At its May 23 regular meeting, Sanford City Council awarded Downtown Sanford, Inc. (DSI) another 5-year contract to manage the Downtown Sanford Municipal Service District (MSD).
In September 2015, the General Assembly amended NCGS 160A Art. 23 subjecting municipalities to additional requirements when contracting with an outside agency to “provide services, facilities, functions or promotional and development activities” for a municipal service district. The change required a municipality to solicit input from MSD residents and property owners on a regular basis and to use the feedback to select an outside management agency.
To comply with the legislation, the City conducted an online survey of MSD property owners, business owners, and residents. The City published a request for qualifications based on the results of the survey and held a public hearing prior to awarding the contract.
“Downtown Sanford Inc. was created in 1984 to enhance and promote the downtown area while encouraging private investment and being a strong partner to the City of Sanford,” said Kelli Laudate, executive director for DSI. “Managing the promotional and development activities for the Downtown Sanford MSD is a natural fit for our organization.”
Laudate noted many highlights from the previous contract period, including DSI’s support in securing state funding to renovate the Sanford Depot and build the Sanford Agricultural Marketplace, increased tax base in the MSD, the RISE program, and record-breaking visitor traffic during downtown festivals.
“Downtown Sanford, Inc. has proven to be a creative and successful partner in accomplishing Sanford City Council’s goals of stimulating tax growth, energy, excitement, and enthusiasm for downtown,” said Mayor Rebecca Wyhof Salmon.
The Downtown Sanford MSD management contract takes effect July 1, 2023 and runs through June 30, 2028.