NDDA : Debt Authorization Ballot Question

Janet Perry, Nederland.   On February 8th, the Nederland Downtown Development Authority sent out a informational email with regards to their Debt Authorization Ballot Question.

The email stated that the NDDA will ask the BOT to approve their 2016 Debt Authorization Ballot Question on February 9th so that they may get going on with their new projects.

The NDDA Vision and 2016 Master Plan it was explained, guide the NDDA in their work.  That work is meant to benefit the business district, the town and surrounding region by bettering the ‘health and financial viability’ of the town’s businesses.

Funded by Tax Increment Funding (TIF), the NDDA is allowed to borrow against an anticipated increase in property taxes.  The idea is that as the NDDA does their work, business in town will improve, which in turn should raise property values.

The email went on to say that the 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.”

The NDDA email went on to say that, “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.”

Perhaps just as important was the explanation that the “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.”

The NDDA partners with other local entities so that they can increase their fiscal ability to get things done.  The NDDA wouldn’t be borrowing the 2.9 million immediately, but actually over 5 to 7 years.

The NDDA looked over the prioritized possible projects and programs and determined which ones they could complete in 5 to 7 years.

NDDA prioritized list:

“•    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 loans, 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
  • Amphitheater”

The NDDA included the 2016 Master Plan final draft, so that public comment could be taken.  Their next meeting will be February 17th at 7:00 pm and they will be taking questions regarding the Debt Authorization Ballot issue as well as taking Comments about the 2016 Master Plan.

Those who are eligible to vote will be notified before the end of February.