JEDC approves DVI budget

  • By
  • | 12:00 p.m. May 14, 2010
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
  • News
  • Share

by David Chapman

Staff Writer

The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission unanimously approved Downtown Vision Inc.’s proposed $1.2 million budget for 2010-11 Thursday.

The budget includes the City’s full funding contribution of $325,000, which is the equivalent of an assessment of 1.1 mills on its property, if it paid property taxes.

The City had been contributing the equivalent of 0.7 mills the past two years.

The difference provides a $95,500 increase over DVI’s 2009-10 budget. City Council still must approve the budget before it takes effect.

The 90-block Business Improvement District operated by DVI is funded by Downtown property owners who pay a special assessment of 1.1 mills on their taxable commercial properties to fund the district. The City had been making an equivalent contribution.

DVI Executive Director Terry Lorince said commercial property values have declined, resulting in a projected $110,000 decrease in DVI revenues from property owners within the district.

Without the City’s full contribution, several of DVI’s programs were at risk of being cut, Lorince said in an April 22 letter to JEDC Chair Zimmerman Boulos.

“I don’t think anyone was expecting this,” said Lorince, referring to the current economic conditions.

Lorince said that moving forward, DVI will focus on supporting Downtown stakeholders, providing core services and creating a vibrant energy throughout the region.

Lorince also discussed some of DVI’s past initiatives, such as the partnership with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and Downtown property owners to bring artists to vacant storefronts, increasing both the culture and business potential for Downtown.

“The artists are the perfect group to engage Downtown,” she said. “I’m proud of this initiative, but it’s not a perfect solution.”

As for creating a more vibrant Downtown, Lorince said the recently branded “Core” of of nightlife venues around Bay Street and the surrounding blocks will be a continuing focus.

“This area has a lot of hope,” she said.

[email protected]




Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.