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RMWB kicks off key downtown revitalization programs

Last Updated Jun 29, 2020 at 2:11 pm MST

Looking toward downtown Fort McMurray from lower Thickwood. Archived photo taken by Jenna Hamilton.

As the RMWB relaunches, so too do a pair of downtown revitalization programs.

The Municipality announced the Downtown Revitalization Incentives Program and Downtown Tax Exemption Program are now online.

RMWB Council unanimously approved both programs at their meeting on June 23.

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The administration said financial incentives are available for investing in improving business aesthetics and transforming storefronts.

The Incentives Program offers up to 50 per cent matching reimbursement grants for property owners and business operators.

  • Improve building exteriors or fa├žades (up to $75,000 or $100,000, dependent on building type)
  • Upgrade or rehabilitate the interiors of existing commercial buildings (up to $50,000)
  • Install beautification projects (up to $5,000) and murals (up to $30,000)
  • Construct new patios or upgrade existing patios (up to $10,000)

 

The RMWB said it hopes the program would help retain businesses and encourage new development and vibrancy in downtown Fort McMurray.

The application deadline is Dec. 31, 2020.

For more information on the Incentives Program, go to the Municipality’s website.

Property owners and business operators may also take advantage of the Downtown Tax Exemption Program.

Amanda Haitas, Senior Manager for Planning and Development, said the program ensures the RMWB stays competitive and shows downtown revitalization really matters.

“We are the first municipality in Alberta to take advantage of the recent changes to the Municipal Government Act, which allows for property tax exemptions on eligible development.”

Haitas said the program offers a tax exemption to new commercial developments for up to five years.

Additions to existing commercial properties may also qualify for the program.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 31, 2021.

More information on the Tax Exemption Program is available online.