Metro Councilman proposes improvement district to clean up the Highlands
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Highlands is one of Louisville's most iconic neighborhoods, home to Bardstown Road and some of the city's most popular restaurants.
But Andy Blieden, who lives and owns businesses in the Highlands, believes the neighborhood needs a boost despite its growing popularity, .
"I feel like its momentum has slowed down in recent times," Blieden said. "There has been graffiti, and there has been litter, and it's not exactly what we want it to be."
Blieden, along with other residents and business owners, recently took those concerns to Brandon Coan, who represents the area on Metro Council. Coan wants take the blueprint used to clean up and maintain another part of the city and apply it to the Highlands.
"When you go downtown, the Louisville Downtown Management District are the women and men who are often wearing sort of neon green jackets and literally vacuuming the sidewalks and power washing the streets," Coan said.
Coan is proposing The Highlands Management District, which would been used to clean, monitor and maintain Broadway to the Douglass Loop on Bardstown Road.
"It is literally a non-governmental organization that helps take care of area where government can't do it all by itself," Coan said.
Coan said District 8 would contribute $35,000 annually, but he wants business owners to help fund the improvement district.
"It would be an additional tax of $17.45 per $100 of property value on these parcels, specifically located in the boundaries along the corridor," he said.
The proposal needs the support of the majority of the business owners, and Blieden said he is definitely one of the "yes" votes.
"I don't like paying extra money if I don't get anything for it, but I don't mind paying my fair share if it's something that's going to be great for the street," he said. "I think this is something that'll really work."
As of this week, Coan has 30 "yes" signatures in hand or solidly committed as well as 30 "no" votes tallied. Coan has a self-imposed Dec. 31, 2018, deadline to collect the signatures he needs to move forward or determine the desire isn’t there.
If this initiative passes, the special assessment will first appear on the 284 owners’ November 2019 tax bills and generate $333,258.09 to fund the program in 2020.
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