The Brighton Principal Shopping District Board Tuesday night held the second in a series of four public meetings on a proposed doubling of the current assessment on downtown buildings.

The meeting was sparsely attended, with the most vocal audience member being Rick Starnes, the owner of the buildings which house Two Brothers Coffee and The Vitamin Store. Starnes told PSD chairman Mark Binkley his businesses have not been helped at all by the current assessment, which will soon expire.

Under the proposal, the current assessment would be doubled to 28 cents per square foot of space on Main Street buildings for the first floor and 12 cents per square foot for the second floor. It would be 13 cents per square foot for Zone “B” – which involves businesses in the Downtown District along Grand River. The assessment now raises $70,000 annually for the PSD, and the one proposed would bring in $112,000. Binkley tells WHMI that if it’s approved, the PSD will be able to do many things that it cannot do with current budget limitations.

Binkley says the PSD could also expand its marketing radius with the extra funds. Also with an assessment increase, the PSD could once again at least partially fund holiday lighting improvements. This past season the PSD did not have any funds to pay for holiday lighting, and their installation was handled by the city DPW, while the Brighton Chamber of Commerce provided a giant Christmas tree at the mill pond.

Two more public meetings will be held on the proposed assessment – both on Feb. 8th: one at 8 a.m. and the other at 6 p.m. The matter will then go before the City Council for two public hearings – the first likely at the first meeting in April and the second two weeks later, with final action in late May or early June. (TT)