By Paul Hutchings
Star Staff Writer
DEER LAKE Mayor Dean Ball said the restarting of the new hotel in the area was one of the best things that could have happened in 2011 with regard to economic development.
Construction on the hotel was stopped by parent company Pacrim Hospitality Services at the height of the economic collapse two years ago. Construction started up again earlier this year.
“I think 2011 was a fantastic year for us, and the restart of that hotel was a turning point for us,” he said.
“We seem to have had a lot of new businesses come along in the past year, like a new restaurant and a few others, and a new eye centre opening up in 2012, we are looking good for the future.”
New business, he said, means new residents and more revenue added to the tax base, which in turn means more can get done at the infrastructure level.
The industrial park in the area will continue expanding, with new businesses expected to be moving in throughout 2012. Paving will commence as soon as the weather permits in the new year.
Deer Lake saw 32 housing starts in 2011, which was down slightly from 2010 but still an excellent number, he said. Deputy mayor Sandra Pinksen said the hiring of a new town staff member about a month ago is a step in the right direction.
“We have a new economic development officer in place now to hopefully attract even more business here,” she said.
“We have a new A&W (restaurant) in place, a new Subway, Home Hardware has expanded and our industrial park will be completed as new business move in, so we’re looking at another good year.”
Pinksen said several infrastructure projects were completed, such as the water and sewage projects at Birch and Colbourne.
The town public works department received a new road painting machine and in the new year it is set to pick up a new multi-purpose vehicle.