Step 4: Hold an Initial Steering Committee Meeting
1. Select Steering Committee
2. Agree on
a Vision for the District
3. Define Tentative Boundaries for the District
4. Identify Resource Needs and
5. Set a
Hold an initial steering committee meeting with all of the members. Ensure that your SBS project manager attends the first steering committee meeting. Also be sure to take comprehensive meeting minutes at this and any other steering committee meeting.
1. Select Steering Committee Chairperson
The first piece of business for the committee is to choose a chairperson. The chairperson should:
Have extensive knowledge of the community
Be capable of gaining the support of property and business owners
Have a history of involvement within the community
Have a reputation for seeking positive change within the community
Have a vested interest in the long-term economic stability of the area
The chairperson will:
Lead the steering committee through the seven remaining steps in the planning and outreach phase of BID formation
Communicate regularly with SBS
Ensure that target dates in project plan are met according to schedule
Represent the committee in the formal approval phase of the BID formation process
2. Agree on a Vision for the District
The committee should agree upon a common vision for the development and management of the proposed district. Ask your committee members to consider the district. Why have they joined the committee? What kind of a place do they want the district to be? What is the area’s greatest potential? Which goals are most widely held?
Capture a range of ideas and build a statement that adequately reflects the thinking of the group. Publish and circulate the vision statement to each member and invite them to respond to it. Refine the statement as the planning process unfolds. A good vision statement is a shared point of view that will mobilize the community and help prioritize the work of the BID.
A Sample Vision Statement is available here.
3. Define Tentative Boundaries for the District
Once the group has articulated its vision, it must consider the tentative boundaries for the district. Although the boundaries may change as the planning process unfolds, they need to be estimated up front in order to estimate the costs of proposed services and understand who to contact during outreach. The boundaries should state exactly which streets to include, specifying the side(s) of the streets if necessary.
Properties in the district should be contiguous. The shaded areas in the figures above represent the tentative boundaries of two different BID plans. The properties in the shaded areas pay for and are entitled to receive BID benefits (services/improvements). Non-shaded properties do not pay and are not entitled to BID benefits.
Figure A is a good example of a BID with contiguous boundaries. In Figure B, the proposed BID properties are non-contiguous, because properties (x) and (y) are not included in the plan. Figure B’s boundaries are problematic because it is difficult to provide services to participating properties without also providing services to properties (x) and (y). For example, it would be nearly impossible to provide sanitation services along Street 2 without properties (x) and (y) also benefiting.
Once tentative boundaries are determined, they should be submitted to SBS. Upon receipt of the boundaries, SBS will prepare a map and return it to the steering committee.
The same guidelines that you considered when thinking about the feasibility of a BID should be revisited in determining the tentative boundaries:
There should be more commercial property than residential property
There should be few government and other tax-exempt properties
There should be little vacant land/property
4. Identify Resource Needs and Funding Sources
Staffing. It is reasonable to assume that the formation of a new BID will require anywhere from 20-40 hours of work per week and that time and staffing requirements will increase during the outreach phase.
Other Resources. You can also expect to incur certain non-personnel expenditures, such as office supplies, postage and local advertisements.
Available Funding. The steering committee should consider how to fund the BID formation process and identify possible funding sources. In many cases, the members of the committee contribute funds that are reimbursed once the district is established. SBS also awards a limited number of BID planning grants, usually in low to moderate income neighborhoods, on an annual basis.
5. Set a Project Plan
The steering committee should draft a project plan. The purpose of the project plan is to set target dates for the completion of the action items listed at the beginning of each step. The plan should help the committee use its time as efficiently as possible. You may need to adjust the dates as the actual deliverables are completed ahead or behind schedule. As this occurs, revise and redistribute the plan to all committee members.
A template for developing a Project Plan is