COMMISSION VOTES IN FAVOR OF DOWNTOWN MACON BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT[Macon, GA – July 5, 2017] The County Commission has voted to approve a proposal for a Business Improvement District (BID) for Downtown Macon. This vote will bring notable improvements to the downtown area by funding projects that directly benefit the area. One of the first funded projects, proposed by NewTown, will be hiring Safety Ambassadors and Clean Team employees. These employees will be highly-visible concierges for downtown: deterring panhandling, cleaning sidewalks and answering questions for anyone who needs help or just needs directions to the closest restaurant.
“Today’s approval of the Downtown Macon BID marks an important moment where downtown property owners voted with their pocketbooks to invest in a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future for Downtown Macon,” said Josh Rogers, President and CEO, NewTown Macon. “The BID promises that downtown’s brightest days are ahead, not behind.”
A BID is a partnership between private citizens and local governments in which business owners elect to tax themselves to fund an increase in public services. This five-mil contribution will fund improvement projects in areas of sanitation, public safety, marketing, business development, beautification, and more.
In Downtown Macon, the BID will roughly cover the area from New Street to Fifth Street and from Riverside Drive to Plum Street. This area encompasses almost all of the central business district in Downtown Macon, and funds will be used to create a cleaner and safer Downtown Macon for everyone to enjoy. With the designation, Downtown Macon will see an increase of property values and occupancy rates, benefiting the business owners that live and work downtown as well as Macon residents who frequent the area.
The BID is approved for a term of six years, after which property owners will vote to either extend or terminate the designation of their commercial district. The Downtown Macon BID will be run by a board of seven volunteers, consisting mostly of elected property owners in the area.
With a grant from the Downtown Challenge at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, NewTown Macon led the campaign to get the BID passed and hopes to continue their involvement by managing the BID. A proposed plan and budget can be viewed at newtownmacon.com/bid.
The Downtown Macon BID will take effect July 7, 2017.