Marysville business owners want IMAGE change
A rib cook-off is on the calendar. But that's just the start.
For a small group of ambitious Marysville business owners, 2013 presents a wealth of potential changes.
"We're trying to add six new events this year to Marysville," said Bruce Buttacavoli, one of 10 core members of the startup group aiming to help revitalize the historic city.
Their efforts coincide both with a change of leadership at City Hall and a new petition to dissolve the Marysville Business Improvement District.
Unhappy downtown merchants already have collected about half the necessary signatures to end the designation.
The district bestows automatic membership upon anyone holding a business license in the historic downtown corridor, and requires a yearly fee from each license holder. The fees range from $100 to $500 depending on the type of business and its location.
Buttacavoli said the new group, which goes by the name, Innovative Marysville Association Growing Excellence — or IMAGE — formed partly in response to the BID's demise.
But the group will bear little resemblance to the district, he said.
"We do have some (IMAGE members) who had been BID members, and wanted to get away from it. There won't be anything mandatory, and all the money will be collected through fundraising," he said. Tom and Becky King, owners of TJ Norths, started the group.
Their outdoor supply store, located on D Street near Third Street, lies in the heart of the historic downtown area.
But IMAGE draws from outside the district as well.
Buttacavoli's construction firm headquarters on Yuba Street lies beyond the BID's boundaries.
So does the Courthouse Cafe on C Street where he and the rest of the group, including the cafe's owners, Bob and Peni Carnegie, have been meeting twice a month since October.
"We're businesses that are kind of left out of the loop, but aggressive enough, and willing to make some positive changes," said Bob Carnegie.
The focus, he said, has been on organizing and planning new events for the city. Street fairs, parades and festivals can help build a level of visibility for a city, he said. Those, in turn, contribute to future commerce and investment.
A competitive rib cook-off slated for April 27, will feature three-person teams representing businesses and civic groups.
Other events the group hopes to organize this year include an Octoberfest, and a traditional Fourth of July fireworks display and festival.
"With more activities, you'll get more flow into the downtown area, and that means more opportunities for businesses to prosper," said Carnegie.
And D Street, he said, shouldn't be the only part of Marysville that gets the attention.
"We want more activities at Ellis Lake, and concerts at the amphitheater (at Beckwourth Riverfront Park)," he said. "We want to get the riverbottom going."
Eventually, the group hopes to see Marysville host a large public event every month of the year.
"We're willing to put in the time and the work to help revitalize this city," Carnegie said. "Hopefully, more businesses will get involved later. Right now, the fewer people we have, the more we'll get done."