No BIA in Minden for now
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 $43,000 in funding for main street revitalization activities, and Stonehouse had compiled a list of items on which that money will be spent. There is $6,000 allotted for wayfinding signage and murals, some of which are to feature the art of Andre Lapine. There is $5,000 for waste receptacles in downtown Minden; $5,000 for benches; $7,000 for decorative lighting; $1,500 for custom planter boxes; $10,000 for additional planters; $1,500 for hanging baskets; $1,000 for event signage; and $1,000 to upgrade shrub beds.
There is also $5,000 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.”