Hastings Highlands Council is being asked to put $50,000 it has reserved for economic development to good use.

The request comes from Maynooth & Hastings Highlands Business Association Government Relations Advisor Carol Russell, who made a presentation to council earlier today. Russell says she wants the $50,000 for economic development to be included in the 2018 budget, and used in a few ways.

The three reports Russell refers to are Hastings Highlands’ Business Retention & Expansion Survey, the First Impressions Community Exchange, and the Tourism Brainstorming Workshop. Russell says doing this will benefit the municipality because nobody knows where it is, and what it does.

Russell says the municipality can apply for a Rural Economic Development grant of up to $75,000 to put towards hiring the implementation coordinator, along with other efforts. She also has a contingency plan ready to hire the coordinator by making due with $50,000 from Hastings Highlands. The municipality is guaranteed $10,000 from the Community Futures Development Corporation of North and Central Hastings and South Algonquin to put towards these efforts.

She also wants the municipality to begin preparing an Economic/Development Tourism Strategy by the end of the year.