36 property owners attended a working meeting facilitated by consultant Randy Wilson of Community Design Solutions of Columbia, South Carolina, to establish and vote on a plan identifying the following elements, as required by Mississippi Code:
(a) A description of the boundaries of the district sufficient to identify the lands included;
(b) The improvements proposed and the maximum cost thereof for each of the coming ten (10) years;
(c) The total amount proposed to be expended for improvements for and in the district during the upcoming ten (10) years;
(d) The proposed source or sources of financing and funding for the improvements;
(e) The proposed target dates for beginning the implementation of the improvements;
(f) The naming of the district management group for the upcoming ten (10) years; and
(g) A listing of the individual properties to be included in the district with any assessment computed and identified for each property based upon gross square footage of buildings and unimproved real estate. The plan may provide that tax exempt properties be included in the district but not be subject to any assessment.
With a vote of 18-18, the proposal was killed. A simple majority was required to advance the proposed Business Improvement District to the next phase, which included a public hearing and a vote by ballot by property owners.
“We’re obviously very disappointed in the result of the property owner meeting. The Greater Starkville Development Partnership (GSDP) was presented with a request from Highway 12 property owners and merchants to find a solution to improve the aesthetics of the Highway 12 corridor, and we worked exceptionally hard to provide that. We feel like the proposed Business Improvement District was an excellent and palatable tool for property owners to use to take matters into their own hands and beautify a corridor that is a major gateway to the Starkville community and Mississippi State University. Unfortunately, the support was not there. We encourage property owners to continue to work hard to improve the corridor, and we wish them the best in that endeavor,” said Jennifer Gregory, GSDP Chief Executive Officer.
The Greater Starkville Development Partnership is a community development organization in Starkville, Mississippi, including member entities the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce, Starkville Visitors and Convention Council, Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, and Starkville Main Street Association.