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Hay River creates economic fund
Pot of $109,000 available to boost growth; mayor says optimism growing over state of economy

Angele Cano
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 25, 2013

Where once there was nothing, now there is $109,000.

That's the amount sitting in the Town of Hay River's new economic opportunities reserve fund. This line item in the 2013 operations and maintenance budget coincides with the town's new economic development strategy, said Jordan Stackhouse, the town's economic co-ordinator.

"The purpose of the fund is to give the town the ability to make strategic, timely investments in economic development initiatives as needed and as they arise," he said.

This means if it were needed for an event that could boost the town's economic growth, council wouldn't need to take funds from elsewhere in the capital or operations and maintenance budget to compensate.

The town will be hosting the NWT Association of Communities' annual general meeting March 9 to 12. As an event that would showcase the community, some funds could potentially be drawn upon from the new reserve.

So far there are no solid plans of what the reserve fund will be used for, with the economic strategy in its infancy. The reserve fund is just part of a larger focus on economic strategy and forward-thinking for approving projects, studies, or initiatives that could be beneficial, and doing so in a timely matter, said Stackhouse.

Mayor Andrew Cassidy said it's part of a greater need to get the economy back on track, a need determined throughout last year's election campaigns.

"A lot of people were talking about economic development," he said. "We can be strategic in how we move forward with getting our economy back on track, but we need to show we are being proactive and taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. There is a lot more optimism about state of economy."

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