The first set of two information sessions to get input on a plan that would double the current annual assessment for business owners will be held Tuesday by the Brighton Principal Shopping District

The current multi-year assessment is set to expire in April with no replacement decided upon. Through the assessment, the PSD is able to provide funding for various strategies and promotional efforts. The proposal by the PSD board is to double the current annual assessment of 14 cents per square foot of first-floor space to 28 cents. While some business owners have expressed concern about the plan being too excessive, others like Lisa M. Baker Nelson, owner of Hush Intimate Apparel on West Main and vice chair of the PSD board, say the organization has few, if any, options to fund its initiatives as they’ve lost funding from the state’s property tax fund capture.

She says expenses such as maintaining and upgrading the downtown Christmas lights, which in the past were funded partially by the DDA and Chamber of Commerce, are no longer given financial help by those entities, leaving the entire burden to the PSD. Baker Nelson says the PSD has a lot of good ideas to promote the downtown and asserts that the assessment increase is far from a done deal, and there will be two series of meetings coming up to discuss the proposal and get input from business owners.

The first two will be held this Tuesday at 8am and again at 6pm and then again on Thursday, February 8th, also at 8am and 6pm. Both series of meetings will take place in council chambers of city hall. (JK)