Every cent counts.
Over time, quarters in the Churchill Square parking meters have accumulated about $600,000 in what the city calls the Churchill Square Parking Meter Fund.
The city has dipped into the fund in the past to refinish the pavement in the parking lot, but Coun. Ian Froude suggested the city spend up to $25,000 of the fund on beautification efforts — his ideas include adding flower pots, banners, benches, decorative garbage and recycling containers, bicycle racks and trees.
Froude’s motion was unanimously and enthusiastically approved by city council at the regular Monday council meeting, and capital projects will begin this spring.
“There’s lots of energy and enthusiasm for the new businesses moving into Churchill Square, and potential development there, so I put forward a motion to use some of the parking meter fund to do some enhancement in the square … to beautify and enhance it, make it additionally welcoming to customers and residents who highly frequent the square,” Froude told reporters.
The city owns the parking lot and sidewalks in Churchill Square and controls the meter fund.
“Residents and businesses have been asking me for similar work, so I put it forward and I’m happy to have council’s support,” said Froude.
The city is pondering using the funds in the future for changes to a broader “parking management strategy” such as implementing “kiosks” in the square, but Froude said those are all decisions for another time.
“What I’m excited about here is it reinvests money from the neighbourhood in the neighbourhood to make some needed changes,” he said.