By Lisa Martone
DES MOINES-- The city has big plans for the area of Ingersoll Avenue and the businesses share in that vision.
They want to improve sidewalks, curbs, traffic signals and make the area more pedestrian friendly. The Restoration Ingersoll Board and the city believe they have come up with a plan.
"It will raise that funds that will allow us to move forward with the beatification…economic development," said Councilwoman Christine Hensley.
The city's plan, along with many supporting businesses, is to turn this area into a self–supported municipal improvement district or a SSMID.
This means the properties in the area will be taxed at a higher property tax rate. That extra revenue will then be used to maintain the streetscapes and other services.
"Its how downtown has been successful over the years," said Ted Irvine member of the Restoration Ingersoll Board and Ingersoll Business owner. "They use those (funds) for extra services. It just keeps it that much nicer."
If the maximum tax rate were approved properties in the area would see an increase of $2.25 for every $1,000 of property value. It would raise about $200,000 dollars year.
"Businesses have been very responsive," said Hensley. "We have been very pleased with the response. We are well above the minimum thresholds that we need to move forward because once this is approved ...all properties will be required to participate."
The SSMID would be in place for 20 years and it could be extended after that. The Des Moines City Council heard the first proposal Monday night and voted in support of it. The first chance to discuss the plans will be at their next meeting on December 17th.