After this past weekend’s visioning session for Ward 9’s business corridor, I thought about what is going on uptown with the creation of a BID (business improvement district). The effort there is to create stakeholders in the business community who can leverage their collect efforts to create change and improve business.

For us, the end-goals seem to be similar. As residents, though, we hope that our quality of life also improves.

Perhaps what we need is a partnership between businesses, government and residents. We could create a CID (community improvement district) in the Ward, which would focus on key issues impacting our quality of life, business and infrastructure.

Here’s a link to a CID in Georgia, which has a governing board and is tasked with specific and ongoing goals. It’s important to note that this CID works like a BID in the sense that the group taxes itself to pay for improvements. The board is made up of businesses who understand that the added tax is an investment in the success of their businesses.

For us, we can probably do much without added taxes. Collaboration alone can do a lot. Perhaps it would mean volunteers from the high school and community working together with local businesses.

In addition, the CID cited above won grants for some of its work. Perhaps we can pursue funding too.

Either way, it’s worth a look and worth considering for our little corner of Kingston.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

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