Downtown Tulare is full of history, "You can still sense it, you can feel it," Tulare resident Chris Herrell added.
Buildings built in the 1800's are still standing, reminders of what the downtown used to be. Herrell wants to rejuvenate it, "No matter how great your town is or how far out it expands, the key anchor in it and of itself is it's downtown."
He's part of a PBID research team along with Patrick Isherwood and Bob Barnier. PBID stands for Property Based Improvement District. It's a way of raising funds from property owners to pay for enhancement projects. Things like security, graffiti removal, lighting and general clean up.
Bob Barnier said, "A PBID gives that opportunity because it's business owners, property owners who are in essence investing in themselves."
Downtown Visalia already has one in place. Sam Sciacca, one of the city's marketing directors says it's been vital in bringing merchants together and making downtown successful. "It takes a lot of money to make these improvements, a property owner cant' do it on his own...he's got to be successful with a team and that's how it works."
Start up isn't cheap, the Tulare group needs $40,000 to get it going. Patrick Isherwood is hoping the city and property owners will jump on board, "we want the community to succeed, we want businesses to succeed...it makes for a better place for everybody."
The group hopes to have a PBID created in Tulare by April of next year.