OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (WKRC) – Anna Steffen opened her store, The Native One in 2017, but it was online only. Then, Steffen got the chance to have an actual storefront.
“We had a pop-up shop on Main Street, and that did really good, and so we were over there for four months, and then we finally made it over here permanently,” Steffen said.
3CDC and some other neighborhood partners have voluntarily been covering the cost to clear sidewalks, clean up graffiti and have ambassadors in the area to make the streets safer for the past seven years, but that’s going away at the end of the year. That is when a proposed Special Improvement District would take over.
Here is a rundown to give you an idea of how much it’ll cost property owners. The formula is based on how much of the property borders a city street or alley:
3CDC and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. have estimated a $500,000 budget for SAFE & CLEAN focused services. The basis for the assessment is 25 percent front footage and 75 percent on county auditor assessed value. The assessment = $1.56 per linear front foot + $0.93 per $1,000 of market value.
For example, the owner of a $175,000 condo would pay $191 a year. A commercial building worth $800,000 would pay $1,051 yearly.
“Having a safe neighborhood and a clean neighborhood are sort of the basic building blocks, and so if we’re going to put any effort into something, we think that’s probably the best place to do it,” Bobby Maly, the co-chair of the OTR SID Working Group
Steffen said she does not think the added cost would have a big impact on her bottom line.
“It is important to have those things taken care of, like snow removal, trash removal and everything. So, those are important things that we constantly need. So, if we have to pay to have it maintained correctly, I’m all for it,” Steffen said.
Not everyone is on board though. For one, renters won’t get a say in the vote on the proposal, and it’s likely the added cost would eventually make its way down to them when they sign a new lease.
Those Local 12 spoke with also wonder why they should pay to have sidewalks cleared when the property owners could do it themselves.
It will take 60 percent of property owners to approve the proposal. If the Special Improvement District passes, it would not take effect until the first of 2020. It would need to be renewed every four years afterward.
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