Sep 14

Local organization proposes Business Improvement District

Mitchell Main Street & Beyond, an organization that works to promote and preserve Mitchell’s downtown will lead the charge in creating a Business Improvement District (BID) by increasing taxes for property owners within the historic district.  By creating a means to generate funds, Main Street will be able to enhance the historic commercial core and improve the business district.  
The BID funds will be generated based on assessed property values of commercial business properties within the historic district and surrounding commercial areas by dividing into two zones. Properties located within Zone 1 will pay an additional $5.00 per $1,000 of valuation. Properties located within Zone 2 will pay $2.50 per $1,000 of value. The minimum payment will be $120 and the maximum payment will be $3,000. For example, a property assessed at $75,000 in zone one would pay approximately $375.00 per year to the BID and the same property in zone 2 would pay approximately $187.50.  The BID is projected to raise approximately $88,000 per year. The program would take effect in January 2018 and will be re-evaluated after seven years.  
The BID area will include Main Street from The Depot Pub and Grill to 12th Avenue, and Lawler Street to Rowley Street from The Depot to 7th Avenue. It will also include 1st Avenue from Sanborn Boulevard to Kimball Street. Zone 1 will include the historic commercial district and Zone 2 includes the areas outside of the historic district but within the above described boundaries.  
“We have talked about a BID for several years now and while meeting with owners, heard an overwhelming response in support of the plan. However, they told us if we put all of our dollars into the street, we would have a beautiful street, but still have some ugly rundown buildings,” said Jeff Logan, Main Street Board President. “We took that into consideration and have revamped the plan to include a grant program for property owners and partnered with the City of Mitchell to include the street and infrastructure improvements to their upcoming budgets.” 
  The BID is modeled after other successful downtown projects throughout the state, following the South Dakota codified law SD 9-55-3 and would include a grant program for redevelopment and improvements to the exteriors of buildings within the district. The remaining funds would be utilized for projects such as park benches, light pole banners, statues, programming, events, etc. within Mitchell’s Historic District by creating a walk-able Downtown that is economically vibrant and community minded, through pedestrian friendly streets. Only property owners located in zone 1 and zone 2 who pay into the BID will be eligible for grant funding.  
The City of Mitchell will be a key partner with the BID project. Beginning in January of 2018, the City of Mitchell, would appoint a BID board to award the grant funds and oversee how the BID dollars are spent on Main Street improvements. Additionally, the City Council has committed at least $300,000 in entertainment tax funding and additional funding for water and sewer improvements for 2018. This will be the start to the streetscape project connecting the newly constructed Corn Palace Plaza to the Veteran’s Park utilizing features from Main Streets 2013 Plan.   
Mitchell Main Street and Beyond will be contacting all property owners prior to December 1st. If you would like to learn more, you are encouraged to set up an appointment with committee representatives by calling 990-4500.