That Downtown Satisfaction Survey is intended to gather insights which will help in establishing a Business Improvement District. What’s that? I’m glad you asked…
A Business Improvement District, or BID, is a designated area in which property owners choose to supplement some city services for the benefit of the residents, property owners, workers, and visitors within that district. Property owners within the district pay a fee (based on property value) to support those services.
There are nearly 1,000 BIDs in the U.S. …New York City alone has 67. Most recently, in 2011 Boston was the last of the largest 20 metro areas to establish a BID. The photos on this page are all from Minneapolis. They call their BID a “DID,” or Downtown Improvement District. But whatever the name, they all work similarly.
Here in Rochester, the High Falls neighborhood and the Village of Webster each have one.
BID services often include general street cleaning, hosting special events, landscaping, upgrades to street furniture, holiday decorations, advertising & public relations, outreach for youth and the homeless, ambassadors to assist visitors, etc.
Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) is the non-profit 501(c)4 that is driving Rochester’s BID and they are the ones who sent out the survey . RDDC has also been behind many other highly visible downtown initiatives over the years including the downtown information center at Main & Saint Paul Streets, and the Red Shirts who serve as a professional neighborhood watch team for the area inside the Inner Loop and High Falls. The BID would replace these – and do much more.
Exactly what services and programs would be provided by Rochester’s BID will be determined by the BID plan – still in progress. And that’s why the survey we all received yesterday is so important. It will provide crucial information for the development of the BID plan.
Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of RDDC says, “A critical step in the exploration process is to gain a clear understanding of how the community views the current environment and services provided in our downtown.”
SO, if you live, work, attend classes, or own a business downtown please take the survey and don’t hold back. This could be BIG… I mean BID.
Tags: Boston, business improvement district, downtown, downtown improvement district, downtown Rochester, Downtown Special Services, Heidi N. Zimmer-Meyer, Minneapolis, New York City, Red Shirts, Rochester, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC), Rochester information booth, Rochester NY
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