City Council votes tonight on downtown improvement district - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City Council votes tonight on downtown improvement district

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The Yakima City Council tonight will vote tonight on whether to move forward with a business improvement district for the downtown area. This is only a preliminary vote to set a hearing about the program.

Yakima previously had a business district that handled downtown maintenance like gardening, and removing graffiti and trash. This year not enough business owners approved the tax to keep the improvement district going.

This new measure would bring back both the program and the tax. City Manager Don Cooper says there are many changes to the program to encourage business owners to embrace the measure.

"I think the intent is to democratize the process and to involve a broader spectrum of the people in the downtown improvement district itself," says Cooper.

Cooper says the changes are in response complaints about the old program. If the city council approves the resolution, they'll set a public hearing date for the measure. Cooper says if more than 50 percent of the affected owners at that hearing vote it down, the program won't go through.