Norfolk City Council agrees to fund study for possible inner city business improvement district | New

Businesses and property owners in Norfolk are looking for ways to create more growth in the city center by creating a Business Improvement District (BID).

The first step was taken Tuesday night when Norfolk City Council approved a consultancy agreement with a Denver-based company to explore the possibility of a bid. The cost of the work must not exceed $68,750. A portion of the American Rescue Plan Act funds the city received is being used to cover the costs.

Progressive Urban Management Associates Inc. (PUMA) has been hired to lay the groundwork which will initially include research, stakeholder outreach and planning to determine if an IDB is feasible. If the desire to move forward arises, PUMA will also help guide BID promoters through the legal process to form a BID.

A BID creates a tax for businesses in the district, and this money can be used to fund various projects and improvements in the district. BIDs can also solicit other public and private financing.

City economic developer Candice Alder shared information about the council agreement with the council. She said some businesses and landlords want to see what other formats exist to increase revenue so special projects can be done downtown.

Norfolk has a downtown Off-Street Vehicle Parking District (VPD), which is a special tax district that provides funds for the maintenance of off-street parking lots for employees and customers and assists with promotions and promotions. downtown beautification.

Randy Gates, the city’s chief financial officer, said a BID would provide options for generating more revenue than the existing VPD.

Alder said the first step in PUMA’s two-step plan would include handing over the BID role. Educating and engaging business and property owners, residents and civic leaders is critical, she said. A steering committee is recommended to help with this.

The first step is also to determine the BID’s priorities, such as improved maintenance, beautification, marketing, economic development and other services that stakeholders believe would be most beneficial.

PUMA offers to complete a downtown property owner database that includes assessed values, frontage, building, and square footage. This information could help determine the boundaries of the BID, which Alder says have not been defined.

The first stage would end with the creation of a draft management plan that would outline the BID’s objectives, boundaries, service plan, budget, and evaluation methodology. This plan would eventually be reviewed by consultants, city staff and the steering committee to determine if it is possible to move forward with a BID.

If the goal is to move forward, Stage 2 would involve PUMA working with legal counsel under the guidelines of Nebraska’s BID laws to finalize the management plan. A public hearing would be required under state law before a BID could be formed.

In its proposal to the city council, PUMA estimated that it would take six to nine months to complete the feasibility and formation process of the BID.

Norfolk City Council met in Norfolk City Council Chambers on Tuesday evening.

Council Members Present: Mayor Josh Moenning, Council Chair Rob Merrill, Kory Hildebrand, Gary L. Jackson, Corey Granquist, Frank Arens, Andrew McCarthy and Thad Murren.

Absent Board Member: Shane Clausen.

Duration of the meeting: 1h10.

Other people present: City staff, about 10; media representatives, three; and nine from the public.

— Held a public hearing before approving an application by Whitecliff Development Inc. and Wyndham Hills of Norfolk for a rezoning of R-1 (single-family residential district), RR (rural residential district) and A (agricultural district) at R-2 (single and two-family residential district) on property located approximately one-quarter mile east of North 37th Street and south of West Eisenhower Avenue. Valerie Grimes, city planner, said the rezoning would allow for attached units rather than single-family homes. Mayor Josh Moenning said it’s positive to see more housing proposed for this area of ​​town and that all of this development won’t require large lots.

— Holding a public hearing before approving an application by Wisner West Inc. for a rezoning from R-1 to R-2 on property west of South Victory Road and north of East Omaha Avenue. Grimes said the change would allow duplexes and 50 new single- and two-family units are on offer.

— Holding of a public hearing before the approval of an amendment to the redevelopment plan for Phase IV of the Legacy Bend redevelopment project. Randy Gates, the city’s chief financial officer, noted that this phase would include approximately 68 multi-family units and townhouse developments.

Mayor Moenning said it was another of many housing development projects underway across the city that follows nearly 1,400 new units over the past two to three years.

“That’s good news,” he said. “I think we’re seeing, over the last six months, almost 500 new units coming up for various projects. That’s a sign of a growing community.”

–Approved the third reading of an ordinance annexing a parcel of land generally located about a quarter mile east of North 37th Street and south of West Eisenhower Avenue. The ordinance passed first reading on June 6 and second reading on June 21.

– Approved the third reading of an ordinance annexing a parcel of land generally immediately west of part of the 13th addition of Walters’ East Knolls. The ordinance passed first reading on June 6 and second reading on June 21.

– Passed three separate ordinances amending and reformulating pension plans, one for police officers, one for firefighters and one for city employee pension plans, all effective March 1. City finance officer Randy Gates said pension plans are required to be updated to reflect IRS, federal law and other legislative changes.

— Adopted an amended and updated deferred compensation plan, effective May 1.

— I heard the June sales tax report (April sales): April sales tax receipts: $907,696.57, down $27,915 from last June. Sales tax revenue to date: $867,641.20, 12.13% higher than expected.

— Acceptance of an easement and assignment of sanitary sewer lines from the State of Nebraska on a property located in the northeast quarter of Section 24, Township 24 North, Range 1 West of Sixth PM, and on property located in Section 13, Township 24 North, Range 1 West of Sixth PM The City will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of said sewer line.

– Approved a permanent easement agreement between Laura M. Wylie and the City of Norfolk for the construction of a concrete pathway along Lot 4, Block 1, Meadow Ridge-Phase 1, 4th Addition to the City of Norfolk, for the East Benjamin Avenue trail project.

– Approved METGreen Properties’ request to release its 10 foot utility easement, 5 feet on each side between Lots 12 and 13, Block 2 (less the 10 feet north) of Green Meadow Addition, part of SE One Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 20, Township 24 North, Range 1 West of Sixth PM, Madison County.

— Approved sending a “no recommendation” to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on the manager applications of: Sara A. Sander in connection with Walmart Inc.’s Class D liquor license; and Tammy R. Thies under the Class C liquor license of Boat House Recreation, 501 W. Norfolk Ave., Suite 110.

– Approved a special liquor license for the Elkhorn Valley Museum to serve beer at 515 Queen City Blvd. Saturday, August 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for an outdoor Historyfest festival.

– Approved an agreement with River Valley Pride Inc. (Norfolk Area Pride) to close part of North Fifth Street for an event that “may include, but is not limited to” music, vendors, concessions, presentations and inflatables on Saturday, September 10, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

– Permission granted to WJAG Inc. to use Skyview Park facilities to hold a 1 mile Red Ribbon Race on Saturday October 1st.

– Approved requests from Sacred Heart Church of Norfolk (also known as Norfolk Catholic High School) to use the Skyview Park cross-country course for practices and meets; use the Veterans Memorial Park Memorial Grounds to host soccer games, scrimmage and practice, and soccer games and practice; and to use North Pine Park for football practice, through June 30, 2023.

– Approved a request by Fatt Sunnie Studios and J&M Displays Inc. to close a portion of Magnet Drive immediately west of North Victory Road to film a scene for a community film event, which includes the use of pyrotechnics and of city emergency vehicles and personnel on Friday July 15 and Saturday July 16 (with a rain date Saturday and Sunday July 16-17).

– Approved the submission of a Burn Determination and Downgrade Study for the Big Red Keno area to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation.

Denise W. Whigham