Support for the creation of the Wilton Drive Improvement District [WDID] came in 2014 when it was approved by commissioners. Now, the money will follow. On April 26, commissioners approved a $100,000 budget for WDID and a non-ad valorem tax assessment of the same amount.
A majority of property owners on the street voted to levy an additional assessment to generate funding. Each property owner is assessed a different amount based on square footage. The goal is to raise $1 million over the next 10 years and the city has set a cap of $100,000 per year.
The $96,000 budget for 2017, determined by the seven-member WDID board, includes $3,600 for professional services, $20,042 for legal services, $9,100 for contractual services, $3,000 for insurance, $17,000 for promotional activities, and $35,500 for special events. Doug Blevins, WDID chair, said a lot of the money is due to start-up costs.
He said this year’s limited funds don’t allow for much but the WDID is exploring holiday lighting and creating a “signature arts and music event” as well as a weekly “after work party” event to bring people to Wilton Drive on Thursday nights. Attendees would likely be charged a fee to help raise money to be put back into the WDID budget.
Long term, Blevins said the board wants to use funding to pay for the “bells and whistles” that won’t be included in the lane reduction along Wilton Drive. That includes street lighting, shade trees, landscaping, crosswalks and street furnishings.
The next meeting of the seven-member WDID board, made up of three property owners, three business owners and one home owner, is May 11 at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.