Sun Prairie Business Improvement District map (2015)

This 2015 map, the most recent available from the City of Sun Prairie’s website, shows the downtown Business Improvement District (BID) boundary in the highlighted area.

Is a Sun Prairie Business Improvement District (BID) expansion on the horizon?

Not yet, but BID members on Thursday, Dec. 5 learned what it would to take to bring more property owners into the $74 million district.

Chuck Law, a BID expert from UW-Extension’s Local Government Center, told BID members that a single property owner can petition the BID to expand its boundaries. The plan commission would then review the petition. Property owners in the prospective BID expansion area would be notified and a public hearing would be held before the BID expansion goes to the city council for a vote.

Law was invited by BID members to talk about BID expansion, business recruitment, and retention. BID Manager Colleen Burke said no petition is in the works, the BID is just exploring its options.

The BID, Law said, could create auxiliary members, or do a non-contiguous expansion by allowing specific property owners to come into the district.

Law advised BID members to consider the pros and cons before expanding.

“You need to think about the overall intent of the district and if there is a common thread that will help you weave all these properties together,” Law said at the Dec. 5 BID meeting.

BID Board Chairman Dan Callies said the BID needs to be ready with downtown redevelopment projects set for the Bristol and Main Street explosion site, and on city-owned land at 402 E. Main St. and Vine Street.

Redevelopment could impact property values, rental rates and change the aesthetics of downtown. Law said the BID needs to be part of redevelopment discussions.

“You need to start thinking about unattended consequences of these new spaces opening up,” Law said. “And how that will impact what you already have here.”

Law said the Sun Prairie downtown BID seems to be communicating very well and showing the value of the organization, evident from no pushback from its recent $10,000 budget increase for 2020. That bumped up mill rates for 80 BID property owners.

The BID district’s assessed property value is $74,185,700, according to city officials.

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