Downtown Medford Association has signed an agreement with Civitas to complete an Economic Improvement District Feasibility Study in downtown Medford, this is phase one of three. A steering committee will be working closely with Civitas to define boundaries of the potential district, a service plan, and method for assessment. This is a four-month process and will determine if an Economic Improvement District (EID) is viable in downtown. Phase two and three are the legal and implementation.
There are over 1,000 EIDs throughout the country, many concentrated in downtown areas. Nearby cities such as Bend, McMinnville, Albany, and Astoria have long-standing and successful EIDs in their downtowns. They are public-private partnerships in which local property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development, and promotion of their property. EIDs provide a unique and straightforward economic and community development tool for municipalities, developers, and property owners because they allow targeted control, financing, and development of projects without creating an additional financial burden on taxing units. Oregon EIDs were established under ORS 223.114.
Downtown Medford Association oversees the revitalization of downtown. Recently at a council meeting the Mayor of Medford, Randy Sparacino said, “It’s fantastic, the work you’re doing downtown.” Councilmember Tim D’Alessandro said, “It’s noticed, the traction you’ve gained in the community.”
The dollars from the EID could provide a variety of services from business development, maintenance, marketing, placemaking, beautification, safety, to advocacy.
The EID would enable the district businesses and residents to receive services above and beyond what the City can provide. The assessment collected would go entirely to the district, with the sole focus of improving Downtown. EIDs have a track record of success and studies that show they have a positive effect on property values, sales, and occupancies.