Fire Chief Ian Baikie serves up pancakes at the annual Canada Day Pancake Breakfast in Willow Point, one of many initiatives sponsored by the Willow Point BIA throughout the year. The BIA is asking the city to renew its bylaw for an additional five years. Mirror File Photo/Mike Davies

Willow Point BIA looks to extend their stay

Five year extension sought on bylaw that sees businesses pay into promotion and beautification

With their bylaw set to expire at the end of 2017, the Willow Point Business Improvement Area’s received some good news from the city recently.

At their last public meeting of the year, council voted in favour of renewing the organization’s bylaw for another five years.

Established in 1998, a group of business owners petitioned the city to adopt the bylaw that would create the BIA “to encourage and promote business along the Island Highway 19A corridor between Hilchey Road to the north and approximately Erickson Road to the south,” according to the backgrounder provided by city staff to council. “Since that time the city has been collecting a local service tax from the commercial propoerty owners within this area,” which is then given to the BIA in the form of an annual grant.

The intent is that the BIA will then use that money to promote and beautify the area.

Council decided they have been doing a good job of that and has decided to renew that agreement, however, the businesses within the BIA can defeat the proposal by creating a petition against the initiative and getting, “at least 50 per cent of property owners having the majority of the assessed value of land and improvements within the specified business improvement area,” within 30 days.

Mayor Andy Adams asked Coun. Larry Samson, as the liason with with the Willow Point BIA, “to pass on council’s appreciation for the great job that association has done throughout the year and that their new Christmas decorations look fantastic.”

The BIA has been beautifying the area by purchasing and installing flower baskets and planters for the boulevards and in front of local businesses, according to a letter to council from president Sandra Allen, as well as putting on the Canada Day festivities at that end of town and making donations to the Shoreline Arts Society in support of their annual driftwood carving contest, which sees thousands flock to the area each summer.

The renewed bylaw, should it not be countered by successful petition, will expire at the end of 2022.