Rather than guarantee the Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce a grant approved in the County of Wetaskiwin 2016 Municipal Capital and Operating Budget, council has passed a motion the chamber must first present a strategic plan outlining the benefits chamber events bring the county and what levels of funding they warrant.
“Do we feel that (chamber of commerce) benefits the county? If they do, pay up, if they don’t, don’t pay up,” said Coun. Lyle Seely.
The chamber of commerce was granted $7,500 in the 2016 Municipal Capital and Operating Budget at the May 9 general budget meeting
Coun. Larry McKeever says he is in favour of the chamber needing to provide a strategic plan.
“I like the idea of keeping the money and they can apply for it. It keeps their feet to the fire and keeps them accountable,” said Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers.
Council approved the decision during its June 14 meeting.
Council was displeased with the chamber in the past after the organization stripped the county of its voting power within the group because it was not viewed as a business, says Rooyakkers. Recently the county was given voting privileges again and can now sit at meetings and be present for the agenda items.
“It took a lot of fight,” said Rooyakkers.
Another option presented to council during the meeting was to withdraw as a member effective that day. However, council decided not to follow that path. Council also had the option to move forward with the $7,500 granted as approved in the 2016 Municipal Capital and Operating Budget.