The Town of Rico is pursuing the establishment of a Downtown Development Authority. Economic Region 9 has awarded $10,000.00 in technical assistance funding for this effort. $5,000.00 is budgeted for 2004 to pay for the cost of organizing a Downtown Development Authority and $5,000.00 is budgeted for 2005 to pay for the cost of preparing a Downtown Development Authority Plan.
Downtown Development Authority (“DDA”): A Downtown Development Authority is a development authority authorized by state statute that can be created by municipalities. There are a variety of development authorities, including business districts and urban renewal authorities. In addition to traditional development authority powers, the unique aspect of a Downtown Development Authority is the ability to retain all property taxes in the DDA that result from increases in assessed valuation after the establishment of the DDA. Other municipalities that have formed DDAs include Mt. Crested Butte, Grand Junction, Golden, Denver, Greeley, Fort Collins, and Woodland Park.
DDA Boundary Area: The state statutes permit the establishment of a DDA for the Central Business district, which is defined as the “area in a municipality which is an traditionally has been the location of the principal business, commercial, financial, service, and governmental center, zoned and used accordingly.” A draft map has been prepared that includes all commercial zoned areas along Highway 145 in the Town of Rico, with adjustments to reflect the recently approved master plan by Rico Renaissance (the River Lodge area is included).
Procedures to Create Downtown Development Authority: A DDA is created by a vote of all residents and land owners within the proposed DDA area. A “Qualified Elector” is “a resident, a landowner, or a lessee as said terms are defined in this section. Any landowner or lessee which is not a natural person may vote only if it designates by some official action a representative thereof to cast its ballot.” An ordinance referring the question of formation of a DDA should include the legal description of the area and provisions regarding the registering of qualified electors to incorporate land owners and lessees (affidavit forms for representation). A mail ballot election may be better for this type of election.
DDA Board: The DDA board is appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Town. By statute, the DDA Board must have a majority of residents, land owners or business lessees. The DDA Board has the authority to study, prioritize and propose development projects which must then be reviewed by the Planning Commission and approved by the Board of Trustees. Practically, projects should be established and prioritize which meet the needs of commercial property owners, businesses, and the community at large.
Timeframe: The Board of Trustees must pass an ordinance to
refer the formation of the authority to an election. Residents and landowners
can vote on the establishment of the authority. No tax increase is proposed.
Plan preparation, blight report, and election material preparation is planned
to occur in August and September. An election may be possible in late February,
Draft list of Projects:
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