NOTEBOOK: City gets $850,000 for main street revitalization projects

Notebook

Any property owners on Stittsville Main Street who could use some financial help? You might want to get in touch with your councillor… there’s a fund of $850,000 available city-wide for main street revitalization projects. Here’s an excerpt from a memo sent last week to Ottawa’s mayor and city councillors from Stephen Willis, General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development at the City of Ottawa:

“…As per the announcement, Ontario is investing up to $26 million in the Main Street Revitalization Initiative. The funding is to support capital improvements for energy efficiency, accessibility, aesthetics, and marketability of small businesses within main street areas, and encourage strategic public investments in municipal and other public infrastructure within main street areas that will support small businesses.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has confirmed that Ottawa will receive $856,069.96 to support main street projects throughout the City. The guidelines, which outline project eligibility, are now available online.

As of April 1, 2018, municipal governments can make investments that will support small businesses through activities undertaken to revitalize main streets. The work can be identified through an existing Community Improvement Plan or other municipal land use planning documents that involve the construction, renewal, renovation, redevelopment or enhancement in each of the following categories:

Implementation of priority financial incentives in existing Community Improvement Plans such as:

  1. Commercial building façade improvements;
  2. Preservation and adaptive reuse of heritage and industrial buildings;
  3. Provision of affordable housing;
  4. Space conversion for residential and commercial uses;
  5. Structural improvements to buildings (e.g. Building Code upgrades);
  6. Improvement of community energy efficiency; and
  7. Accessibility

Funding of physical infrastructure such as:

  1. Signage – wayfinding/directional, and gateway;
  2. Streetscaping and landscape improvements – lighting, banners, murals, street furniture, interpretive elements, public art, urban forestation, accessibility, telecommunications/broadband equipment, parking, active transportation infrastructure (e.g. bike racks/storage, cycling lanes and paths) and pedestrian walkways/trails; and
  3. Marketing plan implementation – business attraction and promotion activities, special

Municipalities can identify projects in one or both categories.

Through this memo, I am reaching out to members of Council to solicit input on ward priorities. Some councillors have identified possible projects, which we have noted. I would ask that any other councillors who might have projects that could fit into the above noted criteria provide these to Brian Simpson in the Economic Development Branch by April 6, 2018. Staff will also be working internally to develop a list of potential priorities based on Council-approved plans. Once we have received suggestions from councillors staff will assess all possible projects to determine those that best fit within the guidelines. Following this staff will bring forward a report to the Economic Development Committee recommending projects and/or programs to receive funding. When appropriate, staff will also be seeking Council approval for the required Funding Transfer By-law as well as any other resolutions needed in support of the initiative…”


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