Both the Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts require reauthorization within a five-year window in order to prevent an automatic termination. This five-year window is designed to ensure a high degree of accountability and transparency, allowing property owners to determine whether they wish to continue or expand services. Sixty percent of property owners within the SID district boundary must agree to create or reauthorize a SID. Once that percentage approves, all private-property owners share the cost of operation, as well as determine the focus of those operations.
In 2006, property owners in the eastern half of downtown approved the first five-year plan to provide safety services and to start a fund for capital improvements. Due to the initial success of the Discovery District SID, property owners expanded the service area and reauthorized the SID in 2010. That five-year authorization expires in 2015, and thus reauthorization of the Discovery SID is currently underway.
The Discovery SID’s priorities include safety services, promotions and capital improvements. A nonprofit board of trustees, comprised of property owners, controls its finances and operations. Today, property owners are proposing a new plan of services to run from 2016 through 2020.
Discovery SID property owners submitted petitions to the Franklin County Auditor for certification during the week of February 9. The County Auditor certified that the 60 percent threshold of support has been achieved and the petitions were forwarded to the City of Columbus. Columbus City Council must approve a series of resolutions and ordinances by July 1, after which SID staff can ask the Franklin County Auditor to place assessments on property tax bills for property owners in the district.