Election Systems & Software will provide technical support for the April 5th special election that could pave the way for the establishment of the Belhaven Community Improvement District.
The Jackson City Council unanimously approved Feb. 15 to hire and pay Elections Systems and Software $2,985 for technical support and election-related services.
The election will be open to anyone registered to vote in the proposed improvement district, including landlords and tenants. Sixty percent of voters in the election must approve the district.
The Improvement District is expected to generate $200,000 per year, which could be used to pay for landscaping, parks, infrastructure, security improvements, and as matching funds for grants for larger projects. said Casey Creasey, executive director of the Greater Belhaven Foundation.
District-generated funds would not be available until 2023, Creasey said.
Legislation requires that a district community improvement plan and funds be administered by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization such as the Greater Belhaven Foundation.
Funds for the Improvement District, a maximum of $6 per $1,000 of assessed value of a parcel, will be collected with property taxes each year by the City of Jackson and donated to the Greater Belhaven Foundation. District revenues must be kept separate from other foundation funds, with strict accounting, auditing, and public disclosure guidelines.
The foundation began collecting signatures for the district in October 2019 and has continued during the coronavirus pandemic.
Community improvement districts are said to improve urban and suburban areas by improving safety, reducing scorching, and increasing property values and job opportunities in local businesses.
The Greater Belhaven Foundation, established in 1999, works to improve and revitalize Belhaven and Belhaven Heights through long-term planning, economic restructuring, historic preservation, improved green spaces and improvements to Fortification Street, the main east-west corridor between the two districts.
Greater Belhaven includes over 1,700 single and multi-family homes as well as numerous businesses.