Mt. Airy Business Improvement District welcomes new board members, awaits charter renewal

Now that City Council’s Rules Committee has approved a five-year charter renewal for the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID), the organization finds itself in a bit of a limbo state.

The organization’s previous charter officially sunsetted on Sept. 30. It’s currently 20 days into a second 45-day window in which property owners have one last chance to voice opposition to the re-authorization.

As soon as the 45 days are up, BID’s charter renewal goes again before City Council for a final vote. BID will only dissolve if Council hears opposition from 51 percent or more of assessed property owners.

In the meantime, BID can still operate as usual, but it’s unable to collect assessments from property owners until the new charter goes into effect.

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“We’re not expecting any opposition,” stated BID Chair, Ken Weinstein during the group’s October meeting on Tuesday.

Two new board members

As it waits for the legislative process to wrap up,the organization welcomed its newest board members.

Deborah Gary and Traci Nickens were each unanimously elected to a two-year term at BID’s annual meeting last month.

Gary owns Color Book Gallery at 6353 Germantown Ave., a division of DHEx Enterprises. She sits on the board of Inner City Debutants and is a member of Northwest EPIC Stakeholders, Germantown High School Partners and the 6300 Germantown Avenue Business Alliance.

Nickens is the owner of Nickens Agency, an insurance agency located at 6747 Germantown Ave. and also serves on the board of Bebashi, an organization that works with HIV/AIDS patients.

Preparing for the holidays

BID’s program committee is developing plans to introduce a holiday decorating competition along Germantown Avenue.

BID board member Elise Rivers said the contest will largely revolve around an “adopt a street pole” initiative, but may be extended to include storefronts.

BID’s Executive Director Hollie Malamud-Price said the association will again be subsidizing, along with Rothe Florists, holiday decorations which will be installed in store windows along Mt. Airy’s commercial corridor.

Officials flyers announcing the competition will be distributed once details are worked out.

At the end of the month, BID’s Avenue Ambassadors will be removing the flowers from its 90 hanging baskets along Germantown and replace them with holiday garland and bows.

The winter greenery will be installed in early November and remain in place for two months – 30 days longer than last year.

BID will also decorate SEPTA trolley poles with garland in lieu of lamp posts.

Clean and Safe

Malamud-Price reported that the neighborhood is seeing “an uptick” in graffiti since the new school year has commenced, as witnessed by the association’s street cleaning crew.

BID’s Avenue Ambassadors have also spotted dumping on East Duval Street, reportedly the result of recent construction on a corner property.

Malamud-Price said BID notified 311 of the problem, which led to some of the waste being removed.

BID’s next monthly meeting will be held November 13, at 12:15 p.m. inside the historic Upsala mansion.

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