Czech Village / New Bohemia

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A Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) is a financing mechanism used to fund district-specific improvements and services to supplement, not replace, existing municipal services. A designated district is able to levy taxes on commercial and industrial properties within the district boundary. A designated district is self-imposed and self-governing. Non-commercial, non-industrial properties are exempt from paying the assessment. These properties can voluntarily contribute to the SSMID funds or can volunteer to be assessed.

The Czech Village/New Bohemia SSMID will improve the neighborhood and the Cedar Rapids community in a variety of ways:

  • Economic development
  • Communications and Advocacy
  • Capital Improvements
  • Enhanced Maintenance
  • Parking/Transportation Management

CVNB SSMID Commission meetings are open to the public and are held on the first floor of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library on the third Thursday of each month from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Czech Village/New Bohemia District 2019 Annual Report


2019 Achievements

  • Created District Beautification Committee
  • Contributed to City of Cedar Rapids’ Bike Share program
  • Contributed to ConnectCR
  • Continued participation in planning of streetscape on 12th Avenue extension
  • Enhanced streetscaping with more flowers in more places
  • Street banner pole repairs and maintenance
  • Created cohesive and coordinated holiday décor across District
  • Increased long-term strategic planning and involvement with the City on the District’s master plan
  • Maintained levy rate at $1.25/$1000 assessed value
  • Continued advocacy for Cargill and the rail yard project
  • Launched strategic stakeholder communications including monthly Stakeholder e-Communication, a social media platform and online presence.

District Plans for 2020

The Commission’s efforts in 2020 will align with the City of Cedar Rapids’ district action plan. Commissioners felt they could best work toward focusing on three items.

Increased Streetscape Aesthetics
  • Expand current use of planters, banners and holiday décor, utilizing the planning and research of the Beautification Committee to extend to additional areas, enhance what’s already there and increase the maintenance and attention paid to what gets put in place. Emphasis on developing a unified or complementary look across the District and creating and executing on a plan to ensure timely, consistent and quality displays.
  • Lead on 16th Avenue SW Streetscape plan, per City of Cedar Rapids request.
  • Discuss the potential for new minor scale amenities such as benches, limited lighting and signage that might include parking and/or wayfinding signs.
  • Discuss the potential for new major scale amenities such as bridge lighting, canopy street lighting, pocket park(s) and dog park.
  • Discuss what a master streetscape plan might entail and see if the Commission may want to go that direction.
Increased Public Art
  • Lead on the 10th Avenue SE artwalk project as requested by the City of Cedar Rapids. The City defined the scope of these responsibilities as plan, create, buy, install and maintain. Most of the budget impact will be professional service time devoted to planning the project, determining funding sources, building a supportive coalition and more.
  • Participate in Multi-District discussions about a district collaboration project that the Commission hopes could be steered toward a public art project.
  • Communicate and coordinate with Main Street on public art initiatives. Both groups have identified this strategy as something to work on and want to make sure no duplication of efforts is taking place. Identify clear duties and responsibilities to be outlined and communicated before proceeding.
Communications
  • Stakeholder communications will continue with similar frequency, content and delivery vehicles. There should be more wins and tangible benefits to communicate from the SSMIDs efforts in 2020.
  • Facilitate opportunities for the Commission to speak as a unified voice, submit feedback and testimony to issues that impact the district, champion its priorities and progress.

Download the Czech Village/New Bohemia 2019 Annual Report in it's entirety here.

SSMID Commission Members

  • Craig Byers
  • Lijun Chadima
  • Stephanie Jelinek
  • Pam Lewis
  • Ana McClain
  • Chad Pelley
  • Jim Piersall, Chair
  • Bob Schaffer

SSMID Commission Meeting Agendas

2020

2019

SSMID Commission Meeting Minutes

2020

2019

2018

Czech Village/NewBohemia District News

Visioning For the Future of Czech Village/New Bohemia District

Economic Alliance | Jul 11, 2019

In early June, the City of Cedar Rapids sought public input on the Czech Village/NewBo Action Plan, a comprehensive look at the … Read More

Czech Village/New Bohemia Plans for Next Chapter of the District

Jun 11, 2018

A commission composed of property owners in the Czech Village/New Bohemia District are focusing efforts on a few key priorities.… Read More

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