City to launch survey seeking BID opinions

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Local businesses have the chance to weigh in on the fate of the Business Improvement District next week.

According to Sandpoint City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton, the city is preparing to release a survey to gauge public opinion on the BID, a local tax on downtown businesses to fund special events, marketing and promotions. Business owners can complete the survey either by mailing it back to the city or filling it out online, with a deadline set for the end of the year.

“We’re hoping to have initial survey results for the council sometime in January,” Stapleton told council members.

The city is partnering with Boise State University to gather the public opinion data. A graduate student class is preparing and administrating the survey to provide a more scientific and thorough analysis of the public’s wishes. The collaboration was originally proposed this fall. However, it required approval by university officials before the project could proceed, Stapleton said.

Long a controversial measure, the BID is lauded by some as a mutually beneficial arrangement and criticized by others as a costly fee that disproportionately benefits some businesses. Originally managed by the Downtown Sandpoint Business Administration, it was later absorbed by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce as an independently managed and governed entity sharing equipment and office space.

Earlier this year, BID manager Kim Queen resigned, throwing the future of the district into question. Since Queen’s departure, the chamber has contracted BID services out using funds freed up from the BID manager salary. [CR]

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.