Where Things Stand: Co-op amalgamation is in everyone’s best interest
for Smoky River Express
After listening to the presentations from the boards of the Falher and Girouxville Co-ops, I think it’s in the interest of both memberships to vote in favour of amalgamation.
Maureen Brochu, president of the Falher Co-op, made a presentation at the Falher Regional Recreation Complex on Oct. 3, touting the benefits of amalgamation.
Rene Blanchette, the president of the Girouxville Co-op, made a presentation to his respective membership in the Girouxville Community Hall on Oct. 4.
Both presentations offered pretty much the same information.
And both presidents offered a positive vision for an amalgamated co-op, which would be called the Noralta Consumers Co-operative Limited if both memberships approve it.
Of course, a major concern is the $660,000 debt that the grocery store has currently and many people raised the issue at both meetings.
However, if the amalgamation proposal is approved, then Federated Co-operative Limited is prepared to release $500,000.
It could be used to pay down the debt, if the amalgamated board so wishes. Moreover, the approximately $138,000 in annual lease payments the Falher Co-op has to pay to FCL for the store now, would be eliminated if the amalgamation proceeds.
I would vote in favour of the amalgamation because I believe that one strong organization is better than two separate business entities. Moreover, I have given a lot of my businesse to both Co-ops because I believe in shopping locally as much as possible.
I have a membership with the Girouxville Co-op and have appreciated access to their cardlock services in both Girouxville and east of Falher.
I don’t have a membership with the Falher Co-op. But I have bought a barbecue, fishing equipment and many other items from the hardware store. I also like general manager Aaron Knopp’s plans for expanding the store’s product offerings.
Moreover, I shop at the grocery store because it has a modern decor and, for the most part, I find their prices comparable to the competition.
Having the grocery store in Falher reduces the need to shop elsewhere.
In the end, members of both co-ops may have reservations about the amalgamation, or even fear change. But I hope the memberships of both Co-ops will give their blessing to it.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to have one strong, amalgamated Co-op.