Council considers giving $5K to DBA

A Mission politician apologized to a fellow councillor last week after a heated debate over a $5,000 contribution to the Downtown Business Association (DBA) for hanging basket maintenance.

Coun. Heather Stewart had accused other members of not going downtown after some questioned whether the money would be used for the purchase or upkeep.

“It’s for watering, not flowers,” said Stewart. “The flowers are hanging there already.”

DBA president Dr. Lynden Balisky reiterated the need for funding two weeks ago to offset the $22,000 it cost to purchase and maintain the flowers.

The DBA has fallen on hard times, said Stewart. “It’s been reported to me most cities pay for this.”

The rest of council was uncertain whether the request would be an ongoing item and asked for details. Council was also cautious about offering too much help to one business group.

“I’m getting nervous about the degree of help we’re already giving one area,” noted Coun. Jenny Stevens.

Coun. Paul Horn wanted staff to work with the DBA to discuss providing in-kind assistance, such as watering the flowers, instead of writing a cheque.

“I’m not sure giving $5,000 to the downtown is the best way to spend the money,” said Horn, who also wanted to know what the district currently provides in the area.

The information is expected back at the next council meeting.