Wilmington completes report on possible Municipal Service District, public hearing set

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The city of Wilmington has finished a report required by state law about the potential Municipal Service District.

The Wilmington Downtown Inc. proposal would provide the following additional services for the downtown district:

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  • Ambassadors for additional safety and security
  • Supplemental cleaning
  • Enhanced economic development
  • Amenities for enhanced beautification
  • Targeted marketing and branding

But to pay for these additional services, the WDI proposal calls for a tax of 7 cents per $100 property valuation, which is $70 annually per $100,000 in property value. That would generate an estimated $276,000 per year for the downtown district.

An oversight committee, made up of downtown property owners and businesses, would make recommendations as to how the funding would be spent.

If approved, the district would cover the same area as the city’s Central Business District. The area is generally bounded by the Cape Fear River on the west, the Isabel Holmes Bridge to the north, the North Fourth/Brooklyn Arts District to the east and reaches south as far as Chandler’s Wharf along the river.

The MSD report had to be completed before further consideration of the issue could occur. The city says they have sent a notice about the report to about 850 affected downtown property owners.

It’s a proposal not without controversy. During a public hearing in March, many business owners spoke out against the proposed MSD, saying the services it provided would not help them.

A public hearing about the MSD will take place during the October 18 City Council meeting.