BROCKTON – Council approved the purchase of pop-up tents and establishment of a rental program.
The matter of the tents first arose at the June 8 council meeting, when council discussed supporting local businesses and the BIA by providing pop-up tents. Staff were directed to bring back a report on the cost of purchasing or renting 10 to 20 such tents.
The report by Mark Coleman, director of community services, included information on both rental and purchase of tents.
The problem with purchasing them is lack of storage space, Coleman said.
He noted some municipalities do have equipment like this and loan or rent it for special events. Rental fees would help offset replacement costs, he said.
The cost would be at least $10,000 for the purchase of 10 tents.
“Thanks for the quick report,” said Coun. Kym Hutcheon. “The BIA has tents but they’re falling apart. I love the design (of the new tents proposed in the report).”
She suggested the money for the tents come from the COVID-19 safe restart funds.
There was discussion about who would use the tents, and Coleman said it’s typically service clubs and community groups.
Coun. Tim Elphick expressed concern that the initiative might be seen as competing with the private sector.
The main concerns of Coun. Steve Adams were, “Will they be used, and was there a request?”
Hutcheon said she sits on the BIA board.
“I asked them (what they needed to help with the recovery), and they said good quality pop-up tents.”
She said this would “show we support them.”
Uses would include the Christmas Market, and the sidewalk sales that will surely take place this summer.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times