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Galloway CID now on council radar

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After multiple committee meetings, public forums and surveys, Springfield City Council last night held a public hearing for an ordinance to establish a community improvement district for the Galloway Village neighborhood.

The Galloway Community Improvement District, which would be located on the South Lone Pine corridor between Battlefield and Republic roads, would aim to improve public safety, image enhancement and environmental protection in the area while serving as the policy for development, according to city documents.

Council first heard the recommendations last week from Planning & Development staff at a luncheon.

The district would establish a 1-cent sales tax that’s expected to generate $30,000-$40,000 per year. The funding would be available for approved CID projects, including construction of public parking, landscaping, safety measures, signage and lighting, and maintenance of public infrastructure.

It’s similar to the same model used for the downtown and Commercial Street districts, said Sarah Kerner, Springfield’s economic development director.

“That would have to be approved by voters who live in the district if this petition is approved by City Council,” Kerner said of the sales tax.

The petition for the district received signatures from 52% of property owners in the district who collectively own 85% of the total assessed value of its real property, Kerner said.

The district would have a 20-year life span and would be governed by a board of directors with between five and 30 members, Kerner said. The initial board is slated to have 15 members, and successor directors would be appointed by the mayor with council consent.

One proposed member of the board, Jessica Pearson, addressed council as the first of two speakers. She worked with city staff on the petition and is a property owner representative from Green Circle Projects.

“We are looking to implement equitable improvements along the district,” she told council. “Those improvements would be to address public safety in terms of crosswalks. We’ve also discussed landscape improvements and parking.”

The other speaker, Russell Rotert, was more skeptical of the proposed district.

“They were able to build all these properties under the blighted development, so for 10 years they don’t have to pay the improved property tax rate, and now they want somebody else to be responsible for the maintenance, the upkeep,” said Rotert, a Springfield resident who noted he doesn’t shop or live in the Galloway district. “Do we just keep letting these builders come to the well?”

A 270-day development moratorium in Galloway Village is set to expire Aug. 2 after it was implemented in early November 2018.

Council is scheduled to vote Aug. 12 on the ordinance.

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