Murray Blight, city councillor for Victoria Ward (FILE PHOTO)
City council is being asked to reconsider its decision to slash $50,000 from urban renewal funding in the 2013 budget.
Coun. Murray Blight (Victoria) gave notice at the end of Monday night’s meeting that he will bring forward a motion on Feb. 4 to reconsider the reduction in funding for Renaissance Brandon.
"When looking at this and seeing that we have an opportunity to have funding from the province … I think it’s straight-forward, a no-brainer that we should pursue in getting the funds that are available to us, in helping towards the downtown development," Blight said.
Since 2008, the city has provided $250,000 annually to Renaissance Brandon, the city’s downtown development corporation. Council recently voted to reduce the funding to $200,000 in the 2013 budget.
The full loss will be $100,000, as the province matches the dollars the city provides.
The decision was met with criticism last week from Renaissance Brandon board chair Shaun Cameron, who said the reduction in funding was a "major blow" to the organization.
"It’s going to have a direct effect on whether some of the projects or some of the hopes for the downtown will move forward," Cameron said in a previous interview with the Sun. "There definitely will be an effect that all the residents of Brandon will feel from it."
Coun. Corey Roberts (Rosser) also criticized the decision, saying it would have a "huge impact" on downtown projects and programs.
"With all the momentum that Renaissance Brandon has had in the past few years … it was short-sightedness that they went ahead and did this change to the budget," Roberts stated last week.
Blight said he will be discussing the issue with the city’s economic development director and will bring a report to council at the Feb. 4 meeting.
"At that time I’ll be able to provide the explanation of why I want to see it be brought back to the table for consideration," Blight said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 22, 2013