Revamped Germantown Special Services District to hold first official meeting Tuesday

 Omar Gray was a street-cleaning mainstay for the Germantown Special Services District until funding dried up. Litter in the business corridor looks to be a focus of the revamped group. (Aaron Moselle/for NewsWorks)

Omar Gray was a street-cleaning mainstay for the Germantown Special Services District until funding dried up. Litter in the business corridor looks to be a focus of the revamped group. (Aaron Moselle/for NewsWorks)

With a new board of directors chosen and City Council’s approval, the revived Germantown Special Services District has most of its pieces in place, and will hold its first official meeting Tuesday night.

The new board members will be charged with creating a five-year plan, formulating a budget and seeking funding for the recently reconstituted GSSD, which would be submitted for Council review in the fall.

Board-member bios coming soon

The group has been a key effort of Eighth District Councilwoman Cindy Bass; her aide Joe Corrigan is among the members of the new GSSD board.

Other members include Matthew Canno, Barbara Hogue, Joseph Martin, Greg Piel, Mjenzi Traylor and Joseph Waldo, with additional nominations to be made in the fall to complete a 15-person board.

This story will be updated when NewsWorks gets more information on the board members (including brief bios from Bass’ office) and their plans.

In a statement, Bass called Council’s approval of the new GSSD board “a great step in the right direction toward helping revitalize Germantown.

“This summer, the appointees will work hard to engage business owners and the community in the process of making Germantown a more attractive place to live, shop and do business.”

From dormant to active

GSSD has existed since 1995, but the group fell dormant over the last two years and its street-cleaning efforts stopped, exacerbating a litter problem that was already at the top of many residents’ lists of complaints.

In recent months, a steering committee met with community members and local business leaders to formulate a draft plan and budget.

The group’s efforts will focus on the commercial district along the Germantown-Chelten corridor, targeting services like street cleaning and better coordination among business owners, city agencies and police.

Commercial property owners would be charged an assessment, likely around 12 percent of a property’s tax bill, to help fund the GSSD’s first-year efforts, programs and staffing.

Community-based efforts have already begun making improvements at Maplewood Mall, which lies within the GSSD’s draft boundaries.

In recent weeks, neighbors organized cleaning, plantings and activities that culminated in this weekend’s “Re-imagining Maplewood Mall” event. Bass also secured $2.2 million in city funding for a capital project to redesign the dated outdoor shopping space.

The GSSD board meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Pegasus Room at the Flying Horse Center, 5534 Pulaski Ave. Future meetings will also be open to the public.

For more information about the new GSSD, check the group’s website.

NewsWorks has partnered with independent news gatherer PlanPhilly to provide regular, in-depth, timely coverage of planning, zoning and development news. Contact Amy Z. Quinn at azquinn@planphilly.com.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.