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Accessibility committee is looking at creating a rebate program

The idea is to encourage private businesses to make accessible modifications to their spaces with a cash prize
Accessible parking spot in front of Stratford City Hall.

The city's accessibility advisory committee (AAC) is considering developing an incentive or rebate program for local businesses. 

Roger Koert, chair of the committee, said at Tuesday's meeting that the idea is to encourage private businesses to make accessible modifications to their spaces with a cash prize. 

The money wouldn’t cover a whole project, but would make a dent in the bottom line. 

“You put on three winter tires, we’re gonna give you the fourth,” Koert summed up. 

Three $500 prizes, for example, wouldn’t necessarily cover much when it comes to a business’ renovation work, but it would present a business with publicity opportunities and a way to let the public know that they have completed an accessibility project. 

City clerk Tatiana Dafoe, in correspondence with Koert, said that council deferred incentive programs in 2024 to 2025 in this year’s budget deliberations. 

Koert said that he will discuss the matter further with Dafoe. He believes it prudent to use money already allocated to the committee. 

The program would have to come before Stratford city council for final approval before implementation. 

The program still needs to be formulated and particulars discussed, such as who could apply, what projects would be considered, how to apply, and time frames for eligible projects’ consideration.

All of those details will be developed with the assistance of the committee, Koert said.