Rhinelander Downtown Business District To Disband
An effort to eliminate Rhinelander's downtown Business Improvement District has been successful.
A group of business owners petitioned the city to eliminate the BID district. The BID is authorized by city government to allow property owners to assess themselves more to make necessary improvements.
Those opposing the removal of the district had until the close of business Wednesday to get enough signers to change their mind. As City Administrator Blaine Oborn notes, a last second effort came up short...
"....we did have quite a few rescinding but it wasn't enough. So the final vote was around 55 percent. Anything more than a majority, 50 percent or more, constitutes termination...."
Executive Director of Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. Maggie Steffen says they are disappointed. She says only 37 percent of the people signed the petition. She says 10 of the original signers changed their minds...
"....it wasn't a personal thing in the sense they were against D.R.I. Everyone we spoke to we asked what their reasonings were and a majority of it was the tax, the tax itself....."
Steffen says the planned activities this season will still go on...
"....we have enough funds that we are here for the rest of the year, 2015. The flower baskets, the car show, and Potatofest, because with those we also have partnerships...."
The city council will meet April 13. By statute the council's role is to validate the petition, but can't change it. If the petition is in order, the council can do nothing except validate the findings.