There are only two ways to expand a Business Improvement Area; one is to build new infrastructure within the existing area, and the other is to welcome membership from a larger geographic area.
Because at this point, construction is not a feasible option, the Morrisburg Downtown Business Improvement Area is readily accepting Associate Members from outside their traditional boundaries.
Technically, always named the Morrisburg Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Morrisburg BIA is now formally using DBIA as an acronym, to reflect the changes.
Membership in the Morrisburg DBIA has traditionally been limited to those businesses within the geographic limits of the Morrisburg Shopping Plaza and East End Promenade. The DBIA is now allowing any business within the geographic limits of the former Village of Morrisburg to join.
Associate members will receive most of the benefits of being a DBIA member, with the exception of beautification. DBIA benefits generally involve the inclusion in the various promotional efforts of the group, as the DBIA mandate is to promote the area as a business, tourist and shopping area.
The Morrisburg DBIA budget is generated via a property tax levy paid by the property owners in the plaza.
Associate members will not be subject to this levy, instead paying an annual membership fee, which the Morrisburg DBIA board has decided is similar to the average regular levy amount paid by ordinary members. The fee reflects the level of DBIA services the business will receive, explained Grace McDonough, coordinator for the Morrisburg DBIA.
She is pleased to report that they have already signed on a few associate members, and the membership drive has only just begun.
As a group, associate members will elect one representative to the board as a voting member.
Because the DBIA is a committee of council, the term of this board of management ends with the term of council, this month.
By January the DBIA will have a new municipal representative, which is appointed by council.
Councillor Jim Graham held the position for the last two terms of council.
McDonough says the DBIA plans to make some changes to its constitution and increase its board of management from five to seven members which includes the new associate member representative.