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The downtown business improvement district could possibly expand

The downtown business improvement district could possibly be expanded

YAKIMA Wash. -- The district in downtown Yakima where street maintenance is improved could possibly be expanded.

The downtown business improvement district is an area in downtown Yakima where business owners qualify to pay for extra maintenance.

Business owner Joe Mann owns Ron’s Coin and Collectibles for years now and he requested the expansion after he heard from many business owners near him wanting that same benefit.

He says expanding the area for more business owners to pay for maintenance will only help Yakima by giving money to the city and making it look more appealing.

“The flower areas will be beautified, the weeding will be done and there’s graffiti removal, there’s trash pick-up. It just beautifies the whole area," said Mann.

Economic Development Manager Sean Hawkins says each business owner pays around $93.70 per $100,000 of assessed value in addition to a $100 business license per year.

This district was created in 2008 and it included a large portion of the city including North 7th Avenue, East Lincoln Avenue and East Walnut Street.

But in 2012 the district got smaller only including some businesses around Yakima Avenue.

“There may be a few of those joining properties that should not have been removed from the district and some property owners have even suggested to Joe Mann that they would agree to come back to the district," said Hawkins.

Mann says this is something that is crucial for the city because of the high traffic downtown gets on a daily basis and all people see is that part of the city is neglected.

“The overall goal of the downtown assessment is to make downtown more inviting, to make it look safe, fun and inviting," said Mann.

The council approved to discuss boundaries on what places will be added to the district and to get petitions from the business owners.

Council woman Dulce Gutierrez also asked if the Naches Parkway could be included to this district since that parkway has become an issue because of how dirty it is, but it was not confirmed if it will be added or not.

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