City Council Expected To Revote On Business Improvement District (BID) On July 23; Coonrod Says Is "About The Big Dogs And The Money"

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The City Council is expected to have a revote on allowing downtown property owners to set up a Business Improvement District (BID) on July 23.

In a raucous meeting last Tuesday night, there were numerous amendments offered to the BID proposal championed by the River City Company. Finally, Councilman Anthony Byrd made a motion to approve, but there was no second.

Now, he has joined with council members Jerry Mitchell and Erskine Oglesby to revive the proposal.

Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod said, "It still takes five votes to get it passed. You are acting as if it's passed."

She said the revival effort "is about the big dogs and the money."

Chairman Oglesby said the new effort "is just moving it forward to restart the process."

The process will include a committee meeting of the Economic Development panel headed by Councilman Byrd next Tuesday to discuss the new BID plan, then a vote on first reading the next Tuesday.

The public hearing and final vote would happen on July 23.

One of the issues brought up Tuesday was whether all the affected property owners had been sent the required notices in the mail by River City. Chairman Oglesby said going forward the notices will be sent by the clerk for the council.

In a BID, district property owners pay annual assessment to cover the costs of special services, such as litter pickup, graffiti removal and safety.

Chairman Oglesby, a major proponent of the idea, said, "We had made a lot of headway, but there were still a lot of questions. This gives us more time to work those out."

City Attorney Phil Noblett said there was no legal problem with the matter being brought back up so quickly. He said it was not like a zoning case where nine months must pass before a rejected project can be brought back up.

On Tuesday night, Charles Paty again asked the council to take longtime Paty family property at Patten Parkway out of the BID.

He also said the council should insist on making the appointments to the BID board rather than have it be "self-perpetuating."

 


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