The City of Campbell River is offering downtown property owners funding to support building design changes, to help enhance the experience for both residents and businesses.

It’s all in an effort to deter what the city calls “negative behaviour” away from the area.

City council has allocated $25,000 for 2020 to help property owners upgrade public spaces.

Applicants will be eligible for up to 50 per cent of the cost of crime prevention design assessments, to a maximum of $5,000. They’ll also be eligible for up to 50 per cent for costs of building changes, to a maximum of $10,000.

In partnership with the Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA), the city says the program will help fund changes that align with the Official Community Plan and Refresh Downtown principles.

Clearly defined entrances and exits, new lighting, and security/surveillance systems are just some of the enhancements that could help prevent unwanted activity. 

Mayor Andy Adams says council shares community concerns about the increase in unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour in the downtown core.

Back in June, a survey organized by the Downtown BIA found businesses feel the area is unsafe, and the alleys are filthy.

READ MORE: Mayor Adams says downtown safety, cleanliness concerns ‘must be addressed and cannot continue’

Meanwhile, council says it’s calling for action to address maintenance and security concerns outside the courthouse on 13th Avenue.

The city is planning to write another letter to the Campbell River Courthouse – Sheriff Services to reinforce an “urgent request” for design improvements to the entryway.

Last month, police were called after four people were suffering from apparent overdoses in front of the courthouse.

The city is hoping much-needed changes will help to reduce unwanted and potential criminal activity, and adds that this will be the fourth letter council is sending out requesting action on the matter.