Downtown flowers and reports came under scrutiny at City Council on Monday.
The Downtown Partnership, a group developed through Smart Growth on the Ground, asked for funding from council for downtown flower baskets as well as designing and printing quarterly reports in 2011. Councillors had questions regarding both requests, with most of the attention focused on the reports.
Coun. Brian Skakun, for instance, made his feelings clear.
“I support the baskets, but I oppose the repots. There will be more baskets downtown than budgeted because a lot of the merchants put their own out as well.”
Coun. Shari Green, who sits on the Downtown Partnership board, said the reports didn’t just go to the local merchants.
“The reports can also be inserted into the prospectus we have prepared for potential investors.”
Kathy Scouten of Initiatives Prince George told council the matter had been discussed at the Downtown Partnership meeting on March 31.
“There was a strong desire to see paper copies to facilitate distribution to downtown merchants, in addition to electronic distribution.
“The actual design of the reports is a small component of the cost. Most of the cost is in the production.”
In supporting the request for funding for the reports, Coun. Garth Frizzell noted there was still a need for the hard-copy documents.
“You can’t get them to everyone electronically yet.”
In response to a question from Coun. Dave Wilbur about the flower baskets, Green said the city wasn’t being asked to foot the whole bill.
“This is a 50-50 partnership. We also have an agreement with a local greenhouse so a private landowner can purchase them through the business association at a reduced cost.”
She said the agreement also covers the cost of watering the baskets.
As the discussion on the two items wound down, Mayor Dan Rogers, who had also attended the Downtown Partnership meeting, noted, “The discussion here is exactly the same as what happened at the partnership.”
Both requests were passed by council, with councillors Skakun and Cameron Stolz opposed to the funding for the reports.