Ripon’s downtown business improvement district (BID) board of directors met for the third time last week Friday, and the same question continues to surface: What should its role be?

   Should it closely scrutinize how Ripon Main Street uses the BID funds collected via property taxes?

   Or should it offer general guidance?

   After years of inactivity, the board has wrestled with this existential question since being reconstituted earlier this summer.

   But it seems to be inching closer to an answer.

   “Our process is really trying to understand what projects and what is needed from the business operators and owners, and try to effectively develop a plan and outline and say, ‘We’re going to earmark these funds to do this, this and this.’ It’s their responsibility to put that plan in action,” said T.J. Rogers, chairman of the BID board.

   Ripon Main Street is supposed to receive approximately $60,000 in BID dollars (assuming all property taxes are paid by properties within the district). This represents less than half of Ripon Main Street’s budget.

   BID board members, though, debated exactly how strongly they should urge Main Street to do specific projects with those dollars.

Read the full story in the Sept. 13, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.