July 18, 2012 By Christian Murray
Business leaders and city officials held a meeting at St. Sebastian’s parish hall on Monday to discuss the creation of a Woodside Business Improvement District.
The proposed district would cover Woodside Ave. and Roosevelt Ave, from 57th to 63rd Streets. Elected officials and Community Board 2 are behind its creation, arguing it would help clean up the dirty streets, increase public safety and reduce graffiti.
Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, has advocated for the BID for several months, describing BIDs as a great success in many communities. In the past, Conley has said that a Woodside BID would also help beautify the area and promote local businesses.
The BID is likely to cost business owners about $400 per year, according to reports.
David Rosasco, chairman of the Woodside Neighborhood Association, said before Monday’s meeting that the BID was not worth the cost.
He said Woodside was the recipient of the Doe Fund, where $31,000 was allocated to homeless people to clean up the neighborhood. Furthermore, 61st Street is going to be one of the three subway stations that will benefit from the pigeon mitigation system.
However, Woodside on the Move and several business owners have voiced their support. The meeting on Monday followed a similar meeting in June.
Proponents of the BID also said that they could form a low-cost alternative called a BID Express, which is a new model that can be created quickly and is less costly to business owners. However, the services are limited to tasks like sanitation and maintenance.
The decision to create a BID will ultimately be made by the landlords/business owners within the proposed district. If the concept gains traction, it will come to a vote.
Sunnyside BID = the 99 cent solution, meaning fill every vacancy with cheap crap
I would advise against this type of group
I have to agree with David, I’m not very impressed with the work of the Sunnyside BID. I see little in actual services provided to the neighborhood and more in inflated salaries for leadership. All of the backslapping yields very little result.
Obviously it’s up to the businesses themselves, but I’m very skeptical.
Ron, take a chill pill, as the Doe Fund has not even been back in Woodside for 2 weeks, so no proper judgment could be made as to its merits, I believe. Remember, your business will be assessed (i.e. taxed) based on the frontage of your store if you enter the bid. My argument is that you as a business owner are already paying taxes for sanitation and transportation, and we have 311, so what is actually going to be provided is the question. In any case, as a business owner, if you want to join the BID, by all means do, as it will wind up being your money, but I’m asking business owners to consider the financial burden as opposed to what you will actually receive, other than some BID executive director making $70,000 a year to do what you do for your business right now.
I am a local business owner within the boundaries of the bid and am absolutely 100 % behind the bid. It is badly needed in the area and I would have no problem paying my allocated portion. With all due respect to Mr David Rosasco, I think all you have to do is take a walk around there to see that the DOE fund is not working and that it needs to b cleaned up.
However I do agree with Krissi that the local business owners need to do there part And support the Bid and in order to that the Bid needs to become more high profile and involve local owners a little more than a questionnaire 6 months ago.
I think Bids have been a great success and all you have to do is look to our neighbouring areas to see.
I think this is a good idea…. but there needs to be community support. Particularly from landlords. It doesn’t matter how good the BID is if all you have is shuttered windows and 99 cent stores.