Business Improvement Districts (BID or BIDs) are legally codified special assessment areas authorized by Chapter 35 of the Revised Code of Washington. BIDs are able to be formed by a petition signed and presented to the City of Richland by 60% of the business owners located within the proposed geographic boundaries of a new district, or by the legislative authority of a local government (city). To date, there are two BIDs in the City of Richland and both districts were formed by a petition of the local business owners and approved by the City of Richland.
How a Business Improvement District operates
To finance the programs of the BIDs, a monthly assessment is managed and collected by the City of Richland, and distributed to the Board of Directors of the BID. The Board of Directors is a body elected on a regular/recurring basis by the members (businesses) within the district, and appointed to administer programs for the collective maintenance, security, and marketing of the district.
What Business Improvement Districts do
BIDs are actually a subset of Parking and Business Improvement Areas, which are designed to aid in general economic development by enabling cities and businesses to cooperate to provide services not otherwise available to a limited area. The funds can be utilized to provide for general management, services, facilities, and programs within the defined district. The Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington State provides a great outline for general services that may be provided by a BID, including:
- Construction, acquisition, or maintenance of parking facilities in the area
- Decoration of public areas
- Promotion of public events in public places within/including the area
- Furnishing of music in any public place in the area
- Provision of maintenance and security of common public areas
- Management, planning, and promotion/marketing of the area; including retail trade