Downtown North Bay and Waterfront is asking the city to delay the tendering of the $6.1 million Main Street rejuvenation project.
In a letter to council, the board says their members, and other businesses were challenged by the pandemic and are expressing concern with the original proposed construction start of this July.
Instead, they’re asking the project be tendered in December with construction beginning in spring 2023.
“Our businesses have suffered greatly as a result of COVID and [we] ask you to consider pivoting as many businesses have done over the last two years,” states the letter to council. “We have lost many in the wake of the pandemic and we do think closing streets and sidewalks upon ‘reopening’ could result in more closures, especially for our restaurant and service industries that have suffered the most.”
The downtown board’s letter also says the added time will allow them to fully prepare the membership for the multi-year construction plan.
“Spending this summer and fall building a strong campaign and communication plan will only strengthen the overall execution of the project,” states the letter.
A city report says engineering staff don’t believe the delay will have any significant impact on the road and surface infrastructure but may result in some minor repairs this year.
The report, including a recommendation to delay the project, is coming to council next week.
Here is a link to the report, which includes a few pictures of the proposed rejuvenation project.