Nevada City Business Improvement District plan moves forward
The plan to form a Business Improvement District in downtown Nevada City might still have many hurdles to overcome, but its supporters are plowing ahead and hoping to receive the city’s stamp of approval by the end of the month.
The City Council heard a presentation at its meeting Monday night by Wyn Spiller, president of the Nevada City Winery, on the improvement district’s activities since the first meeting 18 months ago, when a “pretty diverse group” came together to talk about the future of the city.
“We all realize Nevada City is a very special place, and we very much need to be proactive and work together in order to ensure our downtown flourishes,” she said.
On April 25, the City Council will hear a second presentation and then weigh in with a vote on a resolution of intent to form the Business Improvement District. If it passes, the process officially begins and will include another meeting and a public hearing.
The topic has not been without controversy in Nevada City, as business owners and residents have questioned whether it is needed, how it would work, and how much it would cost business owners. Business owners would be required to pay a special assessment to finance the district’s work – something that is currently not required by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber has not been supportive of a BID. Earlier this year, its 358 members were polled and results showed 83 voting against endorsement and only 43 members in favor of it.
A question about whether the formation of the BID might threaten the viability of the Chamber was also raised by Councilman Steve Cottrell Monday evening. He questioned whether or not he may have a conflict of interest in the April 25 vote because of his involvement with the Chamber, saying that he was concerned about the financial impact of a BID on the Chamber of Commerce’s budget.
In the past, Cottrell has stepped out of the room whenever discussions about the Chamber have come before the board.
Bob Buhlis, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said “there is no financial connection with the BID and the Chamber. It would be a matter of division of duties for the benefit of Nevada City.”
This is just one of the many concerns residents have raised since that first meeting was held 18 months ago. On Wednesday morning, residents will have the opportunity to discuss their own vision for Nevada City’s future at a meeting organized by resident Kirk Valentine.
Know and go
What: Nevada City Vision Meeting
When: 8 a.m., Wednesday
Where: Council Chambers of City Hall, 317 Broad St., Nevada City
Why: To discuss what kind of future that Nevada City residents and business owners want.
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