More on Districts

A Sutton Selectman expressed difficulty understanding the operation of a district within a city or town. Attorney Jabs clarified they were municipal entities (not municipalities) like sewer and water districts. And it seems the district concept has been a great way to get specific tasks accomplished by specific user groups. Check out this headline from Better Homes and Gardens, October 2006: TAPPING LOCAL SPIRIT: COMMUNITY GROUPS CAN’T FIX THE PROBLEM? IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS MAY BE THE SOLUTION.

We’ve looked at Minnesota and the fact that they have been doing the watershed district idea since 1955, let’s take a look at Missouri as reported in this article: In 1998, Missouri passed the Community Improvement District (CID) Act allowing property owners “to set aside money – gthered from a special tax- to make specific neighborhood improvements,” reports the magazine. The District is run by the people who live in the community and can pay for everything “from landscaping, security, recreation and historic preservation.”

“What makes these districts unique is the self-taxing mechanism,” says Lorlene Hoyt, assistant professor of technology and pplanning at the Massachusetts Institute of technology, who heads up the school’s international Business Improvement Development Project. Another Sutton Selectman saw a watershed district as possibly “competing” with the town for future tax dollars. The MPA reported we had the support of our members, both young and old, because they realize the importance of protecting this beautiful lake. Missouri homeowner Barbara Ellis further explains, “People don’t mind the tax when they know the money is going back into the community.”

In Dallas, Texas, the article reports a developer went banckrupted and the “city counldn’t maintain the land. Homeowners stepped in, gathered the state mandated 50 percent approval from fellow property owneres, and created the Improvement District.” The District revitalized the neighborhood of 3,000 homes completing the empty and half-completed lots left by the developer, and also works with local police to increase patrols in the community. The benefits and the versitility and mission of each district go on and on!

Why do the residents around Manchaug Pond want to form a watershed district? Well the list is growing all the time! Check in tomorrow for more details :))

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