Local

Battle brewing over business management district

Monday, October 17, 2011

A battle is brewing among local business owners who are fighting their own management district. The Montrose area business owners say they're being charged a fee they weren't expecting. Now they want the district gone.

Business owners in the Montrose area say they don't want to pay the assessment fee because they don't see the benefit.

It's all about the details for Daphne Scarbrough. That's because she owns and operates a small business in Montrose called the Brass Maiden. But she has another focus.

"'Stop the District' is to show that they don't have the support for this district and we want it dissolved," she said.

Scarbrough and many of her Montrose neighbors, who are also business owners, formed a group called 'Stop the District.' They oppose paying an annual assessment fee to the Montrose Management District. The district uses the assessments to provide several services from landscaping to extra security patrols -- services the business owners says their tax dollars already provide.

Scarbrough explained, "I want to save all the small businesses and property owners from a burdensome tax that is not really accomplishing anything."

Neighbors like restaurant owner Eduardo Lopez believe the assessment fee is not providing any benefit.

"We work hard as it is to stay in business, to pay our bills," he said. "We don't need it, we don't want it."

The group has already handed the district a required amount of signatures to dissolve the district. While the signatures are being verified this week, the district takes issue with the group's complaints.

David Hawkes, Executive Director of the Montrose Management District, explained, "The Montrose area is unique and what we don't to have happen is what has happened in other areas where there are strip centers and things of that nature. Somebody has to speak for the whole area as a whole."

That's what the Montrose Management District says they already do. The petition signatures are being counted and verified. If they have enough, then the Montrose Management District, by law, will have to dissolve.

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montrose, local, cynthia cisneros
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