May is very busy for Gaithersburg Economic Director Tom Lonergan and the cityâ€™s office of economic development. Not only is the department analyzing the data received from the completed Main Street surveys on Kentlands business, but it is engaged in several other projects as well.
As of May 3, the city had received more than 600 responses to the Main Street survey, an amount well above its goal of a 10 percent response rate.
â€śI am quite pleased with the resident response to the survey at this point,â€ť said Lonergan.
The deadline for survey submission was May 11. Lonergan hopes to have a preliminary assessment of the data completed by mid-May and will share the results with residents soon after.
The first-ever independent economic development website for the city of Gaithersburg, www.growgaithersburg.com, is in development. â€śThe structure and shape of the site are coming along well,â€ť Lonergan said.
He has been choosing color schemes and information â€śbucketsâ€ť for the website and, along with members of the cityâ€™s communications staff, has been writing the editorial content that will be made available to the public through the site. Although a specific launch date for the website has not been determined, Lonergan expects it to go live during summer 2012.
Lonergan will present the Route 355 corridor study to the City Council and Planning Commission on June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Gaithersburg City Hall. â€śThe new report will be more economic development and less design guideline driven,â€ť said Lonergan.
The city is working with Municap, Inc., a public finance consulting firm that specializes in exploring creative approaches to funding urban renewal and economic development projects. Municap is analyzing the potential of tax increment financing (TIF) to help fund the Watkins Mill exchange project in Gaithersburg.
TIF is a public financing method used to subsidize redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects. The completion of a public project often results in an increase in site value and an increase in tax revenues. TIF creates funding for projects by borrowing against this future increase in tax revenue. Lonergan expects to receive Municapâ€™s analysis report sometime this month.