Community Improvement Districts
In his first State of the City address, Mayor Sly James celebrated the fact that Downtown Kansas City had reached a tipping point – that moment when an idea, trend or behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. That tipping point did not happen by accident. The creation of the CIDs proved to be two pivotal moments in Downtown’s revival.
In his first State of the City address, Mayor Sly James celebrated the fact that Downtown Kansas City has reached a tipping point – that moment when an idea, trend or behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. That tipping point didn’t happen by accident. The creation of the Downtown Community Improvement District (DCID) proved to be a pivotal moment in Downtown’s revival. During the last 10 years, more than $6 billion has been invested in the renaissance of Downtown.
The creation of the River Market Community Improvement District (RMCID) proved to be a pivotal moment in Downtown’s revival. During the last 10 years, more than $6 billion has been invested in the renaissance of Downtown. The RMCID manages a 35 square block area in the historic River Market neighborhood. The RMCID was established by property owners within the neighborhood to provide enhanced services and programs to make the district cleaner, safer and more vibrant.
The Downtown Community Improvement District (DCID) has partnered with the City of Kansas City, Missouri to provide Clean and Safe services to the property owners of the 18th & Vine Jazz District. By providing these services in a polite and courteous manner, we will create an atmosphere that allows an enjoyable quality of life and successful commerce.
Clean, Safe & Green
The Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) in the Central Business District and the River Market have made ‘clean, green and safe’ the mantra of Downtown Kansas City. The CIDs have an annual budget of $3 million, which provides 22 maintenance ambassadors and 27 safety ambassadors for the two districts.
Public Safety Ambassadors provide a reassuring presence on Central Business District & River Market streets seven days a week. Our uniformed ‘yellow jackets’ are visible throughout the these neighborhoods as they work the Kansas City Central Library, Metro stops, key intersections, streets, parking lots and special events. Our Public Safety Ambassadors serves as a first point of contact for emergency needs; helping maintain order and deferring crime through their consistent coverage and visibility.
To ensure a remarkable urban experience everyday, the Public Maintenance Ambassadors are focused on the benefits of keeping Downtown streets clean, friendly and inviting. Ambassadors quickly remove graffiti, stickers and illegal posters throughout the CBD and River Market. They routinely identify and report deteriorating and broken infrastructure to the City’s 311 Action Center, thus allowing consistent service to ratepayers. Our Public Maintenance Ambassadors sweep sidewalks at least twice daily and they have a zero tolerance policy for graffiti. Specially trained teams use solvents and high pressure washers to blast graffiti from multiple levels of building walls, light poles and street furniture.
Improving the physical environment and they pedestrian experience are crucial to Downtown’s quality of life. Through a partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the CID receives Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) funding to make improvements, including these in Spring 2014:
- 1,500 square feet of landscaping installed
- 200 linear feet of sidewalks installed
- 24 damaged trees removed
- 24 2.5 inch caliper trees installed
- 24 fire hydrants painted
- 20 light poles painted
- 7 decorative flags installed
- 8 trash receptacles installed
- 4 park benches installed
CID Initiatives, Partnerships & Programs
The Downtown and River Market CIDs continue to partner with the Full Employment Council (FEC) in the Occupational Skill Training Program for intern candidates. The program has provided the CIDs with additional Ambassadors at no cost to ratepayers. Over the last three years, the CIDs has 52 intern Ambassadors who provided more than 20,736 hours of services at a savings of $130,736 to ratepayers.
The CIDs are committed to educating the Ambassadors with additional skills and knowledge through year-round comprehensive training courses. Ambassadors undergo intensive training in crime prevention and reporting, first-responder training, homeless outreach services, along with these following courses:
- CPR & first aid certification
- Harassment/workplace violence awareness certification
- Certified Tourism Ambassador recertification
- BikeShareKC orientation
- Graffiti removal education
- Law enforcement education by KCPD
- Suspect identification/incident reporting by KCPD
- Bloodborne pathogen handling certification
- Released a $10 million bonding package to simulate market rate housing such as One Light Tower and River Market West
- Resolved zoning issues allowing businesses to meet proposed opening dates
- Provided assistance to merchants by retaining needed retailers and removing operators that cause nuisance violations
- Assembled one city block to allow the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance to advance
- Interfaced with Missouri Department of Probation and Parole to address the issue of offender recidivism in Downtown
- Provided homeless services though the Downtown Community Services Center (DCSC) and Kansas City Community Kitchen, operated by Episcopal Community Services.
CID Ambassadors play a central role in the Downtown Council’s commitment to working with and caring for the homeless population of greater Downtown. Homeless services reached new heights over the last four years, as reStart, Episcopal Community Services (ECS) and the CID opened the Downtown Community Services Center (DCSC) and Community Kitchen at 8th & Paseo. CID Public Safety Ambassadors provide on-site security and support at the Center.