DCI Monthly DDA Roundtable
Each month our DDA members join a call to discuss pertinent issues and share ideas and best practices on district management. This past month brought up several good ideas and suggestions, and a discussion for how DCI can support DDA districts throughout the year.
The DDA group discussed the ways they build relationships and form partnerships in the community and the state. Some districts have more integration with local administration and elected officials, while others more directly work within the local municipal administration. The following responses share some of the great things that DDAs are doing across the state.
- Castle Rock Economic Partnership includes the Chamber, Economic Development, etc. to meet monthly and every so often the City Manager and Mayor join the meeting. There is also a process for checking in to get updates on what is happening. There are strong bonds to city leadership, but the DDA hasn't prioritized meetings with state representatives.
- Golden is ad hoc and has monthly meetings open to the public, the Chamber and DDA work closely, and there is also a Visit Golden community meeting that the city runs. Downtown is part of the Clear Creek Management committee.
- Glenwood Springs different departments have a regular idea exchange. The city does advocate for the community - mostly through grants at the Federal level. Prosper Glenwood Springs has been working to strengthen partnership with City, and spends part time working in City Hall.
- Longmont has a monthly group of 13 partners who get together and share ideas. There is also a regular discussion between city department heads to work on collaboration.
- Loveland is just starting out, in year four, but they are seeing the importance of establishing partnership and independence.
FOCUS AREAS TO WORK ON
The following ideas were discussed as things that individual DDAs or DCI can work on to strengthen our relationships and awareness.
- One area to work on includes expanding the connections between the DDAs and who is representing the community at the state-level.
- Consider how to add more connections without adding more meetings - is there a way to coordinate, consolidate, etc.
- DCI can develop a rough template for engaging state officials and representatives - what are some key talking points and areas to touch on.
- Collect Grand Junction’s document to explain what is baseline or eligible improvement from the DDA.
Who is City V. Independent
The DDA statute allows for the organization to exist under the City or as an Independent entity. The DDA can also use the City Council as the Board, or to appoint the Board Members. The call participants were largely independent, including Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Longmont, Greeley, Fort Collins, Loveland, and Castle Rock. Only Golden is directly under the City.
As DCI prepares to do our annual survey of DDAs DCI is asking for ideas and data points that the DDA community would find useful in planning your work and advocating in your community and the state.
- Tracking long term impacts - # of small businesses impacted, public parking spots in town, etc.
- DDA Management - City or Independent, IGA with the City, Benefits Include…, etc.
- Showing what funds the DDA can leverage beyond the City, TIF, and Mill Levy
- How many locally owned businesses are in your District area?
- What were your primary services and responses for the Pandemic? How would you propose to add to resiliency programming for your community, region, or the state?
Bianca Fischer, Executive Director of the Greeley Downtown Development Authority, provided a link to a Colorado Legislative Council Staff Issue Brief discussing the Impact of Tax Increment Financing on School Finance, detailing how and when the state backfills funding for local districts within TIF boundaries. A link to that document can be found HERE.
If you weren't able to make our call and you're a DCI DDA district member, we hope to see you on our next one! We meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 12:30pm. Our call in September will be focused on a discussion around liquor policies related to retail licenses downtown and entertainment district uses.
We would also love your feedback on any of the topics above, and suggestions for future agenda items in upcoming months. Is there a particular challenge you're facing that the group could discuss? Contact us at [email protected] with your thoughts!