The column below was previously published in the February, 2016 Ferguson Times. At that time, the City was struggling with how to balance the budget for the City’s General Fund. Since then, two tax increases have been passed in order to shore up the General Fund. The downtown business district continues to operate as noted below without using funds from the General Fund.
Budgets, budgets, and more budgets! There’s been lots of talk about budgets in the City during the last few months. One good thing that has come out of these conversations is that more and more residents have become knowledgeable about where the City gets its money and what the City spends it on.
Maybe you’ve wondered where the downtown business district (also referred to as “CityWalk”, or “FSBD”, or just “S. Florissant”) gets its money from and what it spends it on.
What the downtown business district spends its money on is easier to answer because the results of that spending are very visible. Downtown events such as the Farmers Market, the Concert Series at 501, Streetfest, Northern Lights, and the Christmas Glow Carriage Rides are all funded, some completely and some partly, by the downtown business district. Most of the advertising for these events, so people far and wide know about them, is also paid for by the downtown business district. In addition, the downtown lighting, trashcans, benches, and public landscaping and art are all paid for by the downtown business district.
So where does the downtown business district get its money from? There are two funding sources: a special tax that downtown businesses pay when they renew their business licenses; and the proceeds from the downtown TIF district. (Explaining how a TIF district works is beyond the scope of this column, but google “TIF” if you want to learn more.)
There you have it. Money flows into two funds that the City has setup for the downtown business district, and that money is spent on the things you see and the events you enjoy along the downtown corridor.
Our StreetFest billboard is up! Check it out on the corner of I-270 and Florissant Road.
Today’s Food Truck Event has been canceled due to weather. Please join us next month on September 19.
Our next Food Truck Monday is TOMORROW, August 15 at Plaza 501 from 11:00am – 1:30pm.
Here is a taste of tomorrow’s CityWalk concert OddsLane. 501 S. Florissant Rd. from 7-9:30p.
Oddslane performing “Dust To Dust” live at The Old Rock House 3-4-16 from their upcoming 2016 album “Last Night On Cherokee” written, produced, mixed, and mastered by OddsLane, & Grammy winners David Z (Prince, Johnny Lang, Etta James, Fine Young Cannibals) & David Farrell (BuckWheat Zydeco, Arcade Fire, Aaron Neville, Scarlett Johansson)
As the fall months are quickly approaching, we begin to prepare for kids starting back to school and all the fall activities in September and October. This would be a great opportunity to consider volunteering.
CityWalk has many events, festivals, and opportunities available for you to volunteer throughout the Ferguson community. Here are a couple of functions that you may want to consider:
- Ferguson StreetFest is North St. Louis County’s largest annual outdoor music festival that draws thousands of visitors each September. We are looking forward to a great turnout on September 24, 2016. Renowned for its great live music, crazy fun events and mouthwatering food vendors, the event has hosted some of the Midwest’s top musicians and performers.
- Everyone loves the annual Manly Man High Heel Keg Relay and the Girly Girl Combat Wench Relay.
- Don’t miss out on this year’s great live entertainment. There will be crafts, food, artisans, and activities for kids and delicious food galore. You won’t want to miss one second! Ferguson StreetFest is looking for sponsors and planning committee members. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-524-5197. More details are coming soon.
With the start of the school year fast approaching, you may want to pay a visit to Akers computers, one of our new businesses on CityWalk. It is important for parents and the community as a whole to set the tone for the start of the year. Let’s make sure that our kids have all the resources and support needed for a successful start to the year.
Volunteering at your local school not only supports our students, but strengthens our community as well. From collecting school supplies for children to providing school staff with educational resources, your volunteerism is essential. Let’s make certain that our children are provided with the academic stability that will ensure success. The Ferguson-Florissant School District will be hosting a Back to School Festival and Literacy Fair on August 6, 2016, from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. For those interested, there will be a Back to School Run starting at 8:00am. We look forward to seeing you there.