Council to discuss Downtown Business Incentive Program at Monday meeting

The 2017 downtown street fair was a big hit. (Herald file photo)

Two meeting items related to the Prince Albert Downtown Business Improvement District (PADBID) will be discussed at Monday’s executive committee meeting after the last discussion was postponed in August.

The draft Downtown Business Incentive Program and a bylaw amendment request were removed from

the August executive committee agenda at the request of City of Prince Albert representative on the PADBID board, Ward 7 Coun. Dawn Kilmer.

Kilmer said postponing the discussion would give the PADBID board more time to review the items as they had a meeting forthcoming. City Council unanimously passed the motion.

The items will be completed as part of unfinished business at Monday’s meeting.

Council previously reviewed a letter from the Prince Albert Downtown Business Improvement District about the Business Incentive Program at their July 18, 2022 Executive Committee meeting. The letter was then forwarded to the Department of Planning and Development Services for review and a report.

On June 2, the Director of Planning and Development Services, along with the Director of Finance and the City Assessor, again met with members of the PADBID Board to discuss their request for downtown incentives.

Through these discussions, it was determined that the program would satisfy their request at this time. The Economic Development Manager will track the success of this program and will continue to work with PADBID to improve its effectiveness.

Administration believes a vibrant downtown is important because Downtown areas are often the historical and cultural heart of a city. Encouraging development in these areas can breathe new life into aging buildings and infrastructure, making the City more attractive to residents, tourists and businesses. Another reason listed in the report is that vibrant downtowns can act as economic stimulators, attracting a variety of businesses, which can lead to job creation and increased tax revenues.

These were two of five reasons listed in the report.

Administration recommends the development of an incentive program that can attract new business into the downtown core.

The report stated that the best and most common way to incentivize downtown development is through taxation incentives. This program provides a full 100 per cent tax abatement to properties located in the downtown, which is currently not provided in any other area of the City, making this a unique program to the downtown area.