Other Voices: District goes to great lengths to support city
This is an update on the first year activities of the Nevada City Historic Downtown Business Improvement District. The BID was established by the Nevada City Council in July 2005.
It came about after two years of planning, public meetings, surveys of downtown merchants, and studies of Nevada City’s unique needs and assets. The effort was led by an ad-hoc volunteer steering committee of downtown merchants and Nevada City supporters. The district boundaries are defined by a map and business owners within the district are assessed annually by a schedule approved by the City Council. The funds are used to improve the economic viability and experience in the downtown core.
On Sept. 25, the City Council accepted our annual report which included the following list of 2006 activities. Organizationally, we have drafted bylaws and procedural forms to facilitate efficient management of the group’s activities. Extensive energy has been put into collecting an accurate Business name/address database. We are in the process of completing paperwork to acquire 501(c)6 status, which will make us eligible to apply for grants. We have designed a logo which is used on stationery, “Open Door” newsletters (which are mailed to the downtown merchants) and advertisements. We have set up e-mail and voice mail for simplified communication.
Nevada City has been promoted through a “$1,000 Nevada City Shopping Spree” contest which began in April and runs to the end of August. 8,507 entries were collected. Ads were placed in The Union. Winners have been announced in The Union, KVMR and KNCO.
We have gladly linked arms and co-sponsored downtown events that requested our organization’s support. First Friday Art Walk, SYRCL’s Film Festival, The Artist’s Tour, and the Snowboard Demonstration and Film Debut are events that the BID has backed.
Six benches have been installed. A Street Musician program is in place, and will provide entertainment through Fall. We have distributed “What’s Happening In Nevada City” monthly posters throughout downtown. We sponsored the “Windows on History” exhibit, which honors our city’s rich past.
We are proud of the 2006 accomplishments, given the modest funding and challenges of starting an organization from scratch and at the same time making improvements in the downtown business core.
Our work plan for 2007 is the result of member input and suggestions from our City liaisons and the Chamber. They include the Outreach program, more street musicians, the monthly “What’s Happening in Nevada City” window posters, sponsoring the Side Walk Sale day, more lamp post flags downtown, another Nevada City Shopping Spree promotion, professional street cleaning, new trash receptacles/planters, the Pine Street Promenade, an Art’s Celebration. We also plan to tackle the signage and way finding challenges working with the Chamber of Commerce, and the City.
As chair of the BID Advisory Board I want to thank the City Council for approving our 2007 project budget and thank the many volunteers working diligently to keep Nevada City a great place to live, shop, and have fun.
G. Patrick Dyer is the Nevada City BID Chairman.
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