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WDI plan to improve downtown comes at a cost

READ MORE: WDI plan to improve downtown comes at a cost

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- More security could come to downtown if one group gets its way, but it would cost downtown businesses and homeowner more money.

Wilmington Downtown, Inc., wants to create a municipal service district in the central business district. The area of downtown that would be affected is between 5th Street and Water Street stretching between Ann Street and MLK Parkway.

The plan consists of two positions: safety ambassadors and a clean team. The clean team's efforts would help beautify downtown by doing things like removing graffiti and picking up litter. Ambassadors would assist tourists and keep people who live and work in downtown safer.

"We need to get that extra little push downtown to improve the quality down there, to get a little more promotion attention," Wilmington City Council member Kevin O'Grady. "That's gonna bring the people downtown there is a point when the city just can't do it all."

Property owners in the district would face a tax increase to pay for the services, which in turn would most likely increase rent for business owners. WDI believes it is an important tool for a tourism-based economy.

Some properties would be exempt from the tax. Those include all city, county and state buildings.

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Don't see any mention of addressing the crime problem.

Will that be covered by the district and increased tax. I know there is a correlation between litter and crime, but I would rather visit a safe and dirty area than a clean dangerous one.