December 13 Downtown E-News

The Downtowners’

City Center Newsletter

December 13, 2012

What You Will Find…

□ President’s Review

□ Downtown Updates

□ Upcoming Events

□ Association News


Downtown Bismarck 2012 and Beyond

By Downtowners Board President Dale Zimmerman, Owner of Peacock Alley

As I reflect back on 2012, I realize it has been a great year.  We have made some progress in our Downtown.  The TIF (Tax Increment Financing) lawsuit is finely behind us and as a result we will now get the much needed Quiet Rail improvements on 3rd, 5th and 12th street crossings as well as a new parking ramp on 6th street.  We also now have free parking in the 3rd and Main ramp from 4pm – 2am. In October, we held our 2nd Annual North Dakota Downtown Conference which brings people from the region to Bismarck to discuss downtown issues.

In August, we hosted the 1st Annual Downtowners Art & Wine Walk. This event is designed to bring people into our members’ businesses and for them to show everyone what they do. The first event was successful and we are planning another for 2013.

The goal for 2012 was to make the Association not just an events only organization, but more of a voice for ALL of our members.  We have made lists of priorities and are making city officials and others aware of the needs downtown. These efforts will strongly continue in 2013.

A priority for Downtowners and the community going forward is to build a downtown square. This is not just a park or pond, but rather a true destination.  A place where people of all ages can go and participate in different activities as a community. A destination to hold outdoor events, a place that makes all residents and businesses proud to be a part of our community. We will need lots of help to get this done. Our downtown infrastructure also needs a lot of attention.

With these important projects to come, I have decided to run for another term as President of the Association. With your help and support we can continue to make Downtown Bismarck greater than it is today. Thank you and Merry Christmas —  Dale Zimmerman


Holiday Window Contest Deadline Extended!

The Deadline for the Holiday Window Contest has been extended to Friday!  Some businesses have just been too busy to send their pictures in (a great thing).  So you have until Friday, Dec 14 at 5pm to get on the ballot.  The theme this year is Free for All! Decorate your Downtown windows in whatever creative theme you choose.  However, this year we will be having two winners!  We will have a Member’s Choice and a Critic’s Choice!  If you’d like to participate, simply send a picture of your window to us by December 12 to get on the ballot.  We’ll then send out a ballot to all the member businesses to choose their 3 favorite windows.  Awards and gift certificates will be given to the top 3 Member’s Choice and 1 Critic’s Choice.  Happy Decorating!


Downtown Updates

Laughing Sun Brewing Co., which opened last month on 5th St, is extending their hours.  Owners said the demand is there to be open longer.  Their new extended hours are Tuesday through Friday 4pm-Midnight, Saturday 2pm-Midnight.

— At the September 25 Bismarck City Commission meeting, the city determined that the CORE Programs used for Downtown revitalization, can now be used again.  What does this mean?  Property and business owners can once again apply for the CORE Façade & Signage Grant for their property.  Owners or developers looking to create housing in Downtown Bismarck can apply for the Housing Incentive Grant.  There are also grants for Sidewalk Subsurface Infill and a Technical Assistance Bank.  Please contact Bismarck’s Downtown Planner Jason Tomanek for more information.  701-355-1849.

— The Bismarck Parking Authority has made free evening parking permanent in the 3rd and Main ramp from 4pm to 2am daily.  With all the new activity and nightlife in Downtown Bismarck, the ramps will allow the public to enjoy the city center and not have to look for street parking.  Thank you to the Authority members and Downtowners members on making this program permanent.

Snow removal policy for sidewalks.  All properties must have snow removed from sidewalks AND corner curb cuts 24 hours after snowfall.  Failure to do so can result in liability claims.  Please clean your sidewalks Downtown, since visitors use them to get to all our great businesses. Missing one sidewalk can make the difference in coming downtown for people who find it difficult to get around. Thanks!


Quiet Rail and Parking Ramp Moving Forward

At a December 10 Special Meeting of the Bismarck City Commission, officials voted to move a proposed Quiet Rail Zone and 6th St Parking Ramp forward.  Commissioners moved to have City Administrator Wocken negotiate with BNSF on implementing Quiet Rail infrastructure on 3rd, 5th, and 12th Street crossings.   Quiet Rail Zones add extra safety features to the crossing so that trains do not have to blow their whistles as a matter of habit, only in cases of emergency.  Commissioners also asked Wocken to inquire if Ulteig Engineers, the original group that worked on the 6th St Ramp plans, wanted to continue.  If not, the city will send out an RFP (request for proposal) for another firm to finish the plans.  Both of these projects would be paid for from the TIF Fund that was recently unfrozen by the city because of a favorably resulting lawsuit. Quiet Rail Zone is important to growing residential units in Downtown Bismarck, and developers have supported its implementation.


Upcoming events

What’s Shakin Downtown…

Dec 13-16

Dakota Stage Presents:

Inspecting Carol


Dec 14-15

Central Dakota Children’s Choir

Christmas Concert

Belle Mehus Auditorium


Dec 21

“It’s Not the End of the World”

4 Local Bands Perform Live Concert!


Dec 31

New Year’s Eve Celebration


Belle Mehus Auditorium


Downtowners’ Association News

Organization and member news …

You can find all of our member’s information at:

Member Abused Adult Resource Centerhosts Hope for the Holidays, a program that help families by providing gifts at Christmas.  Please call 701-222-8370 for a list of items in need this year.

Join Member Lillian’s Thursday at 4:30-6pm for the United Way Diva Night/Fundraiser! Lillians of Bismarck will donate 10% of all sales to our local United Way.

Support the arts by coming to Six Appeal’s second annual BAGA Fundraiser “Home for the Holidays!” Join singing sensation Six Appeal at the Belle Mehus for a Holiday Concert Dec 22-23, proceeds will go to Member Bismarck Art & Gallery Association.
Tickets available at BAGA, & Dan’s Supermarkets North and South.

The Downtowners Annual Meeting will be January 9, 2013 at 9:05am in the KFYR-TV Board Room.  All members are welcome to attend the meetings.


Please send all member business news and events to:

Check the Downtown Business Association’s websites for updated news and events or

Please forward this on to people interested in Downtown news!