Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Niwot LID: Revenues rise slightly between 2015 and 2016

 

March 19, 2017



The Niwot LID Advisory Committee held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 7, and once again, sales tax drove the discussion.

Through two months of 2017, the LID has committed to $19,687 in expenses, including half of the Economic Development Director’s salary ($11,250), according to Treasurer Harris Faberman. His report also included an estimate of the LID’s current capital purchases reserve balance ($265,945), based on his calculation of net revenues over the past nine years.

The committee considered just one funding request, from the Niwot Cultural Arts Association (NCAA) for Let’s Wine About Winter. The annual wine and beer tasting fundraising event for Niwot’s parks, now in its third year, is held in conjunction with local merchants. Patrons joined the Let’s Wine About Winter club by paying $25 to the organization, and received a mug and a $10 coupon good at participating shops and restaurants for up to three weeks. All proceeds from the Feb. 25 event were donated to Whistlestop Park and the Niwot Children’s Park.

LID Member Biff Warren, who submitted the request on behalf of the NCAA, reported that this year’s event was “by far the most successful of the three we’ve done,” as the event has steadily gained popularity.

LID member Howard Treppeda, whose restaurant participated, agreed, adding, “This event is unique and effective.”

A total of 262 tickets were sold this year, up from 160 in 2016. Live music was offered for the first time, with musicians at Winot Coffee and in the hallway of the Niwot Emporium. The NCAA requested $2,389.43 for various expenses, including mugs, music and advertising, but actual costs were less, according to Warren. The slightly reduced request was approved with five votes in favor and two members (NCAA board members Warren and Satir DeMarco) abstaining.

Moving on to new business, Warren reviewed the December 2016 sales tax report, which included final results for last year. In 2016, the total sales tax revenue for the LID was $168,318, up less than 1 percent from 2015 ($167,274), but up more than 6 percent from 2014 ($157,919). Both Warren and Faberman expressed mild skepticism about the relatively flat growth rate last year, given the influx of new businesses and visitors to the area recently.

Treppeda suggested that overall restaurant spending in Niwot might actually be falling due to competition from new eateries in Gunbarrel and south Longmont, as well as a declining volume of lunch traffic from local employers. Discussion continued about potential ways to affirm the state’s reporting, and Warren suggested conducting an informal survey of LID restaurants about their general revenue growth last year. LID member DiMarco agreed to make some calls.

In Old Business, Faberman offered an update on the efforts to acquire land from BNSF Railway to build a permanent parking area just north of 2nd Avenue. Last month, the Revitalization Committee completed its independent appraisal of the lot in question, and is currently awaiting further discussion with BNSF’s appraiser.

With no further business and no public comment, the meeting was adjourned shortly before 8 p.m. The next meeting of the LID Advisory Committee will be held Tuesday, April 4 at the Niwot Fire Station.

 

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