Financing Downtown Improvements


Garry Sanfaçon
Scott Bruntjen
Mike Verplank
Ron Mitchell
Kevin Probst
Paul Turnburke
Sally Stoddard
Guy Newton
Ted Weaver
Eugene D’Alessandro
Tom Fitzgerald
Sandie Sandberg
Tom Boddie
Cheryl Fanelli
Serene Karplus

The goal of the group is to determine the best plan of action and begin the action plan for forward movement in developing physical improvements to downtown Nederland.

The first step forward is to develop a Downtown Development Authority (DDA). This group is made up of stakeholders - all property owners and business owners within its boundaries. The boundaries are created to include the broadest scope of participants and can be reduced as desired by those affected by it.

The DDA is not a funding mechanism. It is a governing group that is agreed to by both municipal government and the stakeholders. Its appointed Board represents its members in the form of democracy, with each stakeholder having an equal voice. It has the authority to borrow money and to hire management. It does not have authority to condemn property.

A DDA does not preclude formation of additional mechanisms for development. For example, an additional sidewalk assessment can be placed on a smaller group.

Discussion regarding how to fund the staffing and projects of the DDA included discussion of Tax increment Financing (TIF). This is a separate discussion from formation of a DDA. The DDA can continue to investigate funding methods, including grants, loans, etc.

A TIF generates income in small increments bsed on increases in property values over time. Taxes generated from just the increases in value could be dedicated to projects. This works well if current tax recipients are willing to surrender their portion of the increase (based on assessed value, not mill levy) to the project and assumes that properties will rise in value. The intention is that projects funded by loans to be repaid by a TIF may be a self-perpetuating upward spiral of value, as the property values increase due to improvements made, generating more income to perform further improvements.

There was discussion about whether there would be enough funding generated from increases in value to a fairly small base area. Volunteers agreed to map boundaries for a TIF, determine the current property values within it, and project what may be the incremental increases anticipated.

Examples of towns where both DDAs and TIFs have succeeded were discussed, including Crested Butte, Greeley, and Fort Collins.

A meeting of stakeholders who would be inside the first draft boundaries of the proposed DDA will be developed to include additional education regarding DDAs, TIFs, and a local boundary proposal. It was suggested that preparation for the meeting include a handout listing the pros and cons of various methods or organizing and of financing and be distributed in advance.

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 30, 7pm-9pm
Community Center Rm #106

All interested parties are invited and stakeholders are strongly encouraged to attend.

Stakeholders are all property owners and business owners within the boundaries, including residential, as well as government officials.

[ Nederland Area Chamber of Commerce ]