East Tosa businesses petition for business improvement district

July 2, 2014

Riding a wave of activity on North Avenue, several East Tosans have petitioned for a new business improvement district that would fund future improvements between 60th Street and Wauwatosa Avenue.

Under the proposal presented Tuesday to the Common Council, business owners on North Avenue from 60th Street to Wauwatosa Avenue would have an extra tab on their property tax bills that would fund the BID. Eleven property owners signed the petition for a BID.

Brent Nistler, an attorney who works on North Avenue and helped write the petition, said the district would have a budget of about $100,000 if approved. With about $33 million of taxable property value in the area, that would be about $3 per $1,000 of property value.

Nistler said the group did not have specific ideas yet of what to do with the money, but hoped it would make the area more attractive to businesses.

"I think it will help attract new businesses, continue the momentum we've been fortunate to have in the last seven years, and hopefully put the area on the map," Nistler said.

Wauwatosa already has one BID that covers the Village of Wauwatosa.

Alderman Bobby Pantuso, who was formerly involved in that district, said he thought East Tosa could benefit from the same kind of structure.

"It's going to give them the resources and leadership to get a lot of things done that need to get done to kind of complete East Tosa," Pantuso said.

He said it would also be useful, as an alderman in a district that covers part of North Avenue, to have a point person in the BID to represent businesses on city matters.

"Instead of having 30 to 40 different voices, you've got all the voices on the same page," Pantuso said.

In order for the BID to move forward, it will have to be approved as part of the city budget, which will go through public hearings in September.


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