By Jon King /

A resolution to dissolve the Principal Shopping District will come before Brighton City Council at its Thursday night regular meeting.

The idea to dissolve the PSD, a nine-member board that oversees the promotion of Downtown Brighton, was proposed by Councilman Jim Muzzin following the May 7th adoption of the city’s 2020/21 fiscal year budget. According to the minutes of that meeting, Muzzin requested that staff bring back a resolution to dissolve the Principal Shopping District, “so property owners do not shoulder another tax bill with an assessment.”

The Special Assessment District that funds the PSD expired almost two years ago according to Mark Binkley, the Chairman of the Principal Shopping District’s Board. He says the SAD enabled the PSD to provide marketing for downtown Brighton to “compete in the advertising arena with big box stores and other communities with one collective voice.” Since then, Binkley says there have been no marketing campaigns for downtown Brighton and that unless another entity steps forward to fill the void, there will be no campaigns to help market downtown Brighton as businesses reopen following the COVID-19 shutdown.

The resolution on Thursday’s agenda (posted below) states that the in light of “current economic disruptions of unknown duration, additional assessment payments for the purpose of conducting market research and public relations campaigns, developing, coordinating and conducting retail and institutional promotions, and sponsoring special events and related activities, is an unnecessary additional cost to be borne by property owners, or their tenants” and that the economic benefits of the PSD to the property and business owners within its boundaries “have been continually questioned and there is currently insufficient data to illustrate comprehensive district-wide benefits.” It concludes that the city’s Downtown Development Authority has, “a robust toolbox available to promote a comprehensive economic development strategy.”

But Binkley says he doesn’t understand the sense of urgency to dissolve the PSD, and that he sent a letter to council asking what is going to replace the PSD, why the move to dissolve it is happening now, and requesting that council postpone the decision. “I have no idea if it will fall on deaf ears or not. I really do not understand the timing on this or the motive behind it. Allowing the PSD board to remain in place, even without an operating budget, isn’t going to hurt anything.”

Thursday’s council meeting starts 7:30pm and will be conducted electronically via Zoom.