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Archive for Saturday, December 28, 2013

25 years ago: Owner of iconic downtown shop to close in protest of BID fees

December 28, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 28, 1988:

"When Indian is out, George is in." Thus had a well-known sign proclaimed the status of George's Pipe Shop, 727 Massachusetts Street, for as long as most Lawrence residents could remember. However, the shop's proprietor, George Wilson, announced this morning that he would be closing his shop at the end of 1988 to protest his $180 annual assessment from the downtown Business Improvement District. The fee was mandatory because the shop was within the boundaries of the city-approved BID. "One of the things that got me more shook up than anything was just being ignored," Wilson said, explaining that no one had listened to his opposition to the BID. Wilson said his main source of dissatisfaction was the fact that collected fees were to fund the Downtown Lawrence Association, which had a hired staff to do promotions for downtown business. Wilson felt that both the staff and the promotions were unnecessary, and he believed he was far from the only one who protested against this expense. Wilson said he would reopen his shop if the BID were dissolved.

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