GALLIPOLIS — Backers of the Downtown Revitalization Project are asking Gallipolis residents to vote “yes” on the issue in the March 15 primary election.
According to DRP representatives, “Large cities such as Columbus have entertainment districts, like the Short North and Brewery District, that allow for more restaurants with liquor licenses than Ohio Division of Liquor Control allows per capita population. These entertainment districts require the city to invest huge amounts of money into infrastructure for that area. Since small cities like Gallipolis cannot afford the requirements of these districts, a special category for Downtown Revitalization Districts was created for cities with a population of 100,000 or less. This current state legislation allows a small city to designate specific areas for designation as a revitalization district pending voter approval.”
A proposed downtown revitalization district would have boundaries consisting of properties between Vine and Pine streets, from First to Fourth avenues, along with the commercial area near Vinton Avenue and State Route 160. Approximate acreage of the area in question is 75.
The issue, should it pass, would allow for additional D-5 at a rate of one per five acres with a maximum of 15 licenses. The licenses would be for dining establishments with not less than 75 percent of their total gross sales account from the sale of food. The licenses are not being considered for bars and do not effect current licenses in place within Gallipolis.
Once the district is established and applicants successfully gain access to their licenses, fees for a yearly renewal of the licenses go directly to the Gallipolis general fund, in addition to income tax generated by employees of new dining establishments. If a restaurant were to fail, their D-5 license would still need to remain within the district. Licenses cannot be transferred outside of the district. The passage of the issue would potentially encourage food entrepreneurs to take up residence and try their hand in the downtown revitalization district landscape.
“The establishment of a Downtown Revitalization District will be a great enticement for more restaurants to locate in Downtown Gallipolis,” say DRP representatives. “With more restaurants comes the opportunity for more business as many thriving business districts are surrounded by multiple dining establishments with a great variety in different food and taste offerings. Please vote yes this March 15 and encourage friends and neighbors to do the same.”