The Brighton City Council discussed at its Thursday meeting what the next steps might be for a new special assessment district proposed by the Principal Shopping District Board for the downtown area. The SAD would replace one that has expired, which has left the PSD without funding for its projects that are designed to promote downtown Brighton as a destination for shopping, dining and recreation.

The PSD Board has held several meetings to discuss its future, and it is being proposed that a new assessment on property in the PSD district be established - but so far, no decisions have been made. City Council Member Jon Emaus tells WHMI he has serious reservations whether the city can demonstrate the benefits– as state statute requires – that are necessary in order to establish an SAD.

Under the proposal being considered by the PSD, the building owners would be obligated to pay the assessment, which would go on their property tax bill. Mayor Shawn Pipoly says the businesses cited by the PSD Board as supporting the assessment are all located on Main St., with none on Grand River or elsewhere.

Emaus says he has done his own small sampling of the businesses that would be impacted by an assessment and found only one person who supports it. The matter has been tabled for the time being due to the pressing need to tackle the city budget, which must be adopted this spring prior to the end of the city’s fiscal year on June 30th.

Emaus says that once the budget is dispensed with, the city can proceed with other priorities, such as deciding whether another special assessment is needed to promote and market the downtown. Mayor Shawn Pipoly tells WHMI that he understands the plight of the businesses in needing to promote the downtown, but says, quote, “It’s not the mayor’s place to impose his position on the other (council) members.” (TT)