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Sales tax might help spruce up Mandan's Strip

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Photo - This Monday, July 21, 2014 photo shows Memorial Highway in Mandan, N.D., commonly known as the Strip. Officials in Mandan are considering using city sales tax money to spruce up store fronts and business landscaping along the 2-mile stretch of road. The Strip, which stretches from downtown to a bridge that spans the Missouri River between Mandan and Bismarck, is a major gateway to Mandan. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune/Tom Stromme)
This Monday, July 21, 2014 photo shows Memorial Highway in Mandan, N.D., commonly known as the Strip. Officials in Mandan are considering using city sales tax money to spruce up store fronts and business landscaping along the 2-mile stretch of road. The Strip, which stretches from downtown to a bridge that spans the Missouri River between Mandan and Bismarck, is a major gateway to Mandan. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune/Tom Stromme)
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MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — Officials in Mandan are considering using city sales tax money to spruce up store fronts and business landscaping along the 2-mile stretch of Memorial Highway commonly known as the Strip.

The City Commission earlier this year applied for $200,000 from the Bush Foundation for the effort but failed to land a grant. Mandan's Leadership, Pride and Image Committee is now proposing the use of sales tax revenue, The Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1luPt8g ).

A local development committee and the City Commission must approve the idea, which involves forgivable loans of up to $10,000. If the program is approved it would mirror one already in place for downtown Mandan businesses that offers incentives up to $60,000 for corner buildings and up to $30,000 for other commercial properties. Thirty-one downtown projects have been approved and 29 have been completed.

The Strip, which stretches from downtown to a bridge that spans the Missouri River between Mandan and Bismarck, is a major gateway to Mandan.

"We're just trying to amp up our image," said Laurie Leingang, a member of the Leadership, Pride and Image Committee.

Ellen Huber, business development director for Mandan, said sprucing up the appearance of the Strip also could boost the city's economy.

"We are hearing from real estate agents and others that it is affecting deals as to whether or not they are coming to our community," she said. "There's much greater opportunity for us to better our retail and business development efforts."

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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