Watertown, SD -- An Urban Renewal tax is something the city council can impose, and although it has been discontinued, consideration will be given again to reinstating the assessment to help with the Loft apartment development in downtown Watertown. Mayor Sarah Caron says every year the council sends out a notice of hearing and then decides if there is a need to implement the tax. She said this is the first year there has been a project to consider downtown.
She said any money raised through an urban renewal district assessment would be used to do the city’s part in helping the new apartment slash retail development at the Loft in downtown Watertown.
Why, if the Loft was going to be built regardless of Urban Renwal District Dollars, is the city considering tax dollars to help.
She says that having more people living downtown will create more foot traffic in that area and that more business translates to more attractions and more inclination for more people to be in that area. She says the downtown is transforming into an area where people want to be.
The mayor said the downtown will benefit more from this project than the city as a whole.
The Urban Renewal Board disbanded after support fell short. She's hopeful that, with the encouragement of the city council to take on the new loft project with Urban Renewal District dollars, the support will be there for this project.