Information from a Downtown Community Improvement District Steering Committee news release
Representatives from the Downtown Cape Girardeau Community Improvement District have delivered, to the Cape Girardeau City Clerk, executed petitions requesting the Cape Girardeau City Council form a community improvement district (CID).
The Clerk has 90 days to verify the petitions, after which the City Council will begin the formal process of establishing the district in the downtown area. The formal process will include notices to property owners and the general public, a public hearing, and drafting the ordinance to create the district. The CID will be established as a separate political subdivision with its own Board of Directors.
“This is an extensive grassroots effort on the part of property and business owners to raise the level of services in the downtown area. Today, we will turn in more than the required number of petition signatures from property owners in the district who have expressed their desire to take our downtown to the next level by creating the CID,” stated Jim Maurer, Chairman of the Steering Committee. “Our group began, in early 2010, to research the feasibility of forming such a district and start the process, we are very pleased to move to the next phase of the process,” Maurer continued.
Missouri state statutes require the signatures from owners representing more than 50 percent of the assessed value and more than 50 percent of all property owners to form a Community Improvement District. Before getting the required signatures, steering committee members had to formalize the boundaries, determine the services to be provided, propose funding mechanisms, and determine the initial Board of Directors for the district.
The CID’s efforts will focus on making the downtown even more clean and attractive, supporting enhanced safety efforts and developing strategies for increased vibrancy. Funding for the CID is proposed to come from a combination of a property tax (.6708 per $100 of assessed value) and a half-cent sales tax to be imposed within the Community Improvement District boundaries. The district anticipates generating approximately $250,000 annually until the tax sunsets in 20 years.
“Submitting the executed petitions is a huge milestone and we look forward to the next steps and promoting even more downtown revitalization. Having the CID in place will dovetail nicely with other developments going on and will keep our momentum going,” said Maurer.
Once the petitions are verified and the City Council forms the district by ordinance, the Board of Directors of the Downtown Community Improvement District will officially organize, elect its officers and call for a vote of the residents of the district to approve the property and sales tax via mail-in ballot.