In an emergency meeting of it’s board, held Thursday November 30th, the Nipawin Business Improvement District has decided it may have no other alternative than to temporarily disband until more funding can be secured. Nipawin BID executive director Eve O’Leary told Nipawin News in a message, “The Nipawin BID are working with the Town of Nipawin to determine what next years budget may be”, but no commitment for funding from the Town of Nipawin council has been made.
“The Nipawin town council has not provided any funding as of yet for the upcoming year.” Nipawin BID director Norm Rudock explained, “In our emergency BID meeting last night we have decided that we don’t have any other options other than temporarily disband. The volunteer committee will still try to seek outside funding and work with the present council to get funding to continue their work with the Nipawin businesses. One problem for the council is that the town council is cutting costs from budget and are not sure of government funding either so the Nipawin businesses improvement district is one area that they can cut until they find addition funding“
The Nipawin Business Improvement District operates as a non-profit organization. The Nipawin Business Improvement District provides a range of services to promote and enhance Nipawin’s unique assets improve conditions for businesses operating in the district and improve the quality of life for those who work, shop, live and enjoy Nipawin Town. The Nipawin Business Improvement District’s services act to supplement the services already provided by the Town of Nipawin, not replace them.- Nipawin BID website
Since 2012, the Nipawin BID has worked to secure outside funding to build the Town Square as well as numerous other projects by securing grants and contributions from local businesses in excess of $200,000.
The funds they have requested from the Town of Nipawin are not to cover the costs of these projects, but are for operating expenses.
In the September 12th, 2016 regular meeting of the council, the following motion was passed; “THAT Council implement a policy to support the Nipawin Business Improvement District with an annual levy of $100.00 to commence with the 2017 budget cycle.” That motion became Nipawin Business Improvement Bylaw 1008/16, but in the May 8th, 2017 council meeting, under the new council, a motion was made to change the wording of that bylaw; “THAT Council hereby authorizes Administration to prepare an amendment to the Nipawin Business Improvement Bylaw 1008/16 in order that Section 4 shall read that Council “may” establish an annual levy, rather than Council “shall” establish an annual levy“.
In a letter to the Nipawin council in June of 2017, Nipawin BID Chairperson Dr. Tom Weegar asked the town council to reconsider a resolution passed allowing a business levy of $100 per business to move forward. In his letter he explains that the levy would raise approximately $22,000, reducing the costs that would need to be provided by the council to continue operations of the Nipawin BID.
The Nipawin Bid has had many significant successes such as;
- Nipawin Town Square designed and developed in 2016 which has received national recognition as a top project in western Canada
- Over $196,000 raised through grants for programs to revitalize the downtown core since 2015
- Accreditation of the Mainstreet Saskatchewan Program in 2016
As a result of these successes, and significant work the Nipawin BID does for the community of Nipawin, it’s board encouraged the Town of Nipawin to view the Nipawin BID as a quasi-economic development department undertaking significant work of the Town.
In addition to the work they do for the business district, Nipawin BID also functions as a volunteer group designed to boost volunteers in the community and work from the bottom up rather than top down.
Nipawin BID Chairperson Dr. Tom Weegar’s letter to the Nipawin council in June of 2017
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was removed due to discrepancies regarding the current status of the Nipawin BID. Necessary changes have been made and updates will be provided as they are made available to Nipawin News.