Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Clean Sweep...and Signs

One of the services provided by Tacoma's Downtown BIA is maintenance of common areas throughout the 84-block district. Our crews regularly sweep, blow, and pressure wash sidewalks and other common areas on a regular basis (we also remove graffiti). We've also been making strategic investments in streetscape elements such as planter boxes and hanging flower baskets, which we fund and City of Tacoma crews install and maintain.

Tonight the BIA is requesting that the Tacoma City Council allow us to withdraw some funds from our reserve account to help keep these programs on track.

About 40 days ago, our Tennant sweeper burst into flames and was totaled; we are still awaiting insurance proceeds to cover the lost. Fortunately, the BIA has kept dollars in reserve so that an unexpected purchase like this won't leave us in a quandary. Our new sweeper (price around $65,000) is set for delivery tomorrow.

We're also funding installation of new directional signs for drivers in the downtown area, a program we are funding in cooperation with the Foss Waterway Development Authority and the City of Tacoma. Some of the new signs are already up; they constitute one element of what we hope will be a new wayfinding program for visitors and shoppers.

Funds for this signage were committed almost two years ago and thus had to be withdrawn from our reserve fund (unspent assessments). Approval for this request from the Tacoma City Council is just one aspect of the BIA's accountability to ratepayers.

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