Busi­nesses warm to CIP

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - News Right: Sketches of pedes­trian-friendly parks.

BY AN­GELA BROWN

Staff If the turnout for the Alexan­dria and Maxville town hall meet­ings is any in­di­ca­tor, chances are good busi­ness own­ers will soon be ap­ply­ing for North Glen­garry’s Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Plan grants to spruce up their build­ings.

B&B Food Mar­ket co-owner Ca­role Brunet who at­tended the Alexan­dria meet­ing said the sub­si­dies will help “peo­ple like us who need help with fund­ing” to upgrade their prop­er­ties. “Ev­ery lit­tle bit helps,” she said. “It’s only to bet­ter, to beau­tify our busi­ness, and con­tinue with the trends they want to do on Main Street.”

Ca­role and her hus­band De­nis Brunet are the third gen­er­a­tion of the fam­ily busi­ness that’s been go­ing strong for the past 67 years. “Alexan­dria is a won­der­ful lit­tle town. I’m not go­ing any­where soon. It’s nice to see th­ese new changes com­ing in,” she added.

About 55 peo­ple crowded into Sand­field Cen­tre last Wed­nes­day while 65 showed up in Maxville Thurs­day, when the town­ship re­leased the CIP plan, in­clud­ing de­tails of an in­cen­tive pro­gram to help prop­erty own- ers and ten­ants pay for im­prove­ments.

“It was a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the busi­nesses on Main Street,” said Deputy Mayor Jamie MacDon­ald. “I’m very happy with it. I’m glad peo­ple are in­ter­ested in it. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see the peo­ple who take us up on our of­fer.”

Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Kerri-Lynn Strot­mann pre­sented her re­port with sup­port from ar­chi­tect/ Univer­sity of Mon­treal pro­fes­sor Cé­cile Baird, who showed ren­der­ings to sug­gest im­prove­ments to the ap­pear­ance and func­tion­al­ity of Alexan­dria’s Mill Square and Maxville’s King Ge­orge Park, with an “ur­ban vil­lage” theme.

Grant pro­gram

CAO Daniel Gagnon pre­sented in­for­ma­tion on the grants and loans pro­gram, in­di­cat­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has set aside $50,000 for the grant pro­gram and has sep­a­rate fund­ing for loans. Mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil will de­cide what projects will be funded.

The town­ship will cover up to 50 per cent of ap­proved costs.

Up­grades that would qual­ify for funds in­clude sig­nage, porches, light­ing, re­tractable awnings, as well as new doors and win­dows.

Mr. Gagnon ac­knowl­edged if suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants’ prop­erty as­sess­ment val­ues, and taxes, rise as a re­sult of the im­prove­ments, the town­ship will cover part of the in­crease over the first five years.

Ap­pli­cants must ad­here to the town­ship’s cri­te­ria for mak­ing build­ing fa­cade im­prove­ments. The town­ship aims to keep a de­gree of uni­for­mity to the ap­pear­ance of its down­town core, as Mr. MacDon­ald said: “We just want ev­ery­thing to match a lit­tle bit.”

Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Kerri- Lynn Strot­mann spent about a year work­ing on the CIP pro­ject that in­cludes sup­port from the CIP Work­ing Group, in­put from sur­veys, com­mu­nity brain­storm­ing work­shops, the Arts, Cul­ture and Her­itage Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, and data from the Glen­garry County Ar­chives.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has al­ready sub­mit­ted the CIP draft to the prov­ince for in­put and planned to ap­prove it at the Fe­bru­ary 8 coun­cil meet­ing, with a 20-day ap­peal pe­riod to fol­low. The town­ship will be­gin im­ple­ment­ing the plan in early March.

The first phase (years 1 and 2)

of cialon the Mainand pro­gram res­i­den­tialStreet is in for Alexan­dri­aprop­er­ties com­merand Maxville.

The se­cond phase (year 3) in­volves com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in ru­ral ham­lets, such as Glen Robert­son and Dalkeith, and the third phase (years 4 and 5) is for other com­mer­cial prop­er­ties, in­dus­trial land, and her­itage build­ings in North Glen­garry.

AN­GELA BROWN PHOTO

SHAR­ING IDEAS: Left to right, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Kerri-Lynn Strot­mann, ar­chi­tect Cé­cile Baird, and Alexan­dria busi­ness­man Barry MacDon­ald share ideas fol­low­ing the CIP pre­sen­ta­tion in Alexan­dria Fe­bru­ary 3. Mr. MacDon­ald is also a mem­ber of...

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