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City crews to provide free construction to help Port Coquitlam businesses create patios

Last Updated May 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

$50,000 has been put aside and seven or eight businesses have already taken the city up on the offer

Mayor Brad West says more money can be made available if the program is a success, which he hopes it will be

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — City construction crews will soon be building furniture and patios so restaurants and breweries can expand outdoors in Port Coquitlam.

Mayor Brad West says $50,000 has been set aside as an “initial investment” so businesses can get what they need to create more space for socially-distanced customers.

“City construction crews can make an in-kind contribution to business by doing the work to build the patio, or to build the picnic tables, or whatever it may look like for that individual business,” West explains.

Seven or eight businesses have already taken the city up on this offer.

West says if more follow suit, more money can be found to fund the initiative.

“If there’s a huge amount of uptake — and I hope that there is, I hope we do have to go back and add additional resources — we do have money within our city budget,” he says.

“I think that would be a great problem to have.”

West says providing city money and crews is one part of the plan to quickly create more outdoor options in the city.

All fees associated with expanding outdoors are being waived, and businesses will work with a dedicated liaison at city hall.

“In the past you have been able to do things like that but it’s been very bureaucratic, a lot of red tape, quite complicated and had a number of fees associated with it,” West explains.

West says these changes at the municipal level compliment changes recently announced by the province.

He says the pandemic made creating more space a priority, but it’s something he thinks will benefit the city. I have

“I have always felt that we should be able to have more outdoor seating, eating, and beverages. That shouldn’t be something that’s just relegated to Europe. It should be something –and is something– that is quite possible in Metro Vancouver and I’m really proud that we’re going to take this leadership role in actually making it happen,” West says.

“It’s also an opportunity to contribute to the vibrancy of our community, to put ourselves on the map in Metro Vancouver where you can come with your family to enjoy a meal outdoors.”