Council backs proposal to fund local improvement loans for businesses

By Roderick Benns

Council backs proposal to fund local improvement loans for businesses
Low interest loans to support building improvements. (Photo: Erin Smith)

In keeping with the goal to stimulate a vibrant and growing economy, the City is moving forward with its plans to implement a Community Improvement Plan.

Council has agreed to negotiate with the Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation (KLCFDC) to develop a program offering low interest loans to support commercial building improvements in various communities across the municipality.

KLCFDC would provide an interest free loan of up to $500,000 to the City with matching loan funding from the City for a total of $1 million available under the program.

These funds would be administered through the City in a multi-year program to incent building and land improvements in alignment with City priorities such as:

  • heritage district building restoration and improvements
  • accessibility improvements
  • affordable rental housing private space retrofits in mixed-use buildings
  • derelict building repairs and improvements
  • downtown main street revitalization and enhancements

“Partnering with the KLCFDC will allow us to provide a funding option for landowners to move forward with many of the projects that have been outlined in the downtown revitalization plans. This includes projects to make our downtown buildings and streetscapes more attractive. It will also assist building owners to make their storefronts more accessible. We’re eager to see this program off the ground as it will lead to tangible improvements in our downtowns,” says Chris Marshall, director of development services.

The loan program will be developed and administered by the City, with guidance from the KLCFDC, and will involve committee oversight.

Application intake is forecasted for this fall. The Community Improvement Plan will outline the eligibility criteria for applicants and projects. The plan will also detail how the loan program will be administered and eligibility requirements.

This program will not impact the tax levy as City funds will be paid back with cost recovery over a defined period of time.

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