Friday, October 24th, 2014

The BID and it’s money

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City of Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima says he has consulted with City Attorney Curt Meitz and the Waukesha Business Improvement District (BID) currently doesn’t exist.

 “With its $250,000 budget, the BID sweeps the streets, organizes the farmers market and puts on the Christmas parade,” Scrima said. “We have a Public Works Department that can sweep the streets and private organizations and volunteers that can oversee the farmers market and Christmas parade.”

In fact, Scrima said that in light of the resignations of 11 of the 13 BID Board members along with the executive director and environmental manager in the past few weeks, the Waukesha Downtown Business Association has stepped up to take on the responsibilities of the remainder of the farmers markets and the Christmas parade.

Scrima said he’s consulted City Attorney Curt Meitz, and since state statutes require a five-person BID Board and only two members haven’t resigned, the board has ceased to exist, and that’s all right for now.

That’s really convenient. If the BID is really dissolved, then the money in the BID accounts doesn’t go to any events downtown. The money goes to the property owners that fund the BID.

Alderman Joe Pieper forwarded the following to me from the city attorney:

“On termination of the business improvement district by the municipality, all monies collected by special assessment remaining in the account shall be disbursed to the owners of specially assessed property in the business improvement district in the same proportion as the last collected special assessment.” Sec. 66.119(4) Wis. Stats.

With any other money that was not specially assessed, the nature of such monies would have to be examined to determine how those monies are disbursed.

So if, say, the Downtown Business Association were planning on using any of the BID money to run the Christmas Parade or any other events, they would be better off passing the hat instead. They could always use the New Day Fund, but that requires the money to pass through someone else’s books. Last time Scrima used the BID, but those books are off limits at the moment.

Of course, Scrima has never worried about following the rules before.

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