The Cloverdale BIA held its annual AGM March 16 and despite some challenges over the past year, executive director Paul Orazietti said the BIA is in good shape heading into 2021.
“Things are starting to look up. There are a series of capital projects the BIA plans to pursue this year,” he said.
Overall, the BIA’s budget is going up slightly for the upcoming year. The budget includes an increase in the property tax levy, which was under two per cent.
“The BIA—because it had a lot of funds that weren’t used—carried money over,” Orazietti explained. He said that money will be used to fund the capital projects.
Those projects include: upgrading the parking lot on 176A and 58A Avenue; upgrading the intersection at 177B Street and Highway 10; adding heritage storyboards and heritage branding around town; adding more lights in Robinson Square and in the King Street alleyway; adding a mural behind the Henry; upgrading the parking lot on 56A Avenue.
The first project, the parking lot upgrade at 176A and 58A Avenue, is already underway.
“This is one of three large, city-owned parking lots,” noted Orazietti. He said some landscaping and improvements to the lot have already started. “There will also be two electrical vehicle charging stations added, which will bring a total of, at least, five to the community.”
Orazietti said the BIA’s biggest project is the upgrade initiative for the intersection at 177B Street and Highway 10.
“It’s an intersection that is plagued with some structural issues,” he said, adding it’s the fourth most dangerous intersection in Cloverdale. “The pedestrian volume at this intersection is bigger than all the others combined.”
As for the heritage storyboard initiative, phase one has already been funded.
“The BIA is working … with the [Surrey] Heritage Advisory Commission, which has put up $7,500; we’re matching it.”
Orazietti said the boards will be installed in two phases, with the initial ones going up along 176th Street. “There will be multiple locations that we’ll be looking at—by each of the city parking lots, Hawthorne Square, and also the square by the Brickyard. There is also a possibility we can add one by the train station and Clover Square Village.”
Lighting may also go up in Robinson Square (the strip of space that runs along 56A Avenue between 176 and 176A Streets) and in the King Street alley.
“We are now looking at adding lighting … in the trellis work that goes down 56A Avenue,” said Orazietti. He added the BIA is also looking at stringing lights in the King Street alleyway to illuminate the route to the parking area behind 176th street. He noted the Henry is also interested in adding some type of mural to their back wall.
Orazietti warned that most of the planned projects have to be partnerships with the City of Surrey and other levels of government. If not, they won’t go ahead.
“All the capital projects—the parking lot, the intersection, and Hawthorne Square—will not move forward until there is a partnership arrangement.”
In terms of special events, if some are allowed later in the year, he said the BIA’s board will meet to discuss the Surrey Santa Claus Parade of Lights.
“The board will determine whether or not they’ll try to fund a Santa Claus parade, but at this point in time, it’s still not a green light.”
At the AGM, Orazietti also highlighted two locally-produced videos that have helped the BIA promote Cloverdale.
Orazietti said the videos were produced by Search + Rescue Marketing Agency, a local business.
“With a couple of small media buys on Facebook, about $300, we were able to get more than 25,000 views for each video.”