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Time for Stage Two

Saturday, February 01, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

After submitting Stage One applications, City Council will be asked Monday evening to approve Stage Two funding applications to both the federal and provincial governments for assistance with Sault Ste. Marie’s Downtown Community Improvement Plan (DCIP) for 2014.

It is hoped that Gore Street in particular, pictured here in a photo taken by SooToday.com late last fall, can be revitalized under the plan.

The ambitious program’s total cost, it is estimated, is $2, 650,000.

Funding applications will be made to the federal government’s FedNor and Ontario’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

The City will have to fork over $300,000 from its Economic Development Fund (EDF) as its share of the project’s cost, with an additional $600,000 expected to come from private sector partners with an interest in the downtown core.

The Downtown Association, in addition, has committed $35,000 towards the program.

A report compiled by the City’s Engineering and Planning Department, recommending that Council give the go-ahead for Stage 2 funding applications, comes after the Downtown Community Improvement Plan was discussed at the October 7, 2013 Council meeting.

Another Downtown Community Improvement Plan ran from 2007 to 2012, and it was determined to be a success.

Under that plan, the City spent $285,000 to attract private sector investment in the downtown, which led to an additional $570,000 from the provincial government and $500,000 from FedNor, for a total of $1,355,000 in downtown redevelopment funding.

According to a City staff report, the plan attracted approximately $12 million in private sector investment in the downtown area.

Through grants and tax rebates, the 2007 DCIP saw progress made regarding store front facade improvements and refurbishments of upper floors into office spaces.

Over 100 such rebates were given to 68 businesses and property owners in the area.

Now, it is felt the time is right for another Downtown Community Improvement Plan.

Two open houses were held in October and November 2013, one especially for business and property owners on Gore Street and the western part of Queen Street East, the other for the Queen Street Downtown Association merchants, property owners and the general public.

The City hopes that if applications to the federal and provincial governments for assistance are successful, funding will be in place by spring.

A variety of tax rebates and grants are included in the plan as incentives for downtown merchants and groups to improve the interior and exterior appearances of their properties.

Staff’s report states it is important to create “a sense of place,” throughout the Downtown, especially in the Gore Street and Queen Street areas.

For Gore Street in particular, it is hoped there will be new curbs, wider sidewalks, landscaping, benches, bike racks, garbage bins and other features.

It is also hoped that improvements for Queen Street can include new benches and more garbage and recycling bins.

City planners feel a continually improved downtown will nicely complement work already done (or planned) on five specific properties: Blueforest Ventures Inc. Redevelopment site, the Gateway Site, the Suncor Property, the former Sault Area Hospital (SAH) site and the Former Northern Breweries site.

 
Comments
15
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
eadiecougs 2/1/2014 6:24:05 PM Report

throwing money into the wind we need new attractions,clean it up have a police office there.tear down the princess .with people going across to shop it is very hard with the stores they have
ROLAND_ROLLY 2/1/2014 6:26:58 PM Report

What a joke, let the owners of the fire traps fix this up.... Councillors...do not spend our hard earned money on this POS.

Bulldoze it down and be done with it.

I cannot believe anyone would think that curbs, seats and whatever would repair this area !
I'm In 2/1/2014 7:10:51 PM Report

Blame your governments why we don't have money to spend in Queenstown, WE ARE TAXED TO DEATH, the majority of workers only earn enough to live payday to payday.
jake02 2/1/2014 7:42:51 PM Report

amazing with out a plan in place you are just throwing good money after bad. one can buy a lot of bulldozers for 2.6 mil ,if they proceed to make queen street 2 lanes with bicycle paths on each side they wont need queen st or gore street . where was queen town when they decided to move the hospitals and shut down the puc offices . I guess they didnt need those traffic generators . Take a look at petoskey michigan that type of development would be nice on gore and queen street . once the city does there minimum standards inspections they may find the owners would rather tear them down than repair them.it may be cheaper. think before you waste good tax dollars.there is no short term solution.
jake02 2/1/2014 7:47:49 PM Report

amazing with out a plan in place you are just throwing good money after bad. one can buy a lot of bulldozers for 2.6 mil ,if they proceed to make queen street 2 lanes with bicycle paths on each side they wont need queen st or gore street . where was queen town when they decided to move the hospitals and shut down the puc offices . I guess they didnt need those traffic generators . Take a look at petoskey michigan that type of development would be nice on gore and queen street . once the city does there minimum standards inspections they may find the owners would rather tear them down than repair them.it may be cheaper. think before you waste good tax dollars.there is no short term solution.
RStephens 2/1/2014 8:09:00 PM Report

You can't attack the symptoms of the problems (lack of public amenities; etc.) - you have to attack the problems themselves.
so-kendra 2/1/2014 8:18:29 PM Report

again our city officals are throwing money out the door!!!! make the property owners responsible for there own problems... and fine them for there own problems and if they don't take care of the problem then the city should come in and tare it down and charge the owners for the demolition. Instead of getting funding to clean that area up! use that money to bring business here and improve our city by bring work here! U KNOW HELP OUR OWN PPL IN OUR CITY FIRST!!!!!!
blondie4664 2/1/2014 8:38:12 PM Report

Stage Two - My BUTT !!!!

Let the taxes from these properties on Gore street pay for the removal of these buildings. Why is it up to every one here in the city to have our tax dollors clean up there messes. I want my tax dollors to go on jobs- real jobs that people that live here in the Soo- can work at. And besides the way this city does business- they would hire a contractor from out of town to do this clean up on Gore street. Like really-give us tax payers a break- and keep the Soo jobs here in the Soo to Companies that work here in the Soo. That is not rocket science !!!!!
Koolaid 2/1/2014 9:33:17 PM Report

They tried this in Jamestown, exact same thing , new benches gardens, tried adding a liquor store. look what happened there. I say buy up all the property and tear it down. Put government offices, A police station. It will look good for awhile until people start neglecting it again, just like Jamestown. City learn from your mistakes. I say there should be a city wide vote on this.
Lone24 2/1/2014 10:31:00 PM Report

I agree with all of you. Some really good points made.
willoweep 2/2/2014 4:52:44 AM Report

I recall that the City made promises for James Street renewal I don't recall them ever coming through with anything, unless your talking about those square cement planters and a couple of curbs?
theprotector 2/2/2014 9:31:40 AM Report

hey come on now, the crack heads and prositutes need pleasant surroundings as well. How else are they going to attract better and more clients? We might even be able to attract and better class of crack ho, you know one with all her teeth.

Its so sad to see money spend this way, its like throwing some bondo in a rust hole and using a spray bomb to paint your car. When you should get to the root of the problem and fix it properly.
lucky10 2/2/2014 11:58:12 AM Report

There you go theprotector is on the right page . How about the city makes provisions in the Gore St plans for a crack head prostitute pick-up lane . Someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed rubbernecking checking out which prostitute they want to pick-up . Safety is always #1
Vmax-4 2/2/2014 1:02:42 PM Report

The Federal and Provincial funds are there and if they are not used by us then someone else will ultimately get them. The cities contribution is only $300,000 which is a small price to pay to clean up the mess down there. Not to mention a substantial portion of the money will go to wages which in turn supports the economy.

northshoremb 2/2/2014 8:03:45 PM Report

I agree with Koolaid. if they actually went into some of those places they would be condemned. why put curbs and benches infront of crack houses? nobody is going to walk down there just because the street looks nice. If you did that I bet that a tourist that doesnt know any better will walk out of the Casino and see the nice sidewalk and say heck ill take a walk then be robbed or stabbed minutes later. Spend the money to tear it down an flush out the crackheads.
Comments
15
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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