By Craig Westcott
The Town of Conception Bay South is tweaking the rules concerning who can serve on the downtown Business Improvement Area’s board of directors.
The moves comes at the request of the BIA in order to accommodate a new director who wasn’t allowed to serve under the existing rules.
Ward 1 councillor Darrin Bent, who chairs council’s communication committee, explained that under the old rules, only businesses that pay 10 per cent of their taxes as a levy to the BIA could appoint a representative to sit on its’ board of directors. It is the Town that actually collects the levy and pays it over to the BIA, which uses the money for its marketing and networking initiatives as well as for capital projects. The Business Improvement Area extends from Manuels River to Terminal Road.
During a recent call for nominations, Bent said, a “non-taxable” business within the downtown area, namely a daycare, requested to join the board. The regulations prohibited such a request. That led the BIA’s board to suggest a rule change to allow businesses that are not required to pay the levy to voluntarily pay one in return for a voting position on the board.
Bent said his committee concurred with that idea. The change will allow Jamie Baker of Pitter Patter Daycare to take a two-year appointment on the BIA’s board. Pitter Patter Daycare will pay a voluntary levy of $35.
Council approved Bent’s recommendation.
Also joining the board for the next two years as a director is Paul Heffernan, the manager of Sobey’s in Long Pond. Bent said he was glad to see Christine Hand, who operates the Handyman Home Hardware store in Manuels, re-elected as the group’s chairperson.
“It is the council that has responsibility for approving appointments to the BIA,” Bent said. “It’s great to have Christine Hand back. She’s done a fabulous job there with the BIA. And of course, it’s a great welcome to Paul Heffernan and Jamie Baker, both very community-minded people.”