Regarding Heritage Facade Grants that do affect me.
I am personally upset with $20,000 being given to Saint Paul's Anglican Church and demand the grant money be rescinded or quashed immediately and those city officials who pushed it through be rapped on the knuckles.
I own a very small commercial property downtown that is 143 years old, as old as the Bastion. It's in need of repair but I am having a tough time making ends meet. I do not have a few thousand dollars, never mind $3-million for improvements like the church is getting together.
I was told there was no money left in the Heritage Façade Improvement Grant budget this year because there were only two $10,000 grants available and two people were ahead of me. The owner of the old Free Press building was first in line to get $10,000 and then somehow divine intervention occurred so the church could get even more than was left in the fund. Council magically found another $20,000 for them.
Regardless, the majority of work to the church is for building an entirely new hall and putting on a new roof, not just for improving the facade. On the city website it states the grant is for improving a "building face fronting on a street."
My building faces a major downtown street, is only one of four buildings from the 19th century left in Nanaimo and I just need $500 to buy paint to spruce-up my façade, not $20,000.
If the city did not give so much money, $20,000 to just one building owner, think how much better our downtown would look if all that money was spread-out in $500 chunks and given to 40 property owners to beautify all downtown buildings.
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