Strategic Planner Malcolm Hunt was brought in by Bancroft council to work on an economic development which, after 13 months of work, is done and was presented to council last week.

He says he wanted to present council with “bite-sized” but “meaningful” actions. They range from short-term goals like making Town staff’s day-to-day life easier by reviewing their key responsibilities to long-term goals like elevating the profile and sustainability of the Bancroft Community Airport. Councillor Valerie Miles complimented Hunt during the meeting, agreeing that the recommendations made are manageable and “not so huge.”

In total, Hunt made 20 recommendations, with 41 actions a part of those recommendations.

Mayor of Bancroft Paul Jenkins says after the meeting he worked on breaking down the recommendations into things that can be done right away and things that need more work to be done, like lobbying the federal or the provincial government.

A public meeting is being held on Wednesday at 7 PM at the Bancroft Municipal Office to go over the plan.

During Hunt’s presentation, he told council that “Bancroft is due to reward its citizens.”

He says many large economic development plans focus on building things. “While those are valid strategies, I believe that Bancroft has spent time looking at grand plans that are beyond the means of Bancroft to implement,” Hunt says. He believes that council should look to initiatives that will benefit its residents because, in turn, that will help tourism. “They will be the calling card for communicating far and wide that this is a good community to live in,” Hunt says of the locals.

“A lot of things we realized, but now they’re in a blueprint that council and the next council can look at,” Jenkins says. He also notes that this plan isn’t one for only the current term, but one that will carry-over two years into the next term of council. “You cannot have a four-year program, have it end, then someone else comes in and rewrites the book,” Jenkins says.

He also said that the decisions of past councils need to be left in the past. “Rather than harbour resentment, don’t criticize what happened because you can’t change it,” he tells My Bancroft Now. “You can certainly use the tools you now have to pave the way forward.”

Hunt says now is the time for the Town of Bancroft to move forward.