Frequently Asked Questions
The Railside Business Improvement District (BID) oversees a comprehensive Downtown Revitalization Program, following the National Main Street approach, for an approximately 40 square block area in downtown Grand Island. Although this assessment district has been in place for over 30 years to promote the economic environment in the district, new goals and objectives of the district are developed regularly in order to address changing needs.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID)?
A BID is a special district financing tool used to help stakeholders collectively plan, fund, and implement services and improvements to their neighborhood.
A few key facts about BIDs:
It is up to district stakeholders to establish an area for the BID, set priorities for what the BID will fund, create a budget and assessment rate, and develop a plan.
BIDs are established through majority support of property owners in the district, and cannot be imposed upon an area.
All the money raised through the BID comes back to the district. A Board of Directors representing those paying assessments manages the BID funds.
HOW IS A BID FUNDED?
A special assessment is levied on the property owners and is collected by the City of Grand Island which disburses the funds to the BID.
WHO OVERSEES THE BID?
The BID is governed by a Board of Directors who are property owners, residents, or business operators within the district. The Board of Directors has the fiduciary responsibility and hires management to administer the BID on a day-to-day basis.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
By investing collectively, funds from the district can work more efficiently, delivering the additional services and initiatives that shareholders have identified as being important to improve their own performance.
The BID provides a strong and effective lobbying force for residents and the business community to deal with a wide range of issues.
The BID provides an opportunity to leverage additional voluntary contributions to improve the trading environment, from sources such as foundations or local and regional governments.
HOW IS THE BID ORGANIZED?
In 2006, Grand Island adopted the Main Street program. The program has four points that help guide the development of a downtown district. The Railside BID has formed committees based on those points:
- The Promotions Committee encourages living, working, shopping and playing in downtown through special events and marketing.
The Organization Committee provides the leadership necessary to achieve the long-term goals for Grand Island’s downtown.
The Design Committee’s responsibility is keeping Railside looking good for visitors and business owners.
The Economic Vitality Committee sharpens works to eliminate barriers to economic growth, works to recruit new businesses to the area and sharpens the competitiveness of existing businesses.