Business/Special Improvement Districts coming to Springfield
In August 2010, the Township Committee unanimously passed a resolution to hire Beth Lippman to assist with the design and implementation of a Business/Special Improvement District. Ms. Lippman will help revise the current SID ordinance, set up an SID steering committee, establish SID areas, and assist the steering committee with establishing an assessment formula.
History of Special Improvement Districts in New Jersey
Special Improvement Districts (SIDs) became part of the New Jersey landscape in 1984 with the passing of state legislation. The first six SIDs – Cranford, Trenton, Elizabeth, Englewood, Somerville and New Brunswick – were established within a three year period from 1985 – 1988, and continue to operate.
What Is a Special Improvement District?
A SID is an organization, management, and financing tool used by local businesses to provide specialized services that complement rather than replace existing municipal government services as part of a revitalization downtown plan. Further, SIDs enables commercial property owners and merchants to form local management associations that have the authority to collect special assessments from commercial properties. (Residential properties are exempt.)
A SID is first created under state law and then enacted by a municipal ordinance. The law permits property owners and businesses to organize and assess themselves in order to pay for the services that are needed. The District Plan and a non-profit District Management Association (DMA) are responsible for governing the operations of the SID. The DMA is responsible for all decisions relating to assessments, budgets, and management of specialized services
The assessments levied on each property within a Special Improvement District form the heart of the SID’s budget. Assessments are paid by property owners and collected by the Township and then returns those funds to the district.
The individual SID determines the assessment formula it will use. However, property and business owners should be included in its development in order to formulate a fair and agreeable method. Assessments may be calculated based on property valuation, square footage and street frontage.
Funding from outside sources can be an invaluable source of additional revenue and provide funding above and beyond assessment income for expanding SID services and activities.
Board of Directors
A SID’s Board of Directors serves in an advisory capacity to the district, establishing priorities and providing expertise and experience in decision-making. Board members also provide important links to funding, and other neighborhood resources. Board members will represent: business and property owners, residents, local government, non-profit organizations and institutions.
Services and Improvements
The goal of services and improvements is to make a district more attractive to potential businesses and customers, thus, to encourage spending. The services provided by SIDs are intended to supplement rather than replace Township-provided services. SIDs can make themselves more attractive in a variety of ways: by making the area cleaner or safer, by beautifying the streetscape, by promoting/marketing district and its activities, or by planning special events.
Third Tuesday of each month, 8:30 am at the Springfield Firehouse (OEM Office), 200 Mountain Avenue.
Springfield Business Improvement District Releases Market Analysis and Retail Assessment
The Springfield Business Improvement District has released a market study and retail assessment of Springfield Township. The study includes visual assessments of commercial properties and businesses within the Business district, meetings with local stakeholders and merchants, and a consumer survey of residents and visitors via paper mailers and online. Over 900 completed the survey responses—well beyond our goal of 400. Analysis of that data revealed current supply and demand for more than 140 categories of retail. This report provides an in-depth evaluation of those economic factors, as well as recommended strategies for revitalization of local commerce.