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Merchants nix paying for improvements

Council expected to stop district formation process

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Merchants nix paying for improvements

There won't be a Property-Based Business Improvement District formed in downtown.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED October 31, 2009 3:10 a.m.

Downtown merchants and property owners don’t want to tax themselves to provide services and improvements specifically benefitting the Manteca’s oldest shopping district through the formation of a Property-Based Business Improvement District.

A downtown steering committee voted 12-1 against proceeding with the formation of the district after the compilation of surveys of interest.

There were 475 business owner surveys that were hand delivered and 225 property owner surveys that were mailed. Thirty-eight property owner surveys and 60 business owner surveys were returned. Eight-nine of the 98 completed surveys were against formation of such a district regardless of the services provided.

The City Council Tuesday is expected to end the agreement with Kristin Lowell who was overseeing the effort. The contract originally called for spending $40,420 in redevelopment agency money on the district formation process. Only $16,378.79 has been spent to date. If the council goes ahead and terminates the contract, the remaining $24,041.21 will be used for other projects. None of the money involved is from the general fund.
The steering commitment unanimously agreed to form a Downtown Business Association to identify key issues and present them to the city for consideration.

No specific boundaries are identified in a city staff report for such an association.

The survey sent to the merchants and property owners covered marketing, public safety, maintenance services, special events, economic development, downtown identity, capital improvements, and advocacy on issues such as zoning, code enforcement, facade improvement program, and the possible bulb-out and median removal.

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