"With the increased budget that the (LVWHD) will generate, our winery and vineyard owners will have a greater ability to increase visibility, draw traffic to the valley, increase sales and positively impact the long-term financial health of our winery and hospitality community in Livermore," said Steven Mirassou, board president of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and member of the LVWHD steering committee.
The formation of the LVWHD is sponsored by the winegrowers association and will include all wineries located within the boundaries of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and the cities of Livermore and Dublin, and the town of Danville.
The city of Livermore will act as the lead agency for the district, collecting an annual assessment of 2% of winery sales made in the state of California over a five-year term that would begin retroactively on July 1, 2021, according to a presentation by Adam Van de Water, director of the city's Office of Innovation and Economic Development. However, the collection of assessments wouldn't start until Jan. 1, 2022.
"The district is designed to provide specific benefits to payors by increasing winery sales in the Livermore Valley, marketing and brand awareness, community and industry advocacy, quality enhancement and education, and sales promotion," Van de Water said in his report during the Sept. 13 City Council meeting.
Following the staff presentation at the Sept. 13 meeting, the council unanimously approved a resolution of intent to form the wine heritage district. At its Oct. 11 meeting, the council held a public hearing to receive testimony on the proposal.
According to city staff, this process is in accordance with the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994, which requires the city to hold a public meeting at least 10 days after adopting the resolution of intent to form and at least seven days before a final public hearing and adoption of a resolution of formation. The process also requires obtaining consent from the two counties and other cities within the affected area.
Mirassou was among the three speakers who shared public comment at the Oct. 11 hearing, all expressing support for the formation of the LVWHD. The final public hearing and council vote is set for Monday (Nov. 8).
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