Believing it will be an asset to the area, Chatham-Kent councillors gave the go-ahead to a kayak rental kiosk in Wallaceburg on May 9.
An agreement will be made with the Wallaceburg BIA for the renovation and revitalization to the building and grounds at Civic Square Park, located downtown.
The BIA will assume all service costs during the months of May to October, according to the recommendation.
In February of last year, the BIA approached parks, recreation and cemeteries staff to express an interest in using the building and grounds at the park for the purpose of a kiosk.
Curated paddle packages will highlight local businesses, trails and community history.
“(It) is a very exciting project for the community of Wallaceburg, especially for our downtown core,” said Coun. Aaron Hall. “It’s also an excellent repurposing of a municipal asset.”
The BIA has already secured an Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab Spark grant for $3,000, to be used for start-up costs such as lifejackets as well as a business plan mentorship, along with a WEtech Alliance digital support grant for $10,000 for logo design, website and booking development, and creation of a QR code for paddle rentals.
These codes will be used to add information about past and present buildings and businesses downtown.
The BIA is also submitting for a Tourism Relief Fund grant.
Hall credited BIA executive director Kelsey Nydam for her efforts in pursuing the grants and bringing the idea closer to fruition.
“She’s worked really hard on this,” he said. “We’re lucky to have her leadership in the downtown core.”
The municipality will continue to provide general annual maintenance and repairs on the building and ground property as budget permits.
The timing of construction will depend on the grant funding.
Council also directed administration to prepare a letter of support for the BIA’s grant application.