The 200-block of Main Street was filled with throngs of people for the Community Market in June 2016 as the block re-opened after three months of construction. (Steve Kidd/Western News)

City staff recommend debt to finish downtown revitalization

City considering going into debt to complete another block of downtown revitalization

City staff are recommending the City of Penticton goes into debt to finish the next step of downtown revitalization, on the 300-block of Main Street.

The Community Revitalization Committee received an update on the Main Street project, including an overview of the 300-block revitalization, expected to take place in 2018 following a slowing of the plans, which included a recommendation that no more work be done on downtown and waterfront revitalization for the next five years.

Related: Penticton city council reconsidering priorities

The committee recommends that if funding is not available for the project through the 2018 budget that staff should seek alternative funding to ensure the 300-block redevelopment is complete by June 2018.

The expected cost for the 300-block revitalization is $2,185,000, with about $300,000 coming from property owners in the area through a local improvement area tax, and another $1,886,040 as the city’s contribution.

The city’s water utility fund could supply $350,000 of that, and the remaining $1,536,040 could come through the city’s general capital fund.

However, staff are recommending instead that the city borrow the funds through the municipal financing authority.

“In consideration of the pressures surrounding other council priorities for asset management, facility and roads upgrades, flood recovery and information technology enhancements, and the desire to complete the Main Street project up to Wade Avenue in the short term, the proposed approach from staff is to obtain short-term borrowing.”

City Council will be discussing the addition at their regular council meeting, starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 19.

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