By Ashley Rader
The Downtown Business Association approved an increase in membership dues from $50 to $100 to help raise revenue to cover the different beautification projects in the downtown district.
DBA members unanimously approved the increase while discussing their proposed budget for the upcoming year.
Budget committee member John Bunn said the change would help support projects in the downtown and would help bring an extra value to membership in the DBA.
“This would be a strong way to support the things we are doing,” Bunn said.
In a preliminary copy of the budget, the DBA expects to receive $8,400 in revenue. This included a $5,000 allocation from the city of Elizabethton and $3,400 in membership dues, based on an estimate of 34 members paying yearly dues.
Expenses for the DBA were calculated at $6,500, including $2,000 for the E Street project and canopy cleaning; $3,500 to planter maintenance and $500 each for Halloween and Christmas activities.
Bunn said without the increase in dues the DBA’s revenues would not cover the necessary costs associated with the beautification efforts. Dues from the DBA members have been used in the past to purchase new carriage-style light fixtures for the canopies; repainting and adding decorative medallions to the canopies; benches and brick planters in each block; the purchase of themed banner flags; co-op advertising and downtown events and maintenance of all planting areas.
DBA President Cathy Shoun said the group was considering different fundraisers to help raise money for the different projects.
The DBA is still working to complete different projects to improve the appearance in downtown.
John Huber said the two new planters on East E Street needed to be cemented and then fill dirt and plants could be installed, which was contingent on the weather. He added the city had agreed to provide the concrete to finish the new planters.
Also when the weather improves, the project to repaint the canopies along East Elk Avenue would begin.
DBA members discussed the possibility of adding new trash cans and pet waste collection stations on the sidewalks in a style to match the current benches. Another possible new feature would be bicycle racks in downtown.
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