Reports of blue-green algae on Pigeon Lake area hitting area businesses hard.
Pigeon Lake Chamber of Commerce director Doug Mackenzie and president Roger Cole were at Leduc County’s Oct. 28 meeting looking for support from the County to help change the image of Pigeon Lake, which has seen a decrease in visitors due to negative media reports about blue-green algae on the lake.
“Our biggest challenge is the negative press due to the water condition,” said Mackenize, who noted the negative publicity is impacting the village’s ability to grow and maintain property values.
“We need to garner support and show the attributes (of Pigeon Lake) to visitors, residents and businesses,” said Mackenzie. “Many of the business are having difficulty attracting staff because of this.”
Cole said people tend to forget how large Pigeon Lake is, and it’s important to get the word out that if blue-green algae is seen in the area of Ma-Me-O Beach, they can still enjoy the water at the other end of the lake.
The Chamber is asking the County for money that would be used to increase awareness of the regions amenities, increase the Chamber’s social media exposure, enhance services and refocus on the needs of the members.
“We want to focus on awareness, improve our ability to communicate and rally other Counties to show that Pigeon Lake is a place to live, work and play.”
Wetaskiwin County currently contributes $12,500 annually to the Chamber and there are plans to work with the Watershed Society and the Alliance of Pigeon Lake Municipalities.
“We have to work collectively,” said Mackenzie. “This is an issue no one group can take on. There needs to be something to bring everyone together, to be a strong voice.”
While the majority of the Pigeon Lake shoreline is in Wetaskiwin County, there is a portion of the north show that falls in the County of Leduc.
Council deferred the request for an undetermined amount of funding to their budget discussions.