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Sicamous development corporation seeks funding to upgrade internet, tourism promotion

‘There’s varying degrees of internet, but it’s no longer a luxury, it’s becoming a utility.’
The District of Sicamous Development Corporation is asking for additional funding to work on priority projects in 2023. (District of Sicamous)

The District of Sicamous Development Corporation is asking for more money to meet its priority goals this year.

On Feb. 22, tourism and economic development coordinator Carly Procyshyn presented the Sicamous finance committee with the corporation’s accomplishments and future plans for this year.

Sicamous council is still deliberating the district’s 2023 budget.

The development corporation is looking to invest about $75,000 in upgrading broadband Internet service, and $25,000 into the Invest in Sicamous campaign.

There is an opportunity coming up to finalize a broadband Internet solution, but there isn’t an exact dollar amount finalized yet.

So a proposal will come by March 31.

The development corporation has $58,000 and is asking for an additional $42,000 to be able to complete those projects.

“There’s varying degrees of Internet, but it’s no longer a luxury, it’s becoming a utility,” said District of Sicamous Development Corporation (DOSDC) board member Allan Wageler, speaking in support of the broadband initiative.

“Communication is as important as power and water. It’s a key competitiveness marker and something people think about when moving or working.

“It’s a problem if we can’t process payments effectively and it affects employment opportunities when tech businesses can’t be supported here.”

READ MORE: District of Sicamous Development Corporation looks at workforce shortages, internet issues

Funding for other projects will come largely from short-term rental and hotel tax revenue.

The DOSDC has been collecting Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) since September 2020, and had created a five-year business plan around that.

The estimate for 2022’s MRDT revenue, finalized a few months after the end of the year, is around $153,000.

Procyshyn’s presentation also applauded the establishment of the Explore Sicamous Tourism Advisory Committee, grant applications, the success of the DOSDC’s website and social media platforms, and the fact that more income has come from sources other than Sicamous taxpayers in the last two years.

Other priority goals the corporation wants to tackle include tourism development and marketing, business expansion and retention, land development and investment attraction, and housing.

To accomplish these, focusing primarily on tourism development, the DOSDC will utilize MRDT revenue to enlist contract services to help with creating tourism media packages. Moxie Marketing, a Sicamous-based company that created the Visitor Experience Guide, will be paid $10,000 to work on the marketing and social media.

Another $10,000 will go to the Sicamous chamber for the Visitor Centre services it provides.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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