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.