Money Talks; But Will It Listen?

Mayors want input into the region’s economic future

The mayors of Breton, Calmar, Thorsby and Warburg are asking their communities to join together and help shape the region’s economic future.

Near the end of April, a series of workshops are being held, one in each community, to find out what residents and businesses want to see happen in the region. The mayors all stressed the importance of getting as much community input as possible.

“This is our community and we all want to see it grow,” says Darren Aldous, Mayor of the Village of Breton. “It just makes sense to find out what the people who live and work here have to say; that’s what makes the difference between making a plan that sits on a shelf and one that actually accomplishes something.”

The consultation is being spearheaded by the 39/20 Alliance, a regional partnership of the four communities. The Alliance is seeking citizen input to ensure that the upcoming economic development strategy fits within the community’s vision of the region.

“The workshops and survey are one small but vital part of the economic strategy development process,” says Wally Yachimetz, Mayor of the Town of Calmar. “We are also working to take an inventory of amenities, check industrial and commercial real estate availability, and reviewing existing municipal plans already in place.”

Once developed, the strategy will contribute to a comprehensive regional marketing plan to better attract new business and investment. The information will also help support the growth of existing businesses.

According to Barry Rasch, Mayor of the Village of Thorsby, the strategy, and the 39/20 collaboration in general, benefits the entire region. He says that “many projects can be cost-prohibitive when communities tackle them alone, but by working together, we will have greater opportunities.”

“We’d love to see as many people as possible come out and talk to us, it’s a great opportunity to have your say and make a difference in your community,” concludes Ralph van Assen, Mayor of the Village of Warburg. “For those who can’t make it, please come and get a paper survey or take 5 minutes and fill out the online version. It’s quick, easy, and a great way to make your voice heard.”

Workshops are being held in Breton (April 29), Calmar (April 28), Thorsby (April 21), and Warburg (April 22).

The confidential online survey is available right now at

Paper copies can be picked up directly from the town or village offices.

For information on the survey and workshops for the regional economic development strategy, please contact Larry Horncastle at 780-217-5995 or

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