So the time has come for our little district to elect a new board to represent the best interests of the business owners of Bridgeburg Historic District!
Like many of you, most of us really didn't know what the board does or why it exists. As property owners in the Downtown core, we have an additional tax levy that is added on to our property tax bill. This money goes into the BIA levy, and the board decides what to spend the money on.
Unique to our board, there are no paid employees. This makes it a difficult feat as the implementation is the responsibility of the individuals on the board. The board is elected by the members (building owners in the district). We have had successes, failures and many learnings, from the "two hours a month" that we were told the volunteer position would require, to the massive amount of planning, strategising and executing it has taken to achieve all which we have begun to accomplish.
Some of our achievements are noticeable and many are behind the scenes. These include:
1. New Garbage Bins
2. New Soap Stone planters at the foot of Jarvis and Niagara Blvd
3. New Planters along the street
4. New Benches
5. Refurbished the Old Benches
6. Successful in getting new streetscape design drawings done with the matching dollars being allocated from The Town of Fort Erie
7. The successful request of $350,000 from The Town Of Fort Erie; grant to be allocated to the streetscape construction drawings
8. Three successful Taste Of Fort Erie Festivals bringing thousands of additional foot traffic to the street
9. Many new business facades and renovated buildings bringing homes to new and relocated businesses throughout the district
10. Millions of dollars of new developer investment in property acquisitions
11. Introduced the Bunny Hop event, bringing hundreds of people every Easter to visit the area
12. Expanded our annual Trick or Treat event to bring hundreds of people to enjoy the street and haunted house
13. Introduced Historic Bridgeburg ghost tours
14. Currently investigating alternate uses for the Doll House
15. Worked with Town Hall to understand the waterfront strategy, including the Coal Docks which is currently undergoing structural investigations; there is a plan done for the property prior to the land being notably structurally compromised
16. Pushing the envelope on property standards and consistently reporting bylaw issues
17. New professionally-designed logo
18. New interactive website
19. New Facebook page with over a thousand followers
20. Supported the Friends of Bridgeburg Station Santa Claus Parade and Elf Party bringing thousands of spectators
21. Red Iron English Phone Booth which will be placed ideally in front of the Post Office
22. Purchased new Christmas tree for the foot of Jarvis
23. Designed and purchased banners to be displayed down the street
24. Put a marketing sponsorship program in place matching businesses up to $2000 each with promoting and advertising the area
25. Put a program in place for planters for business owners; BIA will contribute 50% cost up to a maximum for participating businesses (2019)
26. Hosted the Old Fashioned Street Dance, bringing thousands to cut loose and dance with family, friends and neighbors
27. Managed the watering and street maintenance contract
28. Purchased Winter arrangements for the planters (New to 2018)
29. Purchase Christmas garlands for businesses who would like to participate (New to 2018)
One thing is for sure: we are all pleased to have come this far! We are excited for new volunteers to join us in making Bridgeburg just a little better each and every year. There is a long road ahead, however with working together, great things can, will and are happening!
Join us at our AGM in November if you’re interested in becoming part of the solution! Check out our Facebook page for updates.
- The Bridgeburg BIA Volunteer Board