If accepted, a new bylaw could give the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area more funds to work with, said WLCBIA president Sheila Mortenson Thursday.
“Over the past five years, we have had no money to leverage grants for things like signage directing visitors to our downtown or banners for our streets,” Mortenson said. “With the renewal the BIA will have money to put toward things like a public washroom in the downtown core and alleyway lighting.”
In the proposed new bylaw, the owners of 203 parcels of property in the downtown would be charged a slight increase in the tax levy monies collected from class five and class six assessed properties.
The increase would and help grow the organization’s budget by increments during the next five years.
Currently the tax levy rate is to collect no more than $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed value of land and improvements or the amount of $79,650, whichever, is less. Notices have gone out to property owners and in newspaper ads and unless city council receives a petition against the levy containing more than half of the landowners representing at least 50 per cent of the assessed value of land improvements, the bylaw will be adopted.
The deadline for receiving petitions against is Dec. 13.
“Most businesses are paying $400 and under,” Martenson said of the present rate. With the increase the rate would go up about 14 cents per $1,000 of assessment.
Mortenson said the value of a strong vibrant downtown cannot be measured until it’s lost.