January 16th, 2021

City’s grant programs should be equitable


By Letter to the Editor on August 28, 2020.

As a small-business owner in Lethbridge we have been working on getting a mural on our building since we moved into our premises in 2015. We even applied for the Small Projects Art Grant with the City last year, and was told our application was on hold because it included a line item in the budget to account for the permit costs the City imposed (the hope was to get the $1,600 line item removed, since the grant was funded by the City anyway, and we would be paying that money back to the City for the permits).

Recently, the Allied Arts Council and the City of Lethbridge announced a new Expression of Interest program for murals with the same amount of funding being available ($15,000).

Except the previous program was equally accessible to all businesses in the city regardless of location, and this new program only provides full funding for businesses within the downtown, a limited geographic zone.

Time for the City to realize that while, yes, the downtown is very important, the city is much larger than that, and businesses outside of the downtown also deserve access to the same programs. Areas of the northside, the Warehouse District, and other older areas are falling into neglect and the City is responsible for making sure there is equitable access to programs for all local business owners.

Please do better.

Kelti Baird

Proprietrix, Theoretically

Brewing Co.

Lethbridge

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Citi Zen

Throwing ANY money at the downtown is an absurd waste. Downtown is dead, and no amount of money will bring the people back there until they clean up the streets of undesirables.
Murals in the downtown will not even be seen by the majority of Lethbridge citizens.

buckwheat

CitiZen. Agreed, the downtown scenario of revitalization is replayed time and again and has been since at least 1970. The answer, don’t address the problems, “revitalize” it again. Current demonstration taking place on 3rd Ave. South, where the current four lanes will be reduced to a two lane “trap”.
As for murals, this comes across as another small corporation looking for their cut of free money because “it’s just not fair”.

Dogknox

I say: Stop “Taxing” cars to park downtown! The city says they want people downtown but then charge the tax payer to park? (We have to have parking meters or the employees will park? I say tax the employees Not the customers)They say they want people downtown but then turn the library into a day home for the homeless? They say “we spent millions on park upgrades” but allow the homeless to sleep under every tree and post all day and night! They are thinking of spending more of our money on a native clubhouse to display native culture yet no other club had there’s payed for by taxpayer dollars. The native should build their own clubhouse if they want a clubhouse!
I say: Stop enlarging and improving the shelter (If you build it they will come) the shelter should be shuttered most of the year except the coldest mouths. The shelter was first proposed for the worker until he could get his first pay check not one, no not one of the guests at the shelter works! Discourage the so called homeless from coming to our city, they have homes. The biggest problem with downtown is the many panhandlers layabouts to say it is anything other is to deny the obvious!
People will reply “You are a bigot” The question was “How to improve the downtown?” Downtown could be downsized into one city block with covered sidewalks there are more stores in the mall with free parking no panhandlers, downtown stores should close and move from downtown see what the tax for parking will then bring to the city!

biff

how about keep personal cars out of downtown altogether, only allowing transport and delivery services. we can create parking around the periphery, for free.
a little off topic, just want to give a shout out to the two giant white elephants in the downtown area: the casa, and the utterly amazingly useless new bus station/parkade. each represents massive waste of space and money, and each has done a wonderful job of lining a few privileged pockets.

Canadian Patriot

Why should the taxpayer pay for a mural that you want? If you want it, pay for it yourself. I’m tired of my hard earned tax dollars getting wasted on useless crap. The only thing the city is responsible for is spending our tax dollars wisely (which they continue to demonstrate that they can’t). Let’s make this equitable, no more funding for anything other than essential services. There, fixed it.

Dogknox

Canadian Patriot I agree with you 100% to take it one step further WHY….
Why does the city think it is their responsibility to build shelters for non tax payers? For people that contribute nothing to the city! I am of the understanding the city is supposed to be working for us the tax payer why are they doing charity work of the church with my money?
Businesses are run with an understanding of watching over the share holders, is not the city supposed to be run as a business? The city administration thinks it is operating a church.