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Board changes its BID
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MONROE - The Monroe downtown Business Improvement District (BID) narrowed its focus Tuesday night.

BID decided to turn its energy to a more specific purpose with fewer projects, relinquishing many of its duties to the Monroe Main Street group. Board members voted 9-0 to adopt a new mission statement and to meet a recommended three to four times a year.

The group once was the body that promoted downtown business, events and programs, most of which were taken over by the Monroe Main Street Program when it was initiated in October 2005.

BID now funds one-third of Main Street with about $27,000 annually. The city and community provide the other two-thirds of the funding.

Although BID and Main Street have similar goals, the boards cannot be combined, said Mayor Ron Marsh, who appoints members to both boards.

One major difference is that BID, not Main Street, is a taxing body allowed to assess property.

"There are certain criteria I have to follow when appointing members - for either board," he said.

Main Street's district encompasses more area - about one extra city block on all sides - than the original BID boundary.

The BID and Main Street boards are in agreement, and efforts are under way, to enlarge the business improvement district to correspond with Main Street.

A BID subcommittee, headed by board Chairman Robert Duxstad, was formed Tuesday to determine how district residents and property owners will be notified and given opportunity for input.

The Improvement District's new mission statement has evolved to establishing an assessment to fund the Monroe Main Street Program, while identifying Main Street's function of coordinating the efforts to develop, manage and promote the District, according to the group.

"I urge everyone now to pick up their projects and be an active part of Monroe Main Street," said Ryan Wilson, who serves on both the Main Street and BID boards.

The Improvement District will remain an advocacy group for property owners and businesses in the district.

Its objectives will remain the same - "to promote the development, redevelopment, operation and promotion of the district for the economic benefit of all businesses and property owners within it, and for the benefit of the community as a whole," BID members stated Tuesday.

The change in mission statement came out of a strategic planning session April 22, facilitated by Cara Carper of the UW Extension.