Last week in the Midland City Council meeting, members discussed the possibility of developing an entertainment and cultural district in downtown Midland.

According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, creating a district for entertainment and culture would help the city's effort to revitalize the downtown area.

It would also attract tourists and stimulate economic development.

To be clear a cultural district are areas with a concentration of culture or art facilities, and an entertainment district would be where concert or movie venues would be the main attraction.

Development Services Director Chuck Harrington stated that a cultural district would be a bit more difficult to make because an application would need to be submitted to and approved by the state, but an entertainment district would only take a zone change from City Council.

The benefits of having an entertainment district would include venues and bars having the ability to play music louder than they would be able to outside the district, people being able to carry alcoholic beverages from one venue or bar to the next within the district, and better signage for venues like neon signs and such.

The city would have to create a public improvement district that would put a tax on property owners for improvements and maintenance and would have to be approved by 50% of those property owners.

City staff have considered some boundaries for the district such as from Kansas Street to Front Street, another suggestion was around Centennial Park with boundaries two or three blocks in each direction from the park.

If those districts were created the city would have to create separate agencies to manage those areas. That way anyone wanting to have an event or festival would not have to go through city council, but would have to get the approval from that particular agency.

The talks will continue at the next City Council meeting.

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