I believe nearly everyone agrees that a healthy downtown benefits all Cheyenne. Where do we Cheyennites go to celebrate and get together as a community? Downtown. The Plaza. In Cheyenne’s unique and best restaurants. Where do parades happen? Where do visitors go to learn about Cheyenne? Downtown defines us as a one-of-a-kind city.
Long ago, I chose to locate my office downtown. I must have a romantic streak in me. Old buildings have always fascinated me. They take me on time travels though history and help me understand how we got here. I suspect that other downtown property owners located here for downtown’s romance.
The property owners have invested in downtown Cheyenne. We put our money where our hearts are. With any real estate investment, we need to continually make repairs and improvements. However, downtown has repairs in the public right of way that only the city can make – lighting, streets, curbs, gutters, etc. Some downtown improvements need neighbors to work together, like lighting, sidewalk benches, trash cans, trees, landscaping ... That’s where the Downtown Development Authority comes in.
Downtown property owners voted to tax themselves to create the DDA. In return, the DDA works with the City Council, enhances downtown’s image, promotes it with special events, and has had its hand in major developments like the Depot, the Plaza, the murals, Fridays on the Plaza and numerous façade improvements like the Atlas Theatre.
Unlike the mall franchises, downtown is full of independent entrepreneurs on the frontier of innovation. The mall has a corporate manager. Downtown also needs coordination to do what individuals can’t do by themselves. It needs the DDA to continue its mission of serving downtown owners. After all, property owners fund half of the DDA and have a say about its direction.
That’s why I urge all owners of downtown business properties to vote FOR the mill levy Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Depot. In-town or out-of-town property owners can also vote absentee by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 307-637-6346 or 637-6334.