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City hopes 353 program will revitalize downtown Excelsior Springs

The City of Excelsior Springs will host a pair of public hearings on Thursday, Nov. 16, to discuss the two separate Chapter 353 Tax Abatement districts in Downtown Excelsior Springs. The first tax abatement includes the Royal Hotel and will be a 25-year district. The second tax abatement, which contains the rest of the downtown area, will be a 10-year district. There are over 400 properties within the second abatement district and more than half are eligible for repairs with the program. As shown in the map above, the second district forms a boundary between Kansas City Ave. on the west and the Ray County line on the east, while the north and south boundary follows Excelsior St. and Fishing River, respectively. The Standard will have more information about the Chapter 353 proposal in future issues.

November 3, 2017 – This article is the first of a continuing series to explain the intricacies of the City of Excelsior Springs’ proposal of creating two, Chapter 353 districts that could involve upward of 400 parcels of property.

Downtown Excelsior Springs is in the middle of an upswing with real estate in high demand and new businesses springing up on a regular basis. And now, a program under consideration by the city will bring a new avenue for downtown improvements.

The City of Excelsior Springs has scheduled two public hearings for Thursday, Nov. 16 to discuss creating two Chapter 353 districts in downtown Excelsior Springs. The Chapter 353 program offers tax abatements for property owners who perform qualifying work to improving their homes.

The first chapter 353 to be discussed is the Royal Hotel, which The Standard will provide more details about in the next article. The second is an area generally contained between Kansas City Ave. on the west and the Ray County line on the east and the Fishing River on the south and Excelsior St. on the north. The city provided a map of the area to The Standard, which can be found on page 2.

The purpose of the project is to encourage reinvestment in the community and to make redevelopment more affordable, to remove blight and encourage property ownership.

“We started in this area because it’s a great opportunity for us to have a big impact,” Melinda Mehaffy the city’s Economic Development Specialist said.

“This is about encouraging people to own their homes in this area,” Mehaffy said. “What we have found is when there is ownership of a home there’s more pride. With pride comes care and stabilization of a neighborhood.”

Ultimately, the city would like to see all homeowners in the mapped out area to take advantage of the 353 program and create a sense of pride throughout the area.

Read the complete story in the Friday, November 3, issue of The Standard.

By Standard Staff •

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