Huron East staff optimistic about CIP meetings - March 16, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The introduction of the proposed Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Brussels has been positive, says Huron East Economic Development Officer Jan Hawley.
Hawley, Councillor David Blaney and several Huron County planners hosted two open houses on March 9 at the Brussels Library. The open houses welcomed local residents and business owners to view conceptual drawings and ask questions about the plan, which was proposed to Huron East Council last month.
Hawley says that people were attending the meeting from the opening of the first session at noon until the final session shut down after 7 p.m.
“We were all really pleased when we left,” Hawley said in an interview with The Citizen, adding that a fine mix of property owners and interested residents all attended the meeting.
In order to reach as many people as possible, Hawley said the municipality attempted to contact as many property owners as possible in hopes they would attend to find out more about the plan. She and other meeting organizers kept track and said that many of the property owners from throughout the downtown were able to attend.
Hawley said that the overwhelming response from those in attendance is that they were intrigued and that the responses were largely positive.
After the proposal was first presented to Huron East Council last month, the next step was the public open house. Now, Hawley said, she and local planners will be preparing for the next public meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for April 18.
Hawley says she is planning a public session ahead of council’s regular meeting. The meeting on April 18, however, will be held in Brussels in the hopes of attracting local residents to participate in the plan’s consultation process.
She says that Chris Cooper, heritage architect and the artist behind the plan’s street renderings, will be at the meeting to make a presentation and meet with local residents about the plan.
While details have yet to be finalized, Hawley is hoping that if Brussels business owners who qualify are looking to improve the façade of their building, up to $5,000 will be available for a project. Depending on the project, Hawley said that could mean a “good chunk of change” for a property owner under the matching funds model.
The next public meeting on the plan is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 18 in Brussels. A time and location have yet to be determined.