A low-key proposal to establish a partnership between the city, businesses, and property owners to breathe new life into downtown has been outlined by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce.
Simply called the “Downtown Manteca Plan,” it was fashioned by the chamber after talking with various businesses, property owners and potential investors eyeing downtown. It was outlined before city staff proposed hiring another consultant and put aside when that happened. The City Council earlier this month soundly rejected spending $92,000 for a fifth professional firm in 30 years to take the first step in what could have become a $600,000 process to devise a highly detailed master plan to serve as a template to revitalize downtown.
At the heart of the chamber proposal is the creation of an independent Business Improvement District.
The BID board would be charged with:
uestablishing goals and a timeline of addressing items that affect downtown and meet with the City Council or designated city officials to start the revitalization of the downtown area. Those goals would include code enforcement, façade improvements, parking, sidewalk cleaning, and any other items the board determines would enhance the area and make it more attractive for customers and possible tenants.
udeveloping and implementing events to attract people to the downtown area.
uthe ability by the city to charge outside entities a fee for the use of the downtown area.
uworking with the city to determine the mix of businesses that would be able to open in the downtown area.
udevelop a name and a logo for the downtown district to help establish and brand the new area that would be identified as downtown.
udeveloping a yearly budget for the downtown.
Under the plan a proposed Downtown Manteca Board would be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the designated downtown area. The Manteca City Council would establish the Manteca Business Improvement District. The city would collect all fees and transfer them to the BID. The city would remain responsible for cleaning, code enforcement, and maintenance on all city property in the downtown area. The Manteca Chamber of Commerce would work with the BID board in promoting the downtown area as well as provide office and meeting space as necessary.
Unlike a previous BID proposal floated years ago by the city but went nowhere when it failed to get critical traction from businesses and property owners, the chamber’s BID proposal includes three basic funding sources instead of the two the city suggested. Both plans have fees for property owners and businesses. The big difference with the chamber’s plan is the City Council would commit a pre-established amount each year to the BID. This is a nod to the fact the city is the largest property owner in downtown when you consider the library, transit station, Library Park, parking lots, and the Tidewater Bikeway.
In the past the city committed as much as $25,000 a year out of the general fund to support Manteca chamber activities. That funding was dropped more than 20 years ago.
The chamber plan proposing the BID would provide specific reports to the City Council on a monthly basis to start and then yearly to keep the city apprised of precise projects that money is spent on.
There would be at least two districts for the assessment of property owners and business owners.
District A would encompass Yosemite Avenue from Fremont Avenue to Manteca Avenue and one block off Yosemite Avenue to the north and south. District B would surround District A and has yet to be defined. They would pay a lower fee that District A as their businesses would not have as a great benefit from the BID activities.
The fee structure for District A business owners would be as follows:
1 to 5 employees, $100 a year.
6 to 15 employees, $150 a year.
16 plus employees, $200 a year.
The fee structure for District B business owners would be as follows:
1 to 5 employees, $75 a year.
6 to 15 employees, $125 a year.
16 plus employees, $175 a year.
The fee structure for District A property owners based on square footage with tiers reflecting a higher charge for vacant buildings would be as follows:
up to 1,000 square feet: $500 a year if vacant, $300 a year if occupied.
1,000 to 2,500 square feet: $750 a year if vacant, $450 if occupied.
2,501 plus square feet: $1,000 a year if vacant, $800 a year if occupied.
The fee structure for District B property owners based on square footage with tiers reflecting a higher charge for vacant buildings would be as follows:
up to 1,000 square feet: $400 a year if vacant, $200 a year if occupied.
1,000 to 2,500 square feet: $650 a year if vacant, $350 if occupied.
2,501 plus square feet: $800 a year if vacant, $600 a year if occupied.
The fees would be collected by the city when business licenses are renewed.