Lindsay downtown BIA asks for increase from council

By Kirk Winter

The additional funding would largely be spent on different banners to fit the new light standards in the downtown core. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Describing 2021 as a year like no other, Steve Podolsky, board chair of the Lindsay Downtown Business Improvement Association, and Melissa McFarland, executive director of the Lindsay Downtown BIA, asked council for a 3.7 percent increase in funding for the municipal board established and responsible to Kawartha Lakes Council.

“The challenges faced by our membership have been significant,” Podolsky said. “With downtown construction almost done and the pandemic waning, we hope the downtown will be able to move forward in 2022.”

McFarland walked council through the BIA proposed budget, asking for an increase in funding from $143,500 in 2020 to $148,809 in 2021.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” McFarland said. “We have based our increase request on the fact that the cost of living has increased 3.7 percent in the last 12 months.”

McFarland said the additional funding would largely be spent on different banners to fit the new light standards in the downtown core, more soil, plants and maintenance costs for the recently installed extra large planters now located on Kent Street and holiday appropriate decorations covering a number of festive seasons to beautify the downtown.

“We will also be expanding our area of responsibility to include Lindsay Street South for the sake of consistency,” McFarland said. “We are hoping to do one event that will benefit the downtown each season.”

McFarland adds the BIA is planning to award an additional five $2,000 grants to interested groups who need capital to run events in the downtown that won’t have to be spearheaded by the BIA.

Podolsky and McFarland shared that the BIA is moving to 7 York Street, the former location of Terry’s Tailor Shop, looking for a larger space with areas for meetings that their current space does not provide. Podolsky owns the property and will be happy to see it filled after the previous occupants retired from business after many years on York Street.

The BIA will have to wait until later in November to see if their request will be approved by council as council begins both private and public consultations on the 2022 budget beginning the week of November 15.

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