GREELEY — The Greeley Downtown Development Authority, now in the final decade of its authorized existence, has asked the Greeley City Council to reauthorize it for 20 years beyond its otherwise sunset date.
The DDA has also asked for continuation of funding mechanisms to permit it to complete work envisioned in the 2032 Downtown Strategic Plan.
Members of the City Council heard the requests at a work session this week. Interim community development director Becky Safarik led the presentation.
The DDA was created in 2003 and its sunset is 2033. By state law, a city can grant a 20-year extension at any time during the last 10 years of the organization’s existence.
Safarik noted the accomplishments of the DDA, including assistance with the DoubleTree Hotel, the Maddie Apartments, the Firestone building remodel and more. It has been instrumental in helping downtown businesses with facade improvements, she said.
To fund the DDA’s work, Safarik asked the council to consider continuing a tax increment financing arrangement in which increased property taxes from improvements in properties downtown would be directed to the DDA. While this taxation method generates revenue for public improvements that the DDA might make, 40% of the properties in the 55-block downtown area are tax exempt because they are churches or public properties.
She also asked the council to consider permitting use of a previously authorized, but never used, Voluntary Allocation of Sales Tax agreement in which, using 2021 as the base year, any increase in sales tax collections from the downtown district would go to the DDA, with a $50,000 minimum contribution and a $250,000 maximum contribution.
Bianca Fisher, the DDA director, said the sales tax increment last year was larger than $250,000, but “I want to honor the partnership that the DDA has with the city. I could have asked for more but decided not. If this is where we start, and prove to be worthy stewards (of the money), we can look at it again,” she said.
The council took no action at its study session but has the proposal on the agenda for a public hearing April 18.