the Lakeview Mall.
“At these events, council was able to discuss upcoming projects and potential initiatives with members of the public and find out what they believed were the biggest priorities for the village in the next three years,” said Strimbold.
In addition, surveys were distributed online, at engagement events, and at the Lakeside Multiplex. In total, there were 69 responses to the village engagement survey, and 51 responses to the recreation survey.
Last year council decided to replace its annual town hall meeting with several public engagement events. Council says this strategy has been more efficient and cost-effective.
Council is now using the feedback to help them determine goals and objectives for the next three years.