Medicine Hat, AB — The downtown development incentive program  increased the city’s budget by $84,000 this year.


The added money comes from a project that applied for funding and had money left over.


The extra funds were then reallocated to the downtown development program for applications this year.


Sandra Blyth, business support officer, said she thinks the money will go a long way to continue setting the city apart from other downtowns.


“When I look at other communities across Canada where downtowns are struggling to keep going, I think it’s really refreshing to see Medicine Hat doing a program like this,” she said. “This program makes the downtown a really great place where people are attracted to want to work, live and do business.”


Applications are available now but are not being accepted until March 6 at 9 a.m.


The five categories people can apply to grants for include commercial development, multi-family development, live/work residential program, architectural and visual enhancement and environmental site assessment program.


Blyth said all the programs are still the same because of how successful they’ve been in previous years.


“There is so much development happening in the downtown so we thought why change a good thing,” she said.


A total of 40 grants were given out last year.


Applications for grants are available on the city’s website.