In this Newsletter:
- Debt Authorization Ballot Question Information
- Master Plan Final Draft
- Monthly Board Meeting
- Business Directory
Debt Authorization Ballot Question Information
Debt Authorization Ballot Question which will be voted on by the Nederland Board of Trustees, February 9.
On February 9th, the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA) will ask the Nederland Board of Trustees (BOT) to approve the 2016 Debt Authorization Ballot Question (pending approval of the BOT 2/9) so that it can proceed with new projects and programs. The NDDA Vision and 2016 Master Plan guide the type of projects and programs the NDDA undertakes. These programs will not only benefit the downtown business district, but the entire town and surrounding region by improving the health and financial viability of our local businesses.
NDDA projects are funded by Tax Increment Funding (TIF). This allows the NDDA to borrow money against the anticipated increase in district property taxes when district property values go up. TIF financing does NOT increase property taxes. When the NDDA district was formed in 2005, the value of the business property within the NDDA district determined the NDDA’s “base” property value. The NDDA’s goal is to improve the infrastructure and promote economic development in its district. As as infrastructure and business improves, property values increase. As property values increase, the NDDA receives the portion of the property taxes realized from the original “base” property values to the increased property values, to do improvements specific to the district.
The Debt Authorization Ballot Question will ask the NDDA district voters (the property owners* and business lessees* within the NDDA district) to approve allowing the NDDA to borrow up to $2.924 million plus interest (amount pending approval) to pay for improvements and programs in the district. Repayment of this debt will come from the TIF portion of the NDDA revenues. The amount of TIF revenue is currently over $150,000 per year and has steadily increased since the formation of the NDDA. Because TIF funding will be in place until 2035, a predictable income stream is available for repayment of the proposed debt.
Passing of the Debt Authorization Ballot Question does not give the NDDA $2.9 million, it gives the NDDA permission to ask for project and program funds. The NDDA will have to develop detailed projects, programs and budgets, and then ask the BOT to borrow the money from the TIF fund. This is a very important part of the checks and balances for the NDDA.
A major component in the financing NDDA projects is the ability to partner with other organizations to share in the expense of the project. By partnering with local entities, regional partners and leveraging funding from government departments like Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado Office of Economic Development (full list can be found in the Master Plan, pages 34 – 37) we can increase the value of the TIF as we did with NedPeds. The NedPeds project cost a little over $1 million with only $340,000 or about 1/3 coming from actual TIF funds.
Another important consideration for the Debt Authorization is that the NDDA will not be borrowing $2.9 million at once but over the next 5 to 7+years. The interest will vary depending on where we borrow the money from and the type of project it is. State statute governing DDAs also has rules about borrowing and interest rates and all our loans are reviewed by legal.
In creating the debt authorization the NDDA looked at the Master Plan, prioritized the projects and programs by importance, and determined what could be completed, or planned for, in the next 5-7 years Some of the projects and programs being considered for this debt authorization include:
- Traffic Study
- Lakeview intersection project
- Underused Parking Lot Improvements
- On Street Parking: Lakeview & Big Springs
- 1st Street Loading zone
- 1st Street Pedestrian/ADA walkability
- 2nd crossing at Middle Boulder Creek
- River pathway design (construction TBD)
- Mitigate storm water and water quality issues for Middle Boulder Creek
- Business improvement oans, grants, and rebate programs
- Improve vehicular and pedestrian signage/wayfinding
- Event Support
- Business Incubation (bank office space & property purchase)
- Beautification (public art installations, pocket parks, native planting and landscaping)
- Visitor center (operation)
- Bury 1st Street utility lines
Successful passage of the Ballot Issue this April will mean that the NDDA can start many of the smaller projects this summer like the traffic study, wayfinding, cleaning downtown, and Visitors Center. In the case of the larger construction projects, planning and design can be done this year so that funding for the implementation and construction can be arranged through grants and partnerships. As funding is identified and secured the larger infrastructure projects can be scheduled. If the Debt Authorization is not on this April's ballot the next opportunity to put it before the voters could be as late as April 2018 due to the fact that holding an election, outside of a regularly scheduled town elections (April of even numbered years), would cost the NDDA between $3,000 and $8,000 that has to budgeted for from its limited operating budget.
It was through the Master Plan process that the NDDA came up with the list of above projects. You can read and comment on the final draft of the master plan here.
You can email any board member with questions, there will be an question and answer session at the next DDA meeting on February 17. The board chair, Katrina Harms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*eligible voters will be notified by the end of February 2015. If you are unsure you are an eligible voter, contact the Town Clerk at Nederland Town Hall. 303-258-3266 or email email@example.com
Master Plan Update
The 2016 Master Plan - final draft has been posted for public comment. Please take a few minutes to review the plan and send your in your comments or questions. The public comment period will close February 29.
Monthly Board Meeting
The February NDDA Board meeting will be a week February 17, at 7:00 pm (note the late start) and there will be opportunity to ask questions about the Debt Authorization Ballot issue and comment on the 2016 Master Plan.
There will be a presentation by Ron Mitchell on his ideas for developing his downtown property at 6:00pm.
As always... if you have questions please email me. You can also contact any of the board members.