by John Barclay, Executive Director, Old Town
Kemptville Business Improvement Area

It’s budget time and if you have some suggestions for projects you’d like to see the Municipality undertake, you have 16 days to contact the Councilor responsible for the respective Department for advice and support.

Last week, the BIA made a deputation to Council regarding our Budget Requests for Downtown Kemptville. The six items we brought forward were the result of ongoing discussions with the downtown business community and deliberation by our Board of Management.

By far the most important of these is a request to sharply IMPROVE PARKING in the Downtown core A 2012 Strategic Action Plan, based on the 2010 Parking Study, identified a number of recommendations to Manage Demand, Improve Supply, and Promote Alternatives. The BIA would like to see more progress made on these recommendations, namely:

Additional Municipal off-street parking: We need to identify and create additional off-street parking to meet current and future needs. This was identified 7 years ago as a long term action plan in the 2010 Parking Study. With the construction of the new North Grenville District High School and Kemptville Public School in areas away from Downtown Kemptville, these two large properties are not being used to their full potential and they have ample availability of parking. Is there an opportunity here to negotiate with the Upper Canada District School Board for some sort of arrangement?

Rationalization of current Parking By-Laws: The Municipality has instituted a 3-hour parking limit between 7:00am and 7:00pm on all streets within the boundaries of the entire Municipality. Signage in certain parts of the Downtown Kemptville area including Clothier Street between Rideau Street and Sanders Street and Prescott Street between the north branch of Reuben Crescent and Asa Street indicate a 1 hour parking limit. Without enforcement, and to encourage longer visits downtown, we suggest removing them.

More (and larger) directional signs indicating Free Parking: There is free parking downtown but it’s hard to find especially for first time visitors. Let’s make it very easy for people to find the parking we do have.

We continue to work with the Municipality on our shared goal of creating and maintaining Downtown Kemptville as a vibrant social centre and a sustainable business hub. For those interested, here are the five other requests we brought forward to Council Monday night:

Completion of the Waterfront Trail from Barnes Street to Prescott Street along the waterfront.
Increasing the Rideau-Sanders-Prescott CIP budget from $50K to $70K and add a Downtown Residential Intencification Program. Providing support for Year Two of the Kemptville Pop-Up Shop Program. Erecting a Community Information Kiosk in the Downtown core. Improving Walkability Downtown Repair existing sidewalks and add more.

Budget time comes once a year – don’t let your chance to have a say in how your community develops pass you by. Talk to your elected representative before October 20.


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