Kitchener to sell off city-owned land to fund economic recovery plan
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020 6:29PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, October 20, 2020 8:49PM EDT
KITCHENER -- The City of Kitchener has a plan to help boost the local economy.
A staff report, called Make it Kitchener 2.0, was approved by to council at Tuesday night's meeting.
The report plans to inject up to $110 million into the local economy over the next 10 years.
Most of that money -- $80 million -- will come from the sale of city-owned land.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant job losses, closures and cancellations. The purpose of Make it Kitchener 2.0 is to help with job growth, business recovery and create affordable housing.
It's modelled after a previous recovery plan that was funded by tax increases. However, this plan would take $10 million from the Economic Development Reserve, borrow $20 million and sell surplus land owned by the city.
The city will sell vacant land, like surface parking lots like the one at the former regional transit site, as well as property at 44 Gaukel Street.
The city said it won't sell parks, trails and two city-owned golf courses. Rockway Golf Course and Doon Valley Golf Course sit on a combined 370 acres of land. Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said selling the courses for the purposes of the fund isn't necessary.
"Particularly this year, golf has been on the upswing as more people get out during COVID," he said. "We're also planning on using it this winter for people to ski and be active."
The plan was approved on Tuesday night and will need final approval at Monday night's council meeting.