Five talking points for the October 26th civic election in Yorkton were made, by the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce, to galvanize interest.
The first one is Transparency and Financial Accountability; the Chamber recommends more discussion during regular council meetings, as this will demonstrate all points have been taken into consideration.
Another is easier access to the City’s Municipal Public Accounts, which should be on their website, as well as adopting public openings of tenders for major projects.
The latter has come under scrutiny from the Chamber of Commerce.
The second topic is Business Property Taxes; there’s a significant gap in terms of how much business owners pay in property taxes compared to residents.
In the city’s current budget taxes for businesses increased by a staggering 6.9 percent while residents just 3.9.
A recommendation from the Chamber, to council for the 2016-2020 term, include getting creative to encourage growth in the business community and find a way to narrow the tax gap.
Next up is the Yorkton Regional Airport; Yorkton’s Chamber of Commerce says the Airport is the city’s greatest asset.
Through the Community Airport Program, and Yorkton matching the funding, a number of improvements have been made, including the runway and lighting.
So the Chamber is urging the ’16-’20 city council to view the Airport as a “stimulant to business”, appoint a Committee with members from the business community, and begin the Yorkton Airport Development Plan.
But before the plan is initiated, council needs to review the short, medium, and long term solutions provided by the Chamber of Commerce.
Business growth is the 4th of 5 talking points for the civic election this fall.
The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce would like the elected council to consider reviewing the current Development Levy, and how it impacts business growth.
In addition the organization recommends evaluating current policies and potentially create ones that encourages retention, development, and growth.
At last we reach the final topic of interest for those still undecided on running for office.
The fifth and final one is infrastructure needs; one of the major projects arriving in the future is Broadway Street, which has been delayed due to the Federal Government not yet committing to paying a third of the required cost.
Another need is a new Regional Health Centre.
What’s being recommended by the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce, is for the 2016-2020 council to put on their creative hats and find a way to ensure funding for the undertaking of these projects.
The 5 points of discussion can be found online at www.yorktonchamber.com.