The Terrace Downtown Improvement Association (TDIA) and the downtown property owners took a step towards communicating and working together as the result of an open house meeting last night.
“The end result was good,” said Progressive Ventures owner Lael McKeown, who attended the meeting.
“My understanding is that after the meeting TDIA met and decided they would go ask council to stop the process so there could be more consultation.”
A lack of communication between TDIA and the property owners became apparent at the Nov. 28 city council meeting when Kelly Gingles, on behalf of property and business owners in the downtown, presented a letter to council against the proposed five-year bylaw TDIA had presented to council that asked for a huge increase in the levy business owners pay for TDIA to promote business and plan events for the downtown.
Business owners had been paying a total of $60,000 each year for the last five years and TDIA proposed that amount rising to $120,000 for each of the next five years.
The first that property and business owners heard of the increase was a petition from the city for them to answer on whether they agreed with the bylaw, leading the owners to question why they hadn’t had any communication from TDIA about the bylaw beforehand.
“Everybody in the meeting was supportive of TDIA and what they’ve done but property owners particularly felt that more specifics, more vision, more info has to be put out to the taxpayers before they can agree to this,” said McKeown, adding that she’s hoping for TDIA president Sasa Loggin to ask council to stop the bylaw process at council’s last meeting of the year Dec. 12.
The property owners otherwise have until Dec. 17 to vote on the bylaw.
Not returning a petition to the city counts as a positive vote for the bylaw according to the community charter that the city follows.
McKeown added that it was evident that there was not a lot of good communication between the city and TDIA.
“Nobody really had an idea of what the parameters are. What is TDIA’s and the city’s and the property owners’ responsibilities has never really been spelled out,” she said, adding that they all have the same goal and need to work together better.