Herbster joins city BID board

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David Herbster, athletic director at the University of South Dakota, was named to a five-person Business Improvement District board Monday evening.

The board was created by the city of Vermillion to decide how to spend new money collected from hotels within city limits.

The Business Improvement District (BID) will add a $2 lodging fee to all Vermillion hotels. The money will go to the city and the BID board will decide how to spend the money with final approval from City Council.

The money can be spent on multiple improvement projects including public off-street parking, landscaping, construction of sidewalks or any project for the betterment of the facilities in the district area according to South Dakota law.

Herbster will serve a two-year term along with Amy Christensen, owner of Vermillion Vision Clinic and Steve Parker of Hy-Vee, while USD Foundation trustee James Peterson of Masaba and the Vermillion Rotary Club will serve a one-year term and Joe Eckert of Best Western will serve a three-year term.

“It is important to foster the growth of the community and understand how a comprehensive approach to youth athletics can accomplish that for the vibrancy of Vermillion,” said Herbster in an application to city council. “My goal is to find ways to help Vermillion grow.”

At a Sept. 16 council meeting, Eckert said Best Western did not fully support the plan pending future information.

“I’m not opposed to it. There is potential for the great opportunity if it is done right,” Eckert said at the meeting.

The board will also include two ex-officio, non-voting members from the city and Vermilion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company.

Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Yankton and other South Dakota cities have implemented a BID using guidelines set by the state.

Sister City

City Council also approved funding assistance at Monday’s meeting to Vermillion High School students traveling to Vermillion’s sister city — Ratingen, Germany — next May. The city will pay $150 per student, for up to 10 students.

Students will be required to present to the council upon their return. Kamden Dibley, a German and English teacher at VHS will also present a letter on behalf of the mayor to a city official in Ratingen.

Dibley said she hoped to show Ratingen officials the important alliance between the United States and Germany after the recent allegations that the National Security Agency spied on Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany.

‘Vermillion NOW! 2’

City Council also approved a $500,000 payment over five years to the VCDC for “Vermillion NOW! 2,” the second capital campaign by the VCDC. The city increased its contribution to $50,000 for this second campaign.

The money will come from the Bed, Board and Booze fund and Second Penny Fund. The BBB fund is from a tax on lodging, alcoholic beverages, prepared food and admission to cultural events. The Second Penny fund is from the second penny of sales tax that can be used for capital projects.

The first capital campaign was a success, said Steve Howe, executive director of VCDC. It added an estimated 465 jobs with the expansion of Masaba, and newcomers Eagle Creek, Alleviant and Builders Choice.

“Tremendous effort in the past, and I think it gives us a lot to look forward into the future,” said Councilman John Grayson.

The “Vermillion NOW! 2” campaign will focus on the Bliss Pointe residential development project, bringing businesses to Vermillion, assisting existing businesses and enhancing the community.

“We need to focus on the housing issues, business retention and expansion, enhancing the community…we are looking at a goal of $1.6 million,” Howe said.

Howe also explained the capital campaign will have oversight from both the VCDC board and the City Council.