Port Elgin BIA moving forward with projects for 2017
by Sandy Lindsay

February 26, 2017


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Port Elgin Business Improvement Association Members
(L-R) Jon Hepplewhite, Pier Donnini, Sara Dolbeck, Cathy Fenton, Laura McInnes, Steve Harris,
 Jeff Carver (Chair) and Councilor Neil Menage

Port Elgin Business Improvement Association (BIA) continues to move forward with a variety of projects to enhance the downtown core of its community.

At its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on February 23rd, committee members discussed several upcoming projects that have been initiated by the BIA.

Throughout 2016, several projects were accomplished for the beautification of the downtown core, including adding planters, new maple trees, street light banners, hanging baskets and others. 

Among the most successful initiatives were the 'Farm to Table' feast of locally farmed produce and wines held out-of-doors on Green Street at Coulter Parkette, the on-going Farmers' Market held each Wednesday through the summer and the Easter Petting Zoo

One of the highlight projects for the BIA for 2017 is the regeneration of Coulter Parkette to turn it into a focal point for downtown Port Elgin.

Funding was approved by Saugeen Shores Town Council in its recent budget deliberations and plans are now moving forward where it is expected that the designs will include a water feature and staging area for outdoor entertainment and/or film.

"Anything we can do to bring visitors into the downtown core," said BIA Chair Jeff Carver, "is a good thing for the merchants."

In addition at the meeting, Councilor Neil Menage, also put forward plans to increase parking spaces in the downtown core.

"There are areas such as side streets where we can include one or two spaces," said Menage, "and through actual space sizing to accommodate smaller sized vehicles, we can also add parking spaces. Overall, there is the availability to add some twelve spaces in the downtown core."

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Menage also pointed out that there may be the opportunity for the Town to acquire additional lands that could be turned into parking availability and also that one-way streets could be created, particularly for the summer months, to provide more parking spaces.

Also, among the suggestions, was to set up open public meetings to discuss experimental street sections to be designated as one-way and/or reverse-angle parking.

"The BIA should bring any suggestions forward to the Town so that staff can look into and prepare a report regarding adding additional parking spaces," said Menage.

The BIA is a volunteer-driven organization and, with the planned events for 2017, member Sara Dolbeck recommended that a schedule of volunteer help be organized.  "Our projects are growing and we really need a steady and reliable influx of volunteers to ensure they are the successful events that everyone wants to see happen."

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Sunday, February 26, 2017