Much applause and excitement came from the new 76 entertainment community improvement district board of directors as the first 76 entertainment CID meeting commenced Tuesday afternoon.
The Branson Board of Aldermen approved a petition to establish the 76 entertainment community improvement district for the Highway 76 Complete Street project in February. The 76 entertainment CID includes businesses in phase 1A of the project that ranges from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Gator Golf on the west side to Landry’s Seafood on the east side.
The district board of directors consist of three city representatives including Mayor Karen Best, Alderman Rick Todd and City Administrator Bill Malinen, and four stakeholders including Larry Schmitt, Gail Myer, Chuck O’Day and Nolan Fogle.
Others in attendance were Sabin Yanez, the 76 project manager from CFS Engineers; Brad Scott from B.M. Scott and Associates, LLC; and Craig Davis from MCD & Associates.
The board voted to appoint Schmitt as chairman, Myer as vice chairman and Malinen as secretary and treasurer.
The board additionally voted to have an election among the businesses within the CID to approve a one percent sales tax. The one percent sales tax would be part of the funding for the 76 project, which was initially supported by stakeholders when the CID petition was being formed.
Toward the end of the meeting, board directors discussed the importance of having community members and stakeholders understand the significance of the entertainment community improvement district.
“I think it’s important for us to educate citizens who are not part of this because their question is ‘How is this going to impact my life,’” Best said.
“And so I think it’s important for us to help them understand that as more people come here and we thrive, our healthcare thrives, our schools thrive.”
In a statement following the 76 entertainment CID meeting, the board of directors expressed their thoughts of the newly formed district.
“This is another significant step toward a revitalized Branson and it is another example of the courage and spirit of cooperation that this city is known for,” Schmitt said in the statement.
“The entire Complete Streets plan has been a people-driven process that started from the grass roots. I am proud to give the voters in the CID an opportunity to determine their own future. I think it is in good hands.”
Malinen said this has been an effort from the city and the stakeholders.
“Since coming to Branson, I have marveled at the public/private cooperation that has enabled this city to become one of our nation’s premiere tourist destinations. It is that same cooperation that is enabling and empowering the Complete Streets plan,” Malinen said in the statement.
“The city could not do it alone nor could the stakeholders, but together we have forged a path forward that will give rise to the dream of a revitalized Branson whose place will be secured for decades to come.”
O’Day said he is proud of the path Branson and community stakeholders are taking.
“In the tourist and entertainment business you are either moving forward or moving backward,” O’Day said in the statement.
“I am proud that the city of Branson and the stakeholders are making a bold statement about the direction that has been chosen. We are giving the people a chance to decide their future.”