In lieu of their regular monthly luncheon, the Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce recently organized two after-hour events that not only provided valuable networking opportunities for its members but also served as a platform to introduce the new Community Improvement District (CID) and its one-cent sales tax initiative. With the CID now in full swing, funds are being collected to enhance the Westside business district, mirroring the successful revitalization efforts seen in the downtown area through the Downtown Excelsior Partnership.
The CID’s inception dates back to February 8, 2023, when the Excelsior Springs City Council approved a petition submitted by a majority of property owners within the district boundary. Subsequently, on May 2, 2023, property owners within the district participated in an election, approving the implementation of a one-cent sales tax dedicated to funding marketing and improvements within the district. Collection of this sales tax commenced on October 1, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the district’s rejuvenation journey.
Brian Rice, the Executive Director of the Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce, shared key insights into the purpose and allocation of the funds generated by the sales tax. “The money raised through the sales tax in the district will be reinvested within the district itself,” Rice stated. He further elaborated that a substantial portion of the collected funds, approximately $4 million, will be designated to assist the City in securing an additional $21.5 million through the RAISE grant program, primarily aimed at funding street and sidewalk improvements.
To oversee and manage the CID effectively, a board of five directors has been established, representing various facets of the community. The inaugural board members include Brian Yarbrough as Chairman, Mike Anderson as Vice-Chairman, Melinda Mehaffy as Secretary, Bill Westerheide as Treasurer, and Mike McCoy as a member. Brian Rice serves as the Executive Director of the CID. The board convenes annually to establish budgets and formulate policies. The day-to-day operations and decision-making processes of the CID are facilitated through specialized committees, consisting of Branding and Design, Events and Promotion, Economic Vitality, and Organization. Business owners and employees within the district are strongly encouraged to actively participate in these committees to shape the district’s future.
For those interested in attending the Westside Committee meetings, they are scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of every month at noon, and they take place at the Excelsior Springs Mid-Continent Public Library. The next meeting is slated for October 25, 2023. For further information and inquiries, please reach out to Brian Rice at 816-630-6161.
The establishment of the Excelsior Springs CID and the initiation of the one-cent sales tax mark a promising new chapter for the Westside business district.