City grant will help Willow Point decorate for Christmas

Two Business Improvement Associations are taking advantage of grants set aside by the city to help spruce up certain areas of the community

Two Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) are taking advantage of grant funding set aside by the city to help spruce up certain areas of the community.

The Downtown Campbell River BIA and the Willow Point BIA have both requested the city release the $10,000 grant each group is allotted every year for beautification efforts.

Dennis Brodie, the city’s finance operations supervisor, said the Downtown BIA is expected to use its grant monies for a number of small initiatives.

They include: wrapping electrical boxes, plant maintenance, lighting upgrades, and pressure washing and leaf cleaning along the sidewalks and other public areas within the downtown area.

The total cost of the work is $9,971.

On the other end of town, the Willow Point BIA wants to put its grant funding toward Christmas lights on several light standards throughout the south end of town.

According to the BIA’s work plan, the poles will be wrapped with a mix of lights decorated as Christmas trees, stocking garlands and candy canes.

The lights are expected to ring in at approximately $15,000 which exceeds the value of the $10,000 beautification grant, however, the Willow Point BIA intends to make up the remainder through its own funds.

The beautification grants are an initiative that was started by city council in 2015. The grants are available to all four of the city’s business improvement groups, including the Pier Street Association and the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association, in order to help those organizations spruce up their respective areas.

“The $10,000 annual beautification grants council has approved to the four local associations…allow these organizations to fund enhancement work in these areas that can be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike and provides focused funding to support the liveability and beautification of the city,” Brodie said.

In order to distribute the grants, the city has to enter into a legal agreement with the BIAs. Based on legal advice given to the city last year, the only way to legally financially assist the groups in their beautification efforts is through a partnering agreement which allows the organizations to carry out work on city property.

At Monday’s council meeting, council approved partnering agreements with both the Downtown BIA and the Willow Point BIA in order to facilitate the grant transfer.