Downtown property and business owners have another chance to get involved with improvements being made to the heart of the city.
The Downtown Business Improvement District Board (BID) at its Aug. 7 meeting announced plans to create four subcommittees to help the volunteer collective stay on track and tackle its to-do list.
The subcommittees have been broken into four categories: Marketing, Business/Economic Development, Project Management, and Physical Grounds. Two BID board members will co-chair a committee and then bring back items to the BID board for consideration and vote.
-Lindsay Thomson, of Soul Photography, and Mary Nyffeler, a downtown property owner, will lead the marketing committee. This committee will help with branding and promoting the downtown district.
-Cory Reeder, of Reeder’s 11th Street Grub and Pub, and Kristin Stock, of Artzy Haven, will champion the business and economic development committee. This group will deal with business retention, assistance and recruitment.
-Board Secretary Barb Duffy, of Barbara Jean’s, and Robert “Bob” Stachura, of Columbus Tire and Service Center, will lead the project management area. This committee will make sure board-approved projects are focused and accomplished promptly.
-Board President Josh Johnson, of Columbus Bank and Trust and Vice President Kevin Johnson, of Wize Buys, will lead the physical grounds effort. That will involve walking the grounds and overseeing infrastructure projects in the downtown district.
Board member Dick Tooley hasn’t yet decided which committee he would help lead.
Tooley and Stock were not present at the Aug. 7 meeting.
The board is looking for downtown property and business owners within the district (11th, 12th, 13th and 14th streets) who have an interest in any of these categories to reach out to the respective committee chairs about being part of the groups. Board President Josh Johnson said members have had people ask about getting involved, so creating the subcommittees allows for that and enables the volunteer board to do more to help the downtown area.
“Right now, everyone is responsible for everything and we weren’t getting everything we wanted to get done because we were going through each item,” Johnson said. “This allows us to prioritize and make sure we’re getting things accomplished and not letting down the property owners and business owners. It helps keep us on pace …”
The Board also followed up on plans it made at its July 2023 meeting to solicit and consider proposals for how to potentially brand the downtown district. Board members reviewed two proposals that had already been submitted by Creative Revolution and Platte Valley Media Group. The Board collectively reiterated it was not going to rush any decisions on branding and marketing after reviewing the proposals. It was decided to continue accepting additional proposals until Sept. 7, ahead of the Board’s noon Monday, Sept. 11, meeting in the Columbus Community Building’s community room (third level).
“We’re thankful we received two proposals in a short amount of time,” Johnson said. “We hope to receive more.”
The meeting was well-attended, with some members of the public praising the BID Board’s efforts and highlighting misconceptions in the community.
Duffy said she has come across some negativity on social media, noting that much of it is built on false information. Although the BID Board is a volunteer effort, she brought up how she saw comments where people mentioned the City raising their taxes in relation to the BID. She then noted how the BID was based on an assessment of downtown property owners within the district, that the City does not collect property tax revenue and is not the biggest receiver of it in Platte County.
To learn more about the breakdown of the local property tax levy, click here.
Duffy said she hopes to see more positivity in the community she’s proud to call home.
“Attitude and gratitude are always where it’s at,” Duffy said, after the meeting. “Positivity makes us think in a whole different way …”
Watch video from the meeting where the board discussed branding and marketing on the City's YouTube channel by clicking here.