Business Group Supports Creation of Hermiston Urban Renewal District

Release Date: 

The City of Hermiston’s Business Advisory Committee unanimously recommended Thursday that the Hermiston City Council move forward in forming an Urban Renewal District in the city’s downtown core.  The City Council will consider whether or not to begin forming a district at its December 10 meeting. 

Approval to move forward at the December 10 meeting would then begin the work of identifying projects and establishing the boundaries of the district through an Urban Renewal Plan.  The City has already conducted a feasibility study to identify the financial viability of a district which used several hypothetical projects, and some first-draft boundaries.  The feasibility study showed that a district could support several re-development projects and programs without any increase in tax rates.

Urban Renewal Districts are not funded through increases in tax rates, but rather by diverting future revenue from existing tax rates into a fund that can only be spent on projects and programs identified in an Urban Renewal Plan.  Members of the Business Advisory Committee, which is made up of Hermiston business owners and advocates, agreed at Thursday’s meeting that the function of an Urban Renewal District has no downside for downtown businesses.