Petition asking city to support downtown grocery store

HUMBOLDT — A petition is asking Humboldt city council to support a grocery store on the corner of 6th Avenue and Main Street through tax incentives.

“Considering that many of the residents in the centre of the city are unable to drive, it would be a convenience for them to have a grocery store downtown,” the petition read.

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The petition is still in the signing stage and hasn’t been presented to council.

Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor, said he agrees there’s a need for grocery shopping in the downtown core.

“When it’s presented, council will have a few things to consider,” he said, adding those considerations could include the number of signatures, how it affects existing businesses in the downcore core that sells groceries, and the need for such a store downtown.

Muench said much would also depend on what kind of plan the petitioner has, whether there’s somebody interested in starting a store at the location or if the city would have to attract someone. The mayor said it’s those types of questions that council will be able to ask when the petition is presented to council.

There is a tax abatement policy for building in the downtown core that’s based on making improvements to existing properties. If somebody did want to set up a grocery store  and had to renovate, those improvements could be made exempt for up to five years.

Muench said he’s taking the petition seriously.

“Council does represent citizens of the community. When something like this is brought forward, I think it’s in our best interest to look at what’s being asked.”

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