Campbellton group wants city’s help

A group of residents and local businesses who say Campbellton is ignored want funding from the city to improve the northern end of town

A group of residents and local businesses who say Campbellton is ignored want funding from the city to improve the northern end of town.

Brian Shaw, a member of Campbellton First’s Steering Committee who re-located his business to Campbellton, told council Tuesday night that Campbellton has been historically neglected by city councils.

“I used to be downtown and I can see the difference in black and white and I know you can too,” Shaw said in a presentation to council. “Campbellton has special character and it should be maintained and nurtured. It is the entranceway to Campbell River and we want to work with you as a committee, as an association.”

The group also hopes to work with the new council and is hosting an all-candidates meeting with a Campbellton focus on Nov.10 at the Eagles Hall at 7 p.m.

Campbellton First approached the current council this week to ask for up to $40,000, within city resources, to conduct a revitalization plan.

Shaw said the most important thing for Campbellton is curb appeal as the area is the first part of the city that most tourists coming in off the Inland Island Highway see.

Shaw showed council a slideshow depicting the bare, dusty industrial roads of Campbellton.

He then showed a slide of the new highway upgrade in Willow Point.

“I like this look and I’d like to see that in Campbellton too,” Shaw said.

He pointed out that as tourists come in off the Inland Island Highway near Esso there is a highway sign directing motorists to turn right on 16th Avenue to reach the City Centre.

“It’s (16th Avenue) not exactly eye candy, it’s industrial.” Shaw said.

He said in order to attract more people and more business to Campbell River, the city needs to make some changes to the first impression most people get of Campbell River.

Coun. Roy Grant asked Shaw if Campbellton First had considered forming a business improvement association to help access funding, as he recollected a similar association in Willow Point was the driving force behind phase one of that area’s improvement project.

Shaw said the group believes it will be more successful operating under the current format.

“A business improvement association previously in Campbellton more or less fell on deaf ears,” Shaw said. “Right now we’re a lobby group more or less.”

Council referred the funding issue to staff for a report on any external funding opportunities.