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E.C. seeks support on BID, lighting district

February 22, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Business owners and property owners in downtown El Centro will be asked to support the creation of a business improvement district and a lighting and maintenance district in the next several months.

The City Council is tentatively scheduled to act on a resolution in support of a BID at its March 6 meeting. Some time after that, business owners would be afforded the opportunity to give their input on the creation of the BID at a public hearing in April.

Efforts to create the lighting district would overlap but lag those of the improvement district.

Consultant Marco Li Mandri, president of San Diego-based New City America Inc., briefed interested parties about the BID and LMD. He said between the two the downtown area could raise about $220,000 yearly, with $186,030 from the LMD.

Under the proposal, the BID would encompass Main Street from Fourth to Eighth streets. The LMD would encompass Main from the railroad tracks to Imperial Avenue. City, county and Imperial Irrigation District property would be included in the LMD, Li Mandri said.


Li Mandri said the advantage to creating both districts is that the LMD allows for administrative costs, while the BID allows for business promotion, but will not raise enough to pay for administration.

He told the gathering that if they are unhappy with the area's parking or land-use they can have it changed, but it would take a group effort.

"It can't be done by one person," he said.

Some of the allowable functions under a BID include sidewalk sweeping, tree maintenance, graffiti removal, security, economic development, marketing and promotion, and parking-related actions — but not capital improvements.

A BID may be formed by action of the City Council unless a majority of business license-holders paying into the district demonstrate opposition to the district's formation prior to the closing of the public hearing on the issue. A BID is based on business licenses, is mandatory and must be approved annually by the City Council.

Some of the allowable functions of an LMD include sidewalk sweeping, tree maintenance, graffiti removal, security and capital improvements, but not marketing or promotion. An LMD is subject to the weighted voting requirements of Proposition 218, is limited in its scope and is subject to a public hearing. The weighted voting is based on lot size, frontage and building size.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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