Campbellton lobby group catches City Hall’s attention

Campbellton First’s efforts to lobby the city may be paying off.

Campbellton First’s efforts to lobby the city may be paying off.

Jim DeHart, one of the group’s founding members and operations manager of Destiny River Adventures, delivered some good news to the members who turned out for Thursday’s meeting just prior to the Campbellton First all-candidates forum.

DeHart said city staff seem willing to help the group come up with solutions to improve Campbellton.

“A group of city managers said they want to work with us,” DeHart said. “After they sign off on the SOCP (Sustainable Official Community Plan), we could be the first in line for doing an operational plan.”

DeHart said the plan would help guide the city in what needs to be done in Campbellton to make it more appealing and more on par with Willow Point.

DeHart, along with other business owners and residents interested in the well-being of Campbellton, forged Campbellton First in September. The group feels Campbellton is always last on the list, and therefore, is neglected.

DeHart said there are very little curbs and sidewalks and there are signage issues, lighting and safety issues.

The group’s first meeting took place on Sept. 7 and since then, has really grown.

There is now a 13-member steering committee that meets at least once a week and is divided up into a beautification section, an infrastructure section and a lobby group.

Members all paid membership fees – $10 for residents and $20 for businesses – but money is in tight supply.

“We’ve now gone into personal pockets for the steering committee,” DeHart said.

“We’ve already burned through the membership fees. After the election, we need to get some support and some seed money to help with meeting costs.”

DeHart said the group also needs some funding in order to dig up the pertinent information to get started on the operational plan.

He said the group will continue to meet once a week and for the next six months will more determine what the priorities for Campbellton should be and what both Campbellton First and the city should be working on.

In the meantime, a Campbellton Christmas block party will be held on Dec. 8 for neighbours to get together over hotdogs and get to know one another.