December 15, 2005

Moline downtown group wants "special service area"

Moline Centre Partners -- a group of downtown business owners, tenants, city and community leaders -- is looking into establishing a special service area from 12th to 19th streets and River Drive to 7th Avenue.

In a SSA, property owners are taxed above their normal property tax rate, and the extra money is used to make improvements within the SSA.

In this case, Moline Centre Partners wants to use the money to support the organization's operating costs, such as the salary of the executive director, as well as make improvements to the downtown, also known as Moline Centre.

Shive Hattery recently completed an $18 million downtown streetscape plan. While that is one option for using SSA funds, Gerald Butts, a MCP at-large board member, said if anything moves forward it would be with the intent of giving the downtown a compatible look with John Deere Commons and River Drive.
I'd be curious just how much money Shive Hattery has received from city financed projects over the past 10 years or so. The number has got to be staggering.

This idea sounds good on the surface. Any opinions?

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