The Start of The Main-Dempster Mile
In 2014, more than 60 small businesses in Southeast Evanston came together to sign a petition supporting an investigation into the formation of a Special Service Area (SSA) for the existing Chicago/Dempster and Main Street business districts.
What is a “Special Service Area” and How is it Funded?
As defined by Illinois State Statute, a Special Service Area encompasses a contiguous area within a municipality or county where additional specialized services are provided in addition to the general services offered throughout the area.
These special services may include landscaping, advertising, public art, and enhanced garbage collection. The funding for these services is generated through taxes levied on businesses and commercial properties within the designated area.
Bringing the Idea to Life
To facilitate this initiative, a steering committee comprising local business and property owners collaborated with a consultant to organize three public meetings. These gatherings aimed to gather input from the community regarding the proposed SSA.
A budget and tax cap were formulated from the feedback of residents, business owners, and property owners and presented to the Evanston City Council. In the summer of 2015, the City Council officially adopted the necessary ordinances to establish the SSA.
Main-Dempster Mile Board of Directors
The Main-Dempster Mile is managed by a board of eight directors overseen by an executive director. One must live, work, or own commercial property in the neighborhood (Greenwood to South Boulevard, Ridge to Lake Michigan); attend one Board Meeting before being voted on; and agree to an informal meeting with a current Board Member before being voted on to serve on the Board of Directors.
Continue reading about the Main-Dempster Mile and get the inside scoop on public meetings, community events, dining guide, and read over the MDM Event Calendar!
900 Chicago Ave UNIT 104, Evanston, IL 60202