Geralyn MacDonald, director of community and economic development for the Town of New Glasgow, points to a map of the town to show where some of their projects have been taking place. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
NEW GLASGOW – What do you want?
What would make you happier to live in the New Glasgow area? Is there something missing that could make life better for families here? What would help draw business and consumers to this area?
New Glasgow’s community economic development director, Geralyn MacDonald, wants to know.
The town is currently preparing its community economic development plan for the next three to five years and is looking for the community to give their input.
Sessions will begin this week to allow the opportunity for town staff to meet with citizens to help them get a better understanding of what those who live and work in the town want from it.
“We really encourage people to come out and participate in these sessions because really it’s all about the future of New Glasgow,” said MacDonald. “It’s about what can we do to help make New Glasgow a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
The previous economic development plan has helped direct the town for some major projects over the last four years including: the completion of the downtown development plan Phase 1, the creation of a permanent venue for the New Glasgow Farmers Market, upgrades to the community centres, an expansion of the programs and audiences at Glasgow Square, development of a master plan for town recreation and a partnership with NSCAD among many other accomplishments. It’s helped promote culture, reach out to old and young and lobby for funding for projects important to the town such as marina repairs.
Looking back over the time she’s been there, MacDonald said it’s amazing to see all they’ve accomplished. She hopes to see that continue moving forward. Already some goals have been identified including: starting Pictou County’s own Community Arts Council, partnering with the county and the Department of Seniors for an age-friendly action plan, developing an action plan for ending racism and discrimination in the town and to continue to make New Glasgow an attractive destination for everything from music events to cruise ships.
Now in particular, with the completion of the Pictou County Wellness Centre, her department is working to help develop a regional events strategy that Pictou County could use when trying to woo large events.
But more input is needed before they are ready to go to council with a finalized plan.
“We can’t really emphasize enough how important it is for the community to come out, because it belongs to them,” said Kim Dickson, communications director. “It’s an opportunity for people to say what’s important to them. Their contributions are meaningful and they do make a difference whether it’s in person at the session or through emails to Geralyn.”
One of the key questions, MacDonald said she’ll be asking all the groups, is what are other communities offering their residents that New Glasgow would be wise to try?
“Give us some ideas and if this is something that can be done we definitely will look at it,” she said. “If other communities are doing it, why can’t New Glasgow? We can’t make promises until we know if we have the resources, but you have to have your wish list.”
Planning session dates
Youth – at NNEC with leadership class on Thursday from 1:12 to 2:12 p.m. and 2:20 to 3:20 p.m.
Residents/Groups, Clubs & Organizations – Jan. 30, council chambers, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Seniors – Feb. 1, John Brother MacDonald Stadium, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Businesses – Feb. 15, council chambers, 7:30 to 9 a.m.