By Kuhl, Nick on February 11, 2019.
An #OurDowntown column by Andrew Malcolm, urban revitalization manager for the City of Lethbridge
The Heart of Our City Committee is a standing committee of City Council established as an outcome of the Heart of Our City Master Plan in 2007.
The committee meets once a month and is tasked with championing downtown revitalization. The committee makes recommendations to City Council on issues that affect the downtown, monitor planning and development activities and provide strategic direction on policy. This group also develops incentives and programs that reflect the vision for downtown.
The committee is comprised of 13 representatives who bring a diverse set of social, cultural, educational, and environmental perspectives to the table. Members include representatives from: City Council, Downtown Business Revitalization Zone, Development Industry, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge Historical Society, Allied Arts Council, Southern Alberta Ethnic Association, Indigenous representative and four citizens at large.
The committee is funded primarily through the Downtown Redevelopment Fund within the City’s Operating Budget. The fund is responsible for important planning documents such as the Galt Gardens Master Plan (2016) and Civic Common Master Plan (2018) and establishes and maintains successful programs such as the Heart of Our City Activity Grant, Galt Gardens Security, Historic Plaques, Main Street Program Grants – just to name a few.
The Heart of our City Committee has also been involved in making important funding requests for initiatives that address specific concerns in the Downtown. This has included the Housing Incentive Program (2015), Targeted Redevelopment Incentive (2018), and initiatives targeting cleanliness and safety such as the Diversion Outreach Team (2015) and the recently announced Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy (2019).
In addition to operating budget requests, the committee has been instrumental in pushing for and supporting significant capital projects in the Downtown including the new Transit Terminal and Park ‘n’ Ride and upcoming 3 Avenue South Streetscaping Reconstruction project between 4 Street and 8 Street.
To find out more on the Heart of Our City Committee checkout http://www.lethbridge.ca/downtown.
I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column by joining the conversation on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions.
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