Last month, a packed house testified to the Monticello city council on both sides of the business district issue, which would generate an estimated $400,000 for downtown area projects through a 1 percent sales tax add-on.

On Monday, no one spoke on the subject and aldermen approved establishing the special district, which will include about 190 parcels in and around the downtown area.

During the July public hearing, some audience members testified an increase in sales tax could drive away customers or decrease profits of retailers. Others felt it was an appropriate way to fund improvements, especially on properties that include 100-plus year old buildings.

Discussed for about a year, the business district will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.