Data collection key in combined downtown revitalization project

A person uses a computer. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Razvanjp.

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) is leading the effort to acknowledge challenges and explore possible options to revitalize downtowns within Lambton County.

The Town of Petrolia recently announced a public survey regarding a new revitalization project.

However, the Town of Forest is also participating in the initiative.

SLEP Manager Chantelle Core said although Petrolia and Forest are two different communities, the structure of the program and the types of data being collected are similar.

“Both communities have their ideas of what they think the vision is for the community and what they think is needed, but ultimately the reason we’re doing this downtown revitalization research is to make sure it’s all supported by research and data,” she said.

Core stressed the importance of having public feedback through the surveys in order to have proper data moving forward. The surveys do not have a specific end date at this time.

“Currently, all of the surveys are open-ended. We are looking at certain targets to make sure they are statistically relevant. We want to have really strong data to drive this process,” said Core. “The survey data that we are collecting is going to drive the implementation plans for the downtown revitalization project, that is likely to start in early 2023.”

Core said there are many phases involved when it comes to downtown revitalization and it’ll be some time before actions are actually implemented.

For now, the initiative is focused on Petrolia and Forest but Core said there is certainly an opportunity to explore downtown revitalization projects within other Lambton communities as well.

There is a separate survey for business owners in Forest, which can be found by clicking here.