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Municipalities choose marketer to advance business park

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After years of inactivity at the Dauphin Business Park, the City and RM of Dauphin are looking for help in marketing the Dauphin Business Park.
At its regular meeting Apr. 19, city council approved a proposal from the Ontario firm CQNS to develop a business attraction and marketing plan for the business park at a cost of $30,250.
“We started looking at what land we have left in the city or in and around the city for growth in terms of commercial space and there’s not a lot that is ready to go except in that business park,” city manager Sharla Griffiths said.
“The land in there is zoned industrial which will allow a lot of commercial, it is subdivided into equal, easily purchasable parcels, there’s a roadway and a little bit of water utility access there, as well. So really it’s almost shovel ready for businesses to come in.”
Griffiths is hopeful the low cost of the land, coupled with the development incentives the municipality offers will generate interest once word gets out.
“Between the City and the RM, we’ve owned it for, I think, the better part of 20 years and have seen minimal development there,” she said.
“So we thought now was the time to develop a plan, develop some marketing materials that we can get out into maybe not just the Parkland, but maybe Manitoba, Canada or the world, and see what we can get.”
The plan includes the development of both digital and printed materials and, while the city has staff responsible for marketing and economic development, they wanted to try something different, Griffiths said.
“We just wanted to get the best of the best and see what we can get out there,” she said, adding CQNS’s references were encouraging
“They had an excellent proposal and the examples that they used were for similar sized or a little bit bigger communities. But for all intents and purposes, similar communities to Dauphin.
“When we contacted the references, we got very good feedback from them.”
RM of Dauphin Reeve Ron Ryz said RM council is pleased to hire someone with experience.
“And a professional agency that can help us do the marketing of the business park. We’re happy that this is proceeding. I think it’s good for the city, good for the RM and it’s good for the area. Hopefully we get something happening there and we have some employment opportunities,” he said.
“I think right now, we have a good working relationship with the city. I think it’s all good.”
The overall goal, Ryz said, is to rent or sell lots to set up whatever businesses people may have in mind.
“And create employment opportunities,” he added.
As an added bonus, Griffiths said, CQNS had the lowest price of the four proposals received, with the most expensive coming in at $64,995, $72,000 and $75,525.
Griffiths added the municipalities will provide input to get the process started.
“One of the things that we are looking into is the ag industry. We have a lot of land around us and a lot of raw materials. And if we can take some of that and process it here where we live, we would love that,” she said, adding the marketing plan should be completed and put into action later this year.
“We are looking at getting the materials and everything delivered back to us. The original thought was early August, but it might be pushed back a little bit to the end of August or beginning of September.”
Throughout the process, Griffiths added, there will be an opportunity for further input.
“Both the RM council and the City council will have an opportunity to take a look at the material to see how the consultant is portraying our community,” she said.
“It appears that both councils are interested in moving forward and getting some of that land into the commercial or industrial markets,”