Rock Island seeks public input on downtown Special Service Area

Rock Island
This aerial view shows a section of downtown Rock Island that could become part of a special taxing district being considered by the City of Rock Island. CREDIT QUAD CITIES CHAMBER

The City of Rock Island is seeking public comment on a plan to establish a Special Service Area (SSA) to help revitalize and grow its downtown area.

Among the special services the property owners in the area could pay to receive under an SSA are: litter pickup, maintenance of flower plantings, hospitality assistance for visitors, district signage, branding and marketing activities and supplemental business assistance programs. Such special taxing districts are common in both Illinois and Iowa and are used to support commercial corridors and downtown areas.

The proposed special assessment for the Rock Island SSA is 1.15% of equalized assessed value (EAV) of a property within the SSA boundaries. The city council approved the initiating ordinance on Monday, Aug. 22, to get the process and launched a 60-day public comment period. 

Those who want to provide public comments can do so through a Google form, which can be found here, that will be submitted through the city.

Downtown stakeholders are invited to voice support for the SSA or oppose it entirely, according to a news release from the city. Commenters also are welcome to suggest ways to change it, for example, suggesting adjustments to the boundary or the assessment amount, the city said. 

The public comment period will be followed by an Monday, Oct. 24, public hearing, which will provide an additional opportunity to offer feedback.

After reviewing the public comments, the Rock Island City Council will consider a second, “establishing” ordinance in November. If this second ordinance is passed, the SSA will go into effect.

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