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Efforts to continue revitalizing the downtown have been given a boost in confidence from City Council today.
Voting in favour of funding the Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy (DCSS) until 2022, Councillor Jeff Carlson says this will continue to aid in creating a positive downtown experience for residents, businesses and visitors alike and is an important step in maintaining a vibrant city.
“The work that everyone involved in the strategy has done will now continue, and will help our community see that our downtown is still a great place to live, work and play,” says Carlson. “We want to build on this work and to continue providing services that benefit our businesses, residents and the city as a whole. I cannot express enough thanks to those members of our community who participated, and their dedication to the Heart of our City.”
Local business owner and Downtown BRZ board member Hunter Heggie, says bolstering the efforts in addressing the perceptions of downtown will go a long way with business owners and gives him confidence moving into the next few years of business.
“In making this decision today, City Council has shown they stand behind our businesses and they support what we do,” says Heggie. “The programs that address the safety of downtown do so much to boost the confidence of not just the businesses but those who visit and shop and take in all our downtown has to offer. The downtown business community are a resilient and hardy group and with this positive step forward it just goes to show that when we come together as a community, great things can happen and I thank City Council for showing their support in this way today.”
Building on the existing initiatives of the DCSS which included the implementation of the Clean Sweep Program and the Diversion Outreach Team, the updated strategy looks to add a number of new initiatives including exploring a different approach to security and outreach in Galt Gardens. .
“We know downtown is a wonderful place for our residents, businesses and visitors to experience the best our city has to offer,” said Spearman. “Continuing and expanding on the good work the clean and safe strategy has done to date shows we have confidence in our downtown and we support the businesses and people come to experience our city’s centre.”
City Council voted to fund the proposed strategy for a total of just over $1.6 million. The funding is spread across three years and is being applied to 20 initiatives that focus specifically on creating a safe, clean and welcoming environment in the downtown.