Economic improvement on hold until ordinance passed
The Economic Improvement Districts enabling ordinance is scheduled to be presented and adopted at the Woodburn city council meeting on Jan. 13, according to Urban Renewal Manager Robyn Stowers.
An Economic Improvement District is a statutory funding mechanism designed to enable a community to fulfill its economic revitalization goals and plans, according to the City of Woodburn website. Property and business owners are given a fee for the assessment, which the city collects for improving a specific business area.
In order for the process to continue, the enabling ordinance must be adopted by Woodburn City Council until Stowers and Woodburn Economic and Development Services Director Jim Hendryx begin to pursue concepts and ideas for each desired district.
Due to holiday schedules, city council meetings are not scheduled, which is requiring additional time for the adoption process to be completed, said Stowers.
With this community, we definitely want to move as fast as we can with the downtown (district) because its a very proactive community and we want to keep them engaged.
Stowers mentioned she has personally contacted each downtown business or property owner, all of which have given positive feedback, along with some questions. After an explanation of the program being available to advance each local owner, developing specific districts and evenly disbursing assessment fees to benefit each area are solely in agreement.
The idea of having community projects that promote your district is a good concept, and having everyone pay equally is a really good concept, but when it actually comes down to paying and the actual activities, thats yet to be seen, said Stowers. Thats what people really want to see to fully commit to the concept.
Common areas that are looking for improvements are downtown, Highway 99E and the Interstate 5 interchange.
Different district advancements can include, but are not limited to: promotions, art, marketing and maintenance.
The great thing about this is the enabling ordinance is so flexible that its there to meet the individual and specific needs of districts, said Stowers.
The Economic Improvement District welcomes all business and property owners and is not limited to a specific city location.