Vision meeting reveals concern about money |

Vision meeting reveals concern about money

Residents of Nevada City met this morning in City Hall to discuss their vision of the city’s future.

The two and a half hour brainstorming session was organized by Kirk Valentine, who owns Nevada City Classic Cafe, with the hope that discussion can help smooth some of the rift that has developed since a proposal was initiated for a business improvement district in downtown.

Several business owners came to the meeting, but so did residents, politicians, and city administrators, filling about half the seats at City Hall.

And while the meeting was not specifically called to discuss the improvement district, the issue was raised several times. Proponents of the plan, which is scheduled to go before the City Council on April 25, say that it is a needed entity to help coordinate efforts to improve the downtown and make it more attractive and accessible by both visitors and residents alike. This could mean anything from developing a Web site to adding park benches.

Part of the district’s proposal is to levy an assessment on business owners to cover the estimated $40,000 needed in the first year alone to operate. One resident, Linda Hawthorne, said she did not want to be forced to pay for the district.

Valentine said he was convinced the money issue could be worked out and that a future meeting could be dedicated to possible alternatives on how to raise money.

Ultimately, Valentine said he thought the vision meeting was successful.

“I think we got to the crux, and that is money.”

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