DVI offers our full support of Mayor Brown’s proposed FY14-15 budget. We’re excited to see $22 million in investments proposed to moved Downtown revitalization efforts forward. Three additional line items – $750,000 for the Downtown Investment Authority’s Retail Enhancement Grant Program, $1 million seed funding for the day-to-day management of Hemming Plaza (over 18 months) and the license agreement for the USS Adams to operate at The Shipyards – are also moving through City Council. Once approved, these initiatives will create great change Downtown.
As our budget is also pending City Council approval, we feel it’s important to reinforce DVI’s role in these revitalization efforts. DVI is focused on supporting the development efforts of the DIA through activation and advocacy. However, more than 50% of our budget is dedicated to providing basic municipal clean-and-safe services. Over the past decade, the City has cut more than $400,000 annually in clean-and-safe services, mostly targeted in small parts of the core. In the past year, DVI provided more than $560,000 in clean-and-safe services to our 90-block district. For example, in June alone, Downtown Ambassadors picked up 170 bags of litter from sidewalks; removed 47 graffiti tags; advised more than 100 individuals that panhandling is illegal; cleared or cleaned 60 homeless campsites; and provided directions or maps 1,300 times.
We’re thrilled the Mayor’s Office and the DIA recognize the value of the services DVI provides and recommend the City include its “fair share” rate of funding based on property values.
I urge you to contact City Council today to voice your support for the $22 million budgeted for Downtown investment in 2014-2015.