Focusing on economic development by taking intentional steps to be a catalyst in the downtown and reducing red tape is the focus of an economic leader report shared with City Council at today’s meeting.
The report comes in advance of the 2020 budget with recommendations that will be considered during the budget process. It highlights opportunities for new incentive programs focused on downtown business development with opportunities to expand outside downtown in the future.
“The strategies are focused on The City taking steps to be a catalyst for development, which improves quality of life and the economic wellbeing of our city,” said Tara Lodewyk, Planning Director. “We are open for business and it is a collaborative effort. We are taking steps to provide programs and will seek developers and businesses to work with us to see it through.”
The recommendations included in the report are aimed at everything from motivating façade and storefront improvements, the demolition of vacant and derelict properties, and encouraging residential development to create interesting and engaging streets and fostering positive activity in the downtown. Proposed funding, available through these programs, would only apply to future improvement and projects for businesses that fall within the identified greater downtown core.
Approved resolutions provide direction for administration to continue moving forward in exploring options related to each of these areas:
- Downtown Pride – Façade and Storefront Improvement Grant
- Spurring Investment in Brownfield and Underutilized Sites – Environmental Site Assessment Grant
- Spurring Investment in Underutilized Sites – Demolition of Vacant and Derelict Properties Grant
- Increasing Certainty - Utility Connection Fee Grant
- Creating Interesting and Engaging Streetscapes - Land Use Clustering
- Reduce Parking Requirements for Residential Developments in the Downtown
- Fostering Activity in the Downtown – Residential and Mixed-Use Tax-Offset Program (TOP)
- Red Tape Reduction Strategies – Customer Service Initiatives
“The City of Red Deer wants to get out of the way of business, and do what we can to keep our city thriving. We have a responsibility to ensure that tax dollars are used in a responsible and transparent manner, and these strategies are a first step in doing just that,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager.
The report was presented to City Council who directed that the financial implications be brought forward in the 2020 budget.
For more information about the strategies, please contact:
Planning Services Division
The City of Red Deer