PORT CLINTON — Efforts to make historic downtown Port Clinton as pleasant a place to work and visit as possible continue to gain momentum.
Mayor Mike Snider says the latest big “step forward” is the establishment of a Special Improvement District, or SID, which the nonprofit Main Street Port Clinton has been working on for nearly a year. decade.
A Special Improvement District, as defined by Ohio law, is a specific tax base in a designated area that landowners in the area approve of and help determine how to use the revenue.
“Essentially, what a Special Improvement Neighborhood is in layman’s terms like a condo association made up of all of the building owners in our downtown core,” said Nicole Kochensparger, president of Main Street Port. Clinton, whose mission is to support and promote the downtown area for businesses, residents and visitors.
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Ohio law describes the function of an SID as follows: “Inner city landowners organize and self-assess a cost to provide funding for extensive services aimed at the economic improvement of the region.”
Money can help with snow removal, window washing, seagull control
“We spent years surveying our building owners about what they wanted out of this special improvement district,” Kochensparger said.
She referenced snow removal, frequent and regular window washing, and seagull control, to name just a few of the benefits that new SID revenue could pay for downtown properties.
Snider emphasized that the new neighborhood does not take any resources away from the city.
“These building owners have agreed to self-assess for services they determine are needed,” he said.
Huntington Bank’s Lee Vivod, a member of the Main Street Port Clinton Economic Restructuring Subcommittee, has worked on the SID project for eight to nine years.
“It’s been quite a learning process,” Vivod said. “I think it’s something the city and downtown can be proud of. I think that complements everything that’s going on there.
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“These guys have been with me every step of the way since I took over,” Kochensparger said of the subcommittee. “Were happy.”
Vivod also noted that services are also open for expansion at later dates, and that the neighborhood could also be expanded, if desired and approved by nearby landlords.
Here are the perimeters of the district
At that time, the neighborhood will begin at the corner of Madison Street and Perry Street and continue south to end at the corner of Madison Street and East Third Street, and will include from the corner of Jefferson Street and Second Street and continue east. west to extreme east. intersection of Monroe Street and Second Street.
Under Ohio law, establishing an SID requires the approval and signature of at least 60% of homeowners in the proposed district, and signatures reaching 63% of homeowners have been presented to the City Council of Port Clinton before it passed a resolution supporting the neighborhood’s settlement.
Kochensparger said there was actually higher support for establishing the district than they thought, but at the time of the petition’s release, several properties were in the process of changing owners, however, they have word of mouth engagement from new owners. .
Formation of a board of directors
She said a full set of survey responses regarding the local SID is ready to be presented to the eventual elected district council once it is established.
Snider said no further action was needed from the city council. He and two other officials will sit on the district board. He said he intended to also appoint Margaret Phillips and Jerry Tarolli, both board members, to the board.
Kochensparger will also have a seat on that board, joined by other business owners, she said, enabling accountability and transparency.
“It’s just another step forward in making our downtown a better place to visit,” Snider said.
The next step is for the Ottawa County Auditor’s Office to work with each of the property owners on their individual assessments.
This article originally appeared on Port Clinton News Herald: Port Clinton Adds ‘Special Improvement District’ to Downtown