Upset by the recent decision to reassign two bike cops from the 7100 block of Germantown Avenue to other areas in Germantown, Mt. Airy’s Business Improvement District (BID) decided to take matters up with 14th Police District Captain, Joel Dales.
BID Executive Director Hollie Malamud-Price met with Capt. Dales on Wednesday in an attempt to make the neighborhood’s concerns heard. The 14th District Police’s Bike Patrol has been moved from upper Mt. Airy due to an increase in violent crimes in the area surrounding Germantown and Chelten Avenues.
“We know he has limited resources,” stated BID board member Bob Elfant, who added that while sensitive to that BID also wants the captain to be sensitive to their concerns.
Malamud-Price said Capt. Dales told her that police cars replaced the bike patrol resulting in more police presence. She said that Capt. Dales also advised BID that a new class will be graduating from the Police Academy next week. Malamud-Price said Dales indicated that in addition to the continued patrol car presence, two foot patrol officers may be deployed where the bike patrols covered, if officers are available.
Malamud-Price noted that should the 14th Police District provide the foot patrols, the “BID Street Ambassadors will begin to work with them to report any suspicious and/or illegal activity.” She explained that Capt. Dales shared the fact that there has been a 160 percent increase in burglary arrests in the past year.
Community Town Watch involvement was highly encouraged to further help in neighborhood crime reduction.
News from Tuesday’s BID meeting
At the association’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, BID board member Elfant stated that the association’s Clean and Green committee will be holding its Philly Spring Clean Up on Saturday April 14 (raindate Apr 28). Elfant stated that BID will be cleaning the “unit and 100 blocks of East and West Duval” Streets (4 blocks total). He also said flyers will be distributed to encourage neighborhood participation and that BID will have help from West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) and East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN) to put the word out. There will be refreshments and hot dogs cooked on the grill during the event.
Spring flowers will return to Germantown Avenue. Malamud-Price noted that this year’s plantings will be similar to what Chestnut Hill has, creating a sense of continuity between both neighborhood’s commercial corridors. BID is looking for volunteers who know a thing or two about gardening to help with the project’s three day installation which will occur the weekend of May 11-13.
Should BID’s next term be five or ten years?
BID Chair, Ken Weinstein said the board came way from their first stake holder meeting with the message “the BID needs to continue.” Board members are in the process of preparing for the next stakeholders’ meeting to discuss charter renewal.
At the next stakeholders meeting, BID plans to present a comparison of all area business improvement district assessments. For property owners along Germantown Avenue the current BID assessment is 18%. The percent is calculated from a property owners tax, for example if the Board of Revision of Taxes has assessed a tax of $1000 on a property, the owner would pay an additional $180 to BID.
Weinstein also stated that BID will explore the question whether BID’s next term should be extended five and ten years. He said a list of pro and cons will be presented for both a five-year and ten-year extension plan.
Drafting the legislation for another term
Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) will meet later this month with Rosa Woods, Chief of Staff for 8th District City Councilwoman, Cindy Bass. After the stakeholders meeting, BID’s executive committee “will decide what we should recommend to the board” said Weinstein. Then BID’s board will vote on what terms (five or ten year renewal) will be put into the legislation that BID, together with CIndy Bass will present to City Council. If City Council approves, letters will be sent out to property owners along Germantown Avenue to vote whether or not they want the association to continue.
The next stakeholders’ meeting will be held on April 2 at the New Covenant Church at 7pm.