Below is the background as provided in the packet for city council members for the March 11 meeting. In short, the council could move on that night to establish a Main Street Economic Improvement District, assessing each business within the proposed district $250 per building in the district, per year for three years. See map below.
BACKGROUND: On May 14,20 12, the City Council adopted General Ordinance No. 12-1324, establishing procedures for the formation of an economic improvement district (“ElD”). Section 2 of General Ordinance No. 12- 1324 provides that the City Council may consider creation of an ElD on its own motion or at the request of City staff or any person, entity, or association. In all cases, the request for consideration to form an EID shall contain a proposed economic improvement plan.
On January 28th, 2013, Council received an economic improvement plan prepared by The Dalles Main Street Program (“Main Street”) that proposes the formation of the Main Street EID within the general downtown area (boundary map attached). The proposed Main Street EID calls for a flat rate of $250 for every commercial tax lot within the boundaries of the District for a period of three years. This assessment structure is estimated to raise approximately $49,000 per year.
Residences and properties not subject to property taxes (government and non-profit properties) are excluded from the EID per the EID ordinance. The stated purpose of the Main Street EID is to fund a full-time executive director and provide resources for the various sub-committees to carry out their economic improvement objectives as outlined in Main Street’s economic improvement plan.
Following a discussion of Main Street’s economic improvement plan at the January 28th Council meeting, Council directed staff to initiate the process outlined in General Ordinance No. 12-1324 for the formation of an EID.
Implementing an EID is a two-step process. Sections 3 and 4 of General Ordinance No. 12-1324 lay out the procedures for the initial step-formation of the EID. To form an EID, a public hearing must be scheduled and affected property owners must be provided notice. The hearing for Main Street’s proposed EID is scheduled for March 11,2013 and notice was mailed to potentially affected property owners during the week of February 4th along with a copy of the Main Street economic improvement plan.
Section 4 of General Ordinance No. 12-1314 then provides that after conducting the public hearing, Council may adopt an ordinance establishing the EID if Council determines that the economic improvements proposed under the EID would afford a special and peculiar benefit to properties within the proposed district that are different in kind or degree from the benefits afforded to the general public. Council must also make a determination as to whether the property owners should bear all or a portion of the proposed assessments.
Proposed Special Ordinance No. 13-554 includes a copy of the economic improvement plan submitted by Main Street and a map of the proposed district. The proposed ordinance also includes proposed findings to support a determination by the Council that the proposed EID would provide the special and peculiar benefits to the affected properties located within the proposed District.
Lastly, the proposed ordinance includes a provision to establish the proposed EID and to send notices of proposed assessments to the affected property owners. Notice of adoption of the initial proposed ordinance has been posted in accordance with the requirements of the City Charter and the Council can choose to adopt the ordinance by title only.
If Council adopts the initial ordinance, the second and final step in implementing an EID is to pass a second ordinance imposing the assessment on properties within the District. Following the initial public hearing, the City Clerk will mail out the proposed assessment to property owners along with notice of a second public hearing. Any prope11y owner who desires to submit a written objection prior to the hearing must submit that objection by 5:00 PM on April 12, 2013.
Any property owner who desires to present their objection personally before the Council at the hearing must submit a written objection during the hearing. If written remonstrances representing more than 33% of the total amount of the assessments to be levied are received either prior to the deadline set on April 12, 2013, or during the hearing scheduled for April 22, 2013, the EID automatically terminates pursuant to Section 4.
If written remonstrances are less than 33%, then Council will proceed with a second public hearing to receive testimony from affected property owners regarding the proposed assessments. Such a hearing has been scheduled for April 22nd, 2013. After the second hearing, Council may then pass a second ordinance imposing all or part of the proposed assessments on the property owners within the District. Property owners will then be mailed their assessments and such assessments will be added to the electronic lien docket. The assessments will be collected in the same manner as provided by the City’s general ordinance for the collection of local improvement assessments.
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: The EID is proposed for three years at $250 per commercial lot with total assessments estimated at $49,000 annually. If an EID is formed, the City has budgeted a $30,000 contribution for FY 201212013, $20,000 for FY 201312014. and $10,000 for FY 2014-2015 to assist with the hiring of an executive director.