Friday last day to take business improvement district survey

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— Friday is the last day for downtown Steamboat Springs stakeholders to take a survey about what projects or items they’d like to see the business improvement district take on.

The BID board is conducting the survey to gauge what items are the most important and in turn determine how much they might cost to accomplish.

Armed with that information, the board then can craft a ballot question that matches the priorities of the 500 or so eligible voters in the district with the appropriate level of funding.

For more

Visit www.steamboatbid.com for more information and to take the survey. Those interested in learning more can contact Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett at 970-846-1800 to setup a one-on-one meeting.

Only commercial property owners, lessors and tenants within the district’s boundaries will vote on the the issue.

But the chance for downtown stakeholders to submit feedback doesn’t end with the survey.

“Our plan from here on out is to move forward with public meetings,” Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said.

Taking into account that additional comment, the board will form a work plan to accomplish the priorities stakeholders have voiced, she said.

So far, 115 people have completed the survey as of Thursday morning, Barnett said.

Among the items listed as most important for a BID to accomplish are maintenance of streets, improving appearance of streets and parking management.

Special events rank among the lowest priorities.

Respondents also have added comments about their concerns about how improvements on Yampa Street and other changes will affect parking, citing parking availability as an issue that could hurt their businesses.

A business improvement district can handle lightweight projects like street maintenance, Barnett said, but bigger items such as completing sidewalks on Oak and Yampa streets would require an urban renewal authority, but the city of Steamboat Springs has indicated that it won’t support a URA until the business improvement district is funded to support maintenance.

“One of the things that we’re looking at doing is the ability to do a special assessment by street,” BID Board President Bill Moser said.

Special assessments would have to be written into the ballot question language but would provide streets with their own dedicated pools of funds that the businesses and property owners on that street would allocate on their own.

Moser said security for special events is an example of an item that streets could pay for out of their own special assessments.

“We’re trying to make this as fair as we can,” Moser said.

The process of crafting ballot language to fund the BID is complicated, he said, because it has the potential to do a lot of different things.

One thing he said that property owners should keep in mind is making sure they’re correctly calculating the dollar amount of the potential tax increase, which could be between 1 and 4 mills.

The assessed value of commercial property is only 29 percent of the actual value, and that’s the number used to calculate property tax bills. Property worth $1 million is assessed at $290,000, and 4 mills would yield a $1,160 bill.

Barnett and Moser said they don’t yet know how many mills the eventual ballot question will ask for, and more community input is needed to determine how much money is needed to accomplish stakeholder goals.

Those who want one-on-one meetings with Barnett for more information can call her at 970-846-1800.

The next BID board meeting is at 2 p.m. Monday in the Crawford Room in Centennial Hall. More information is available at www.steamboatbid.com.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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