Mayor tries to bring downtown owners back to the table - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mayor tries to bring downtown owners back to the table

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash- The Committee for Downtown Yakima says this is the last week of their downtown maintenance program.  However there may be some hope for keeping the area clean and safe. 

CDY has said, they've tried everything they can. and now it's time for the city to step in if they want to keep up the downtown beautification efforts.  And at least one city council member is doing that. 

At last week's meeting, mayor Micah Cawley along with three other city council members voted not to impose a new business improvement district on downtown business and property owners without their consent.

The previous business improvement district program provided services such as trash and graffiti removal, to about 80 downtown blocks, but it expired in September.

To renew the program on their own, sixty percent of downtown business and property owners have to sign on to pay the tax, but only about fifty percent have. 

So Wednesday night the mayor wants to sit down with them, especially those who said no to the program.

"If you're on a fringe area of downtown Yakima and you pay a lotta money and you don't see the services you should be getting, we're gonna have to adjust that.  I mean that's kinda what it is, tweaking that agreement to where it works for everybody", says Cawley.

The mayor says he expects a good turnout at tomorrow's meeting in hopes of keeping the positive changes to downtown going.

The family of Ron Bonlender, the former city council member and community activist who died last week has asked that instead of sending flowers, people make donations to the Committee for Downtown Yakima.  Bonlender was well-known for his commitment to the revitalization of downtown Yakima.