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CID signatures come, deadline looms

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

Just days away from its June deadline, the steering committee for Springfield's Community Improvement District is falling short of the support it needs to get the district up and running by 2000.

"At this point, we're cautiously optimistic," said Jim Anderson, president of the Urban Districts Alliance Board of Directors, and himself a member of the steering committee. The petition drive was gaining momentum during the last days of the petition drive, said Mary Lilly Smith, economic development coordinator for the city and member of the steering committee.

In order for the CID to be approved, property owners representing 51 percent of value and 51 percent of the number of per capita owners must sign a petition. As of May 27, the petitions had been signed by 26 property owner groups out of 104 needed, and the property value represented by those signing was $1,837,410 of the $4.75 million needed, Smith said.

"Right now, we're about a fourth of the way there, so we can still be pretty optimistic," Smith said.

The petition drive is the last portion of a campaign to develop a self-taxing district in Springfield's center city. The CID would allow for clean-up, maintenance and marketing services in the downtown area. Two districts or zones are proposed for the district. Zone 1 will receive more benefits and therefore have a higher level of taxation while Zone 2 will receive fewer benefits and have a lower level of taxation.

The tax will be levied on property owners in downtown beginning in 2000, if the petition campaign is completed by the beginning of June, Smith said. The proposed assessments will be based on a combination of linear lot frontage and assessed value.

Zone 1, which pays the highest amount, will also receive the most services. Zone 1's assessment will be $.747 per $100 of value plus $7.38 per linear front foot. Zone 2 property owners will pay the same assessment on assessed value plus $1.05 per linear front foot. Linear front footage is counted on the address side of the building.

The majority of the CID's operating budget the first year will be spent on maintenance, said Lance T. Brown, Urban Districts Alliance executive director. A graph provided by the steering committee shows 37.1 percent of the first year's operating budget dedicated to maintenance[[In-content Ad]]

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