One of the proponents of the Sidney business improvement area (BIA) says the momentum is still with the initiative as approvals process notices go out this week.
Cliff McNeil-Smith of the Sidney Business Development Group (SBDG), says he’s pleased that the alternate approval process has started through the Town of Sidney.
“Generally, there is still lots of enthusiasm, even after the rush of Christmas,” he said. “This has brought a new level of cooperation between businesses.”
Notifications are being sent to affected business property owners and the process has been advertised in the News Review this week. The town is forwarding the BIA proposal on behalf of the SBDG, stating this is a merchants’ marketing initiative and up to property owners to approve. Anyone opposing the BIA has until 4 p.m. on March 1 to sign response forms accompanying the notifications.
If a majority of commercial property owners, representing 50 per cent of the property values on the downtown area to be covered by a BIA, do not register their opposition, the initiative will pass.
Should the BIA pass, it will charge downtown Sidney commercial properties a levy of $1.06 per $1,000 of assessed value. That will generate an estimated $250,000 this year, to be spent on marketing the downtown throughout the region.
McNeil-Smith said the SBDG is still answering people’s questions about the BIA. In anticipation of the initiative passing, he added a business plan is being drawn up for the early spring.