Members of the Belleville Downtown Business Improvement Area have rejected a proposed budget brought to them by their Board of Directors.
The Board had approved a budget of $250,000, consisting of levies collected from property owners in the downtown, down from $260,000 last year.
However, led by business owners Janet Harnden and Paula Finkle, the membership instead voted to lower the levy supported budget to $230,000.
Most members were worried about Century Place, or Century Village, registering itself as a residential property because of the condos being built there. If and when the owners do that, the BIA will lose about $30,000 in revenue.
Members also worried about the Royal Bank closing and a loss of revenue because of that.
Both Harnden and Finkle said that business had been tough lately because of the construction downtown and budgets had to be cut back, and if the BIA board expected a loss of revenue their budget should go down to reflect that.
They did not want to see their levies to the BIA go up at all.
Members of the board stressed they never had any intention of raising levies to the membership and had taken into account Century Place and the Royal Bank situations, but their budget went down to defeat in the end.
On top of the $230,000 budget, it’s expected another $25,000 will be raised through fundraising and various government grants.