Merchants want to make a BID: Propose formation of business improvement district

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Several Monument downtown merchants have organized to create a business improvement district to help not only improve the town's downtown area but also market it as a cohesive unit. They are having a series of meetings to discuss the concept that has been used successfully in more than 1,200 communities across the United States. The next public exploration meeting is on Nov. 29 at the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District office on Second Street.

During the meeting, the merchants group will show participants what a business improvement district is and what its members can expect it to do for them.

“A business improvement district (BID) is a private sector initiative to manage and improve the environment of a business district with services financed by a self-imposed and self-governed assessment,” they explain.

According to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, there are four types of improvement districts allowed by state law. These types are distinguished by what type of government entity organizes them, county or municipality, and how they are funded, taxes of assessments.

Organizers have proposed the following timeline leading to the formation of an improvement district:

November: Have public presentations to inform the community about business improvement districts, form a steering committee, initiate real- and personal-property-owner petition drive to form the district and develop a database.

December: Communications and outreach.

January: Schedule a panel discussion with other business improvement district directors and board members, submit completed petitions to Monument Town Council, town council conducts a public hearing on district formation and adopts ordinance forming the district, and district begins preparations for assessment election.

February: Preliminary business improvement district budget submitted to the town and an election is held to determine district assessment.

If the town council and voters approve, the rest happens.

March: District holds public hearing on budget and finalizes assessment.

May: Monument Downtown Business Improvement District begins.

For more information, call Vickie Mynhier, Town of Monument downtown director at 719-460-4179.

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