Downtown seeks to unite

DOWNEY - The city has hired a consultant as it prepares to form a business improvement district downtown, which would bring property and business owners together to try to improve the area.The formation of a business improvement district, or BID, is governed by California law and requires that local property owners work with the city, said Brian Saeki, director of community development for Downey. "This requirement means that if a majority of property owners included within the BID boundaries are not in favor of forming the BID, the formation does not move forward," Saeki wrote in a report. By creating a BID and getting property owners to pool their resources, specific objectives can be reached, Saeki said. Goals could include advertising, event promotion, maintenance, physical improvements, security and more. Property owners agree to tax themselves to fund the objectives. Saeki said the city is already working with downtown businesses and the Chamber of Commerce. To assist with the process, the city on Tuesday agreed to hire Civitas, a consultation company. The contract is not to exceed $49,000. It will take approximately one year to create the BID. Property owners then vote every five years to extend or terminate the BID based on its performance.

********** Published: June 24, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 10