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LIVERMORE — In a unanimous decision this week, the city council approved resolutions that could establish the Livermore Valley Wine Heritage District (LVWHD) — expected to generate $693,000 in its first year to support local winemakers.

Consideration of the LVWHD’s final approval will take place in November, following public hearings.

Adam Van de Water, Livermore’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development director, explained during a council meeting on Sept. 13 that this action was the first step toward forming a benefit assessment district for Livermore Valley’s Wine Country and other regional wineries.

“The formation is sponsored by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association (LVWA),” Van de Water said. “The district is designed to provide specific benefits to payors by increasing winery sales in Livermore Valley, marketing and brand awareness, community and industry advocacy, quality enhancement and education, and sales promotion.”

The City of Livermore, which will act as the lead agency, will collect from 56 wineries — within the boundaries of Contra Costa and Alameda counties and Livermore, Dublin and Danville — an annual assessment of 2% of winery sales made in the State of California. The LVWHD will continue for a five-year term, beginning July 1, 2021. Van de Water explained that the formation will begin July 1, 2021, but the collection of assessments won’t begin until Jan. 1, 2022.

The council’s decision approved two staff recommendations to form a resolution declaring the intention to establish the district, along with a resolution to request consent from the involved counties and cities. Obtaining consent is a requirement.

Steven Mirassou, president of LVWA board and a member of the LVWHD steering committee, said the district is the culmination of a multiyear, strategic planning process to form a business improvement district.

“The heritage district is a funding mechanism ... that will allow the assessed members of our district to sustainably fund marketing, sales and promotion activities that will showcase the world-class quality of Livermore Valley wineries and grape growers,” Mirassou said.

Before the council vote, Councilmember Bob Carling asked whether an outside marketing consultant would be hired. Brandi Addington, LVWA operations and membership director, said that while the county has yet to provide solid sales tax figures, organizers will evaluate that possibility after they gather first quarter assessments. She further said the heritage district has already formed a marketing committee to form a plan for hiring a consultant in the future.

Vice Mayor Trish Munro said it was exciting to move forward in a regional way while continuing to grow the local wine industry as an “up-and-coming force.”

Woerner expressed support as well, acknowledging that the district has been in the works for a while.

He concluded, “I’m glad it’s finally come to us, and we’re going to be voting on it.”

According to the staff report, the first public hearing will take place Oct. 11, followed by another hearing for final approval on Nov. 8.