The Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association asked Courtenay council to match its $60,000 tax levy for the next two years to help accelerate infrastructure programs leading to the city’s centennial celebration in 2015.
The association intends to help council showcase the downtown by expanding on the well-received tree lighting, banners and a Wayfinding Project. The latter is directional signage that removes the guesswork from a visitor’s experience.
A rough budget allots $5,000 for events, $15,000 for signage and $20,000 each for lighting and banners.
The DCBIA hosts events on behalf of businesses and the community at large. It spent $10,000 on recent facade improvements.
Aside from a “few minor hiccups early on,” president Mark Middleton said the summer midweek Farmers Market was a success in the eyes of patrons, merchants and restaurants. The market shut down in August to the disappointment of some patrons who showed up in September.
“I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction,” Middleton said at Monday’s council meeting. He notes 100 per cent support of each DCBIA event is impossible.
Coun. Jon Ambler concurs, noting the group’s success is evident when the downtown is considered the “living room of the community.”
Ambler suggests the association needs to celebrate the successes and to not allow the minority negatives to “tilt the balance.”
Their request has been forwarded to City staff for feedback.
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BC Housing has made $50,000 available to the City in the form of a loan to help plan and develop a supportive housing proposal at 810 Braidwood Rd. The City purchased the property with proceeds from selling a Cliffe Avenue site that the regional district purchased in 2010 for emergency shelter/supportive housing purposes.
A portion of the $50,000 can be used to prepare a Request for Proposal to find a non-profit operator to lead the project.
Staff is working with BC Housing to develop content in the RFP.
Coun. Doug Hillian noted concerns of neighbours and public misgivings about the proposal. He recommends attending the Oct. 16 Comox Valley Housing Task Force public forum at the Florence Filberg Centre. The forum will address issues related to homelessness, access to affordable housing and healthy communities.