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Moving into 2019, the Municipality of Emerson-Franklin will focus on expanding the role of its newly established Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), says Reeve Dave Carlson.

"Our goal with (the CEDC) is to spur on, obviously, economic development," he says. "We really need to attract business and jobs into our area for it to be successful to the future, and it is a big step. We're going to have different sub-committees and ad hoc committees that will work in conjunction with the Economic Development Corporation whether it be areas of health or tourism and things like that."

The corporation's first meeting will take place in January.

In addition to economic development, Carlson says water projects may make an appearance on the agenda. This year saw the completion of the Arnaud water project, which resolved the community's long-standing boil water advisory. With increasing drought and water retention issues, Carlson says a strategy to address those problems will need to be developed.

"With this drought year there was a lot of issues in different areas, with wells even drying up. There's a lot of members that are further east of our community that do have to haul water and if there's anything we can do to get grants, or even partner with possibly even First Nations to bring water further into our municipality, that's definitely something we're looking at," he says, noting that it may be possible to dip into water from Roseau Rapids.

Furthering collaboration with Roseau River First Nation is also on the to-do list for the municipality, Carlson says. The First Nation and Municipality met around a month ago for a preliminary meeting to discuss their relationship.

"We just basically talked about things that we have in common, goals that we have for the future. Economic development is definitely one that they're interested in and that really couples with us as well," he says.

He added that there are ongoing partnerships with sharing recreational amenities such as the hockey arena, and they are looking to expand that.

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