Jefferson City businesses weigh in on possible improvement group

Related Story

JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City downtown business owners are discussing the possible implementation of a community improvement district (CID).

A CID is a group dedicated to the beautification and maintenance of a particular area, and allows business owners in the area to provide input on its projects. 

Jefferson City Downtown Association dues are voluntary, but the CID would require all of the businesses within the district to pay a fee to up keep downtown.

Some business owners told KOMU 8 News the community improvement district would allow the downtown community to continue to grow.

Carrie's Hallmark Shop owner Carrie Tergin said the CID would balance the fees downtown property owners currently pay.

"The nice thing about a CID is that it includes everybody, so there's not just a few of us that are paying for the improvements that we so desperately need to keep our downtown thriving," Tergin said. "It would be spread over everybody."

Tergin also said each owner pitches in to provide the community with a vibrant, festive downtown experience.

"I think if people understood the concept and understand that, hey if we all pitch in a little bit, we'll get really far, instead of just a few of us, I think it would be a very successful venture," said Tergin.

Columbia's downtown areas already has a CID. Board member Ben Wade said the CID is constantly looking for ways to improve downtown.

He said a proactive mentality allows the board to make adjustments where needed.

"Since we're independent, we have to follow up on the promises we made to the public," said Wade.

Wade attributes the Columbia CID recent success to the ability to pull ideas from a diverse board.

"You need to have a very diverse group on the board. You have to have a very organized system of how you're going to get the funds and then distribute them for the betterment of the downtown area," said Wade.

Jefferson City district owners plan to more forward with the CID if enough business owners show interest.