Twenty-five thousand dollars could go a long way to plan for the future.
Council here recently agreed with its economic development committee to include $25,000 in this year’s budget to work on streetscape plans as staff continue to investigate additional funding sources to assist in the downtown revitalization project.
The decision followed council’s receiving the Feb. 14 minutes, which outlined the committee’s meeting with Ministry of Agriculture representatives and discussion of the town’s recent Business Mix Analysis and Building and Business Inventory.
Highlights of the two reports noted the following about Minto’s urban communities:
– A strong cluster of restaurants, which can act as a catalyst for the other business.
– The downtown does not have a compact core, therefore it is not pedestrian friendly.
– A service centre, which, in turn, allows opportunities to develop complementary businesses such as restaurants and professional support services.
– A strong cluster of convenience businesses.
– A need to encourage walking in downtown, and building a more pedestrian friendly downtown.
– Offers a convenience cluster.
– Vacancy at the main intersection downtown is a concern.
– A large number of vacancies downtown that need to be filled.
According to the minutes, downtown revitalization continues to come up as an issue in numerous studies and surveys that have been conducted in the past few years.
Economic development officer Belinda Wick-Graham said the residents and business people are telling town officials that something needs to be done with the main streets.
As a result, Stempski, Kelly and Associates, a firm based in Elora, was approached to provide a quote for developing streetscape plans for all three of Minto’s downtowns, as well as developing facade improvement guidelines.
Wick-Graham noted that Kelly is located in Elora and has been involved in similar projects in Wellington County.
Deputy-Mayor Judy Dirksen asked if that work should be placed to tender.
Wick-Graham’s response was that the next closest business involved in that type of work is located in Eastern Ontario.
“They’ve worked in a lot of places around here,” she said of the Elora company.