Downtown Association of Yakima May Get Thousands of Dollars From - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Downtown Association of Yakima May Get Thousands of Dollars From the City

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On Tuesday the City of Yakima may make the decision to give the Downtown Association of Yakima a late Christmas present, which could also save the city thousands of dollars on next year's taxes. On Tuesday the City of Yakima may make the decision to give the Downtown Association of Yakima a late Christmas present, which could also save the city thousands of dollars on next year's taxes.
YAKIMA, WA-- On Tuesday the City of Yakima may make the decision to give the Downtown Association of Yakima a late Christmas present, which could also save the city thousands of dollars on next year's taxes. The DAY could be getting $100,000.00 from the city now that it is considered a Washington State Main Street Community.

With that money they plan to do a lot to bring up the image of the area and get more businesses downtown.

"They're directing that money to be spent here in Yakima. That's an important tool for a main street organization and that's an important resource to be able to offer," said Victor De Long who is the President of the Downtown Association of Yakima.

Last month the state named Yakima's downtown corridor a Main Street Community following in the footsteps of Ellensburg and Walla Walla.

This now allows the city to work with the DAY and get a significant tax break next year while pouring funds right back into the community.

"This is our opportunity to rather than giving the state $100,000.00 in public utility tax, this is our chance to just keep it locally and let those guys use it to help our downtown growth," said the city's Economic Development Manager, Sean Hawkins.

De Long is a native to Yakima and wants future generations to have the same experience growing up as he did.

"Been here all my life.  Downtown for me was always the center of activity and I truly believe that the health of any community can be measured by the vitality of its downtown area," De Long said.

The city will gift the association the money.  The DAY will then put it into marketing, promotion and business development downtown, and since they have the title of a state main street community, the city gets a tax break back of $100,000.00 next year.

This works great for the city because it allows them to focus on other areas that need work.

"At the end of the day, our focus might not always be here on downtown.  There's many other parts of the city, there's other projects to work on and what these guys want to do is make sure that the focus can be there, that they can continue to focus on it because here's the thing about economic development, especially in a downtown, you're never done," Hawkins said.

The city will decide if they will go forward with this transaction to the association at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

After that the money will be put right back into the community rather than going to the state's general fund like it already does.
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