District of Clearwater is moving ahead to begin charging for business licenses.
Town council gave first reading to a bylaw to regulate business licensing during its July 8 meeting.
“I wouldn’t want it to be an open pocket,” said councillor Shelley Sim. “My concern is that the money raised go towards economic development, not general revenue.”
Chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx said the District would develop policy after the bylaw was in place on how the money would be used. Many municipalities give all or a portion of their business licence fees to their local chambers of commerce, for example.
Barry Banford recalled that, during a walking tour of local businesses done recently, most business owners showed a willingness to pay a business license fee, but wanted to be sure they would get some benefit out of it.
A public information meeting will be held on the subject, possibly in August or September.
Pre-school gets support
Also during the July 8 meeting, councillors approved directing staff to draft an agreement with Yellowhead Community Services for the use of the former Clearwater playschool as a pre-school.
The District already has a lease agreement for the building as a playschool, said CAO Leslie Groulx.
Running it as a pre-school would allow for subsidized daycare.
Mayor John Harwood recalled that the building, which is located next to the former Dutch Lake School, was originally a teacherage.