June 18, 2019
Do we need a Covington BID?
Our downtown has hundreds of businesses - but no coordinated voice to speak up for their interests, listen to their complaints, or promote downtown as a whole.
Last year, the Covington Business Council (CBC) contracted with an outside firm that held focus groups with key business leaders and owners. We listened carefully to their wants and needs. It turns out that beautification, marketing, promotion, and wayfinding (better navigation within the city) top the wish list.
But, these enhanced services cost money and they are not considered essential services covered under the City. The CBC has already spearheaded a beautification program on Madison Avenue to plant and care for planters, pick up litter, and remove graffiti. We also currently pay monthly energy bills for extra lighting under Clay Wade Bailey Bridge to provide a safer environment. However, funds are very limited and services cannot be expanded.
As a result, the CBC supports the creation of the Covington business improvement district (BID).
What is a BID?
Whether you own a business, a commercial property, or a home in Covington, a Covington BID would have a positive impact on you.
A BID is a geographic area where property owners pay an assessment for services and programs beyond what their city already provides - with the goal of increasing economic activity. Nationwide over 1,500 business improvement districts have been created, including districts in Cincinnati, Lexington, and Louisville.
A Covington BID would provide much-needed resources for a safer business district, beautification, capital improvements, business development, and marketing – exactly what our local businesses want and need. It would also establish a reliable source of funding for five full years.
Who Pays for a Covington BID?
In the proposed Covington BID, only commercial property owners identified by the property valuation administrator (PVA), would pay 0.1 percent ($0.10 per $100). For example, if the PVA values a property at $100,000, the assessment is $100 per year. Properties identified as residential or owned by government or nonprofit corporations will NOT be assessed.
Your Response is Needed
All property owners in the Covington district were recently mailed petitions and information about the Covington BID. Under Kentucky law, a majority of all property owners and majority of assessed value in the proposed district must sign a petition requesting the creation of a BID. Once the requisite signatures are obtained, the petitions are filed with the city’s legislative body. The City Commissioners in Covington will need to approve the ordinance creating the BID. As of June 14th, the CBC has already received 89 signed petitions from the commercial property owners, those willing to pay for it and recognize the value.
Follow These Three Easy Steps
1. When you receive your Covington BID petition in the mail, please don’t just toss it. Read it! (If you haven’t received it, please email me asap - firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Go to www.covnow.org, which has a very cool interactive map and is an excellent resource for the Covington BID.
3. Sign and mail your petition to The Covington Business Council, 50 E. RiverCenter Blvd, Suite 160, Covington, KY 41011.
Remember, whether you own a business, a commercial property, or a home in Covington, a Covington BID will have a positive impact on you! If you have questions or comments, feel free to call me at 859-431-1500 or via email, email@example.com.