By Sue Moore
The Downtown Development Authority, under the leadership of Director Kathy Hoyle, has some gigantic plans that she presented to the Vicksburg Village Council at its August meeting.
A few in the large audience came to hear the council’s concerns about council member Marc Boyer’s YouTube comments, but most of the 50 plus people were there to support the DDA’s vision and far-reaching plans.
- In the five months of activity, Hoyle and the DDA board have set the following events in motion:A reconstruction of the boundaries of the district includes both sides of the street from Washington to Prairie, north on Main Street and north on Richardson Street. This is a move to broaden the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) base.
- The planned boundary extensions would take the potential tax base currently $3,142,635 to approximately $6,724,094 in the far distant future.Hearings have been set and conversations have taken place between the tax entities to gain a better understanding of what this could mean for the DDA coffers and the effected units of government.
- A business plan for the DDA is putting together.
- A holiday lighting promotion program is in the planning stages.
- A streetscaping plan is taking form under the leadership of McKenna & Associates.
- A trail system is being planned to connect from U Avenue and the Recreation Park though to Angels Crossing golf course.
- An electronic newsletter is being put together for general distribution.
- A web site for the DDA was unveiled at the end of August.
- A marketing program for the downtown is in the works.
- A business attraction system is being organized with demographics and community profile to be included.
- A work force pipeline is contemplated with the school system’s STEM program. Manufacturing skills are needed to keep a strong industrial base. (L note: I just switched these two sentences to maintain your parallel structured list)A business retention survey is being planned.
Tanya DeLong, chair of the DDA, said the store owners are excited about these programs and are thrilled to have Hoyle leading the charge. They hope to address the parking issue and perhaps make South Main Street one way to gain ten additional parking slots.
A major attraction to the community in 2015 will be the World National Disc Golf championship to be held at the Recreation Park, according to Ken Schippers, village manager. “This is a big deal, it’s like having a PGA tournament come to town to spend money at the stores and eat in our restaurants.”