CHRISTMAS is made brighter downtown each year as a business improvement association puts up lights. Here

Terrace council paves way for business improvement levy

Affected businesses will have 30 days to respond to bylaw

After a rocky attempt last year to renew the five-year financing bylaw for a downtown business improvement area, the Terrace Downtown Improvement Association (TDIA) presented a new bylaw and budget last night to city council, who passed it through three readings.

City staff will now prepare the notice of council’s intention to adopt the bylaw that will be mailed to businesses in the downtown area.

The original bylaw passed three readings last fall but when business owners received the notice of intent, many complained to city that they had not known about the new bylaw until they received the notice and wanted to be consulted.

Several complained to city council that, while they appreciated the work TDIA does, TDIA had not communicated with them for a long time, if at all.

They also objected to the proposed levy, which would have doubled from $69,000 a year to $120,000 a year.

At TDIA’s request, council defeated the bylaw at its Feb 14 meeting.

President of TDIA Sasa Loggin told council last night that in the last few months, TDIA had consulted with business owners through meetings and an online survey and believed they approved of the new bylaw and levy.

The proposed levy would be $110,000 a year total to come from businesses included in the business improvement area.

TDIA uses the levy money collected by the city and then passed toit for beautification projects, festivals and marketing campaigns to promote the downtown.

That includes the Festival of Lights at Christmastime and the street fair in the summer.

With the mailing of the notice of intention, a 30-day period begins for business owners to petition the city if they want the bylaw rejected.

To defeat the bylaw, any petition must be signed by at least 50 per cent of the owners of the parcels liable to be charged, representing at least 50 per cent of the total assessed value of all affected parcels.

If the petition falls short of these required numbers, then council may consider adoption of the bylaw.

 

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