By Chad Ingram
There will be no business improvement area in Minden at least for the time being.
The potential creation of a BIA was one of the items on economic development destination and marketing officer Emily Stonehouse’s to-do list when she stepped into the role a new one for the township last fall.
A business improvement area is different than a business association the latter being a collective of business owners working together on promotional ideas cross-promotion beautification projects etc. and the former being a group of building owners within a defined geographic area who are mandated to contribute financially to such efforts. Downtown Haliburton has a BIA for example.
“This is something I’ve decided to revise slightly” said Stonehouse who’s been in discussions with business owners. Instead of a formal BIA Stonehouse said she’s looking at creating a sort of business stakeholder committee which could potentially evolve into a BIA in the future.
Last year Minden Hills was approved for $43000 in funding for main street revitalization activities and Stonehouse had compiled a list of items on which that money will be spent. There is $6000 allotted for wayfinding signage and murals some of which are to feature the art of Andre Lapine. There is $5000 for waste receptacles in downtown Minden; $5000 for benches; $7000 for decorative lighting; $1500 for custom planter boxes; $10000 for additional planters; $1500 for hanging baskets; $1000 for event signage; and $1000 to upgrade shrub beds.
There is also $5000 allotted for beautifying the bus stop area at Minden Mercantile & Feed Co. which Stonehouse noted is an entry point to the community “and is essentially a parking lot.”