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Municipality of Val Rita-Harty continues planning for new grocery store

By Kyle Lincez, The Northern Times

VAL RITA-HARTY: Planning for a new grocery co-op project in the township of Val Rita-Harty is continuing as the municipality affirms further research and studies into the project's feasibility.


Following a market survey that was done in Opasatika and Val Rita-Harty earlier in 2017, township Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Guillaume Richy said that the results showed the communities being on board with the idea.

“We had made the survey last spring, and we got the results in the fall, and people are definitely onboard with us in having a new grocery store and a space to share,” Richy said. “However,  we still have to work on the feasibility side of things.”

Some of those considerations, he said, include size and cost.
“Is it feasible, is it affordable, what can we do, where can we work,” he said. “So we're still planning and looking at different feasibilities for it.”

One of the current ideas, according to Richy, is to install a grocery store into the old school building, but that raises its own questions.

“We are still looking to install a grocery store in that building, it would be a huge and ideal location for that,” he said. “We will be doing some research in the meantime, with the cooperation of Val Rita-Harty and Opasatika for what other opportunities there are for a grocery store, what kind of grocery store we want to have, and so forth. There are lots of options we're looking at, but we have to discuss that with the economic development corporation just to make sure we're getting to it the right way.”

In the meanwhile, Richy said that the municipality is looking at creating a new committee group to aid in development.

“We have the results of the survey, and we're currently looking at considering an action development committee group to help gather the good will of people who want to help lead such a project,” he said. “We're looking for new people to champion the cause in the community, and to help gather other interested members in the community. Once we have that in place, we will plan a community gathering to discuss where we are with the project, and where we plan to go, to get everyone on the same page, and then following that we will continue to look at what kind of store we want, what we'll be able to do, and what will have lasting impact for the long term.”