El Centro council votes 3-0 for BID

March 07, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

The El Centro City Council adopted a resolution Wednesday stating its intention to form a business improvement district in the downtown area.

The vote was 3-0, with two members absent.

Downtown El Centro Association president Larry Bratton, accompanied by other downtown business and property owners, urged the council to adopt the resolution.

The issue has been in the making for years, and the action was taken without further questions.

Under the proposal, the BID would encompass Main Street from Fourth Street to Eighth Street. 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 a public hearing on the issue. A BID is based on business licenses, is mandatory and must be approved annually by the City Council. The council is expected to have the public hearing in April.

The council is expected to approve the formation of a lighting and maintenance district as well. Between the two the downtown area could raise about $220,000 yearly, with $186,030 from the LMD.

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.

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.

In other business, the council voted to approve the transfer of the cable television franchise to Adelphia Communications from Century Communications, as well as the services to be provided within the city.

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

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