The BIA budget was changed prior to approval by council. Municipal staff brought an administrative report to council on Monday night at the request of Deputy Mayor Barb Tobin, who wanted some questions answered. Tobin was mainly concerned with the BIA management fees, which were 80 per cent of the budget. Director of Planning and Development Phil Gerrard says the BIA management fees increased significantly.

The fees jumped from $15,000 in 2016 to over $20,000 in the proposed 2018 budget. Another concern brought up was that last year’s BIA budget included $1,500 for licensing fees, which was spent on signing bonuses for businesses participating in the pop-up shop program. Gerrard says three businesses were given $500 each.

The Municipal Act prohibits signing bonuses. Gerrard explained 23 new businesses opened in North Grenville last year – 15 of them in the downtown core without financial incentive. The BIA management fees were returned to 2016 levels and the pop-up shop funding of $1,600 was eliminated from the budget prior to approval by council. The BIA mandate will also be reviewed and a reserve fund will be established. For the full report, visit northgrenville.ca.