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Ridgewood Local Development Corporation requests funding to improve neighborhoods

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Photo by Angela Matua

The Ridgewood Local Development Corporation (RLDC) has many plans for the 2016 fiscal year, including performing a feasibility study of creating a new business improvement district along Myrtle Avenue in Glendale between Fresh Pond Road and 71st Place, which includes approximately 302 properties.

The nonprofit RLDC serves the economic interests of the commercial and industrial sectors of the Ridgewood/Glendale areas by providing ongoing management of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District’s (BID) programs and services, holiday lighting, beautification projects, streetscape improvements and supplemental sanitation services, among other projects and services.

In its fiscal year 2016 budget, the RLDC is requesting capacity support of $65,000. This funding will go toward general operating, administrative and operating costs for its Neighborhood Economic Development and Community Improvement Programs.

The creation of a new BID would provide the Myrtle Avenue Retail/Commercial District in Glendale the flexibility to finance a wide array of programs, projects and improvements and reliability due to multi-year revenue streams.

In order to fund this study, the RLDC is requesting $25,000 to $30,000.

The RLDC also requested program support to assist manufacturing firms in the “South of Myrtle Avenue Industrial Area,” which was recently designated an Industrial Business Zone (IBZ), and other “M zoned” areas in Glendale and a portion of Middle Village along and adjacent to the Montauk Branch of New York & Atlantic Railroad, as well as other manufacturing uses in Ridgewood and Glendale.

This request requires $75,000 of funding, which would allow the RLDC to use the services of a consultant, graduate student or part-time employee to aid existing staff members with outreach and follow up with regard to providing comprehensive program services to businesses within the newly formed and designated IBZ for the South of Myrtle Avenue Industrial area.

The RLDC would work with Business Outreach Center, which already manages the Maspeth IBZ.

The RLDC feels that working with local manufacturers is important because they provide good, paying jobs for local residents. They also hope to strengthen the industrial and residential communities, seek opportunities for industrial growth and expansion and resolve conflicts between industrial and residential uses.

“A diversified manufacturing base is a sound economic policy,” Renz said in the budget report. “These local jobs produce both primary and secondary benefits from taxes and locally spent incomes.”

The RLDC would also like to see the restoration of seven-day garbage basket pickup from the DSNY within the Myrtle Avenue BID. This service has been cut down to only three days a week and the RLDC’s executive director, Ted Renz, feels “this is totally inadequate.”

“The first thing shoppers and potential store owners see are Myrtle Avenue’s overflowing garbage baskets,” he said in the RLDC’s expense budget report for fiscal year 2016. “It makes no sense to have a BID augment city services if the city keeps on reducing basic services like sanitation corner basket pickup.”

Requests for funds to improve Venditti Square were included in the RLDC budget report. The improvements include upgrading the Venditti Square Clock by installing a Carillon system that would play Westminster chimes and adding LED lighting. The RLDC also seeks to install 3-foot wrought iron fences around planting beds in the square for $25,000.

The RLDC is also looking for $20,000 in funding to repair or replace two historic marker signs, one at Carl Clemens Triangle and one at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues transit hub that would add important improvements to the plaza.

The planting of new trees is also included in the RLDC’s budget plans. They plan on planting 60 new street trees along Fresh Pond Road Commercial/Retail District between Metropolitan and Myrtle Avenues for $60,000, 65 new street trees within the boundaries of the Myrtle Avenue BID for $65,000 and 250 new street trees in the Myrtle Avenue Commercial/Retail District between Fresh Pond Road and 72nd Street in Glendale for $250,000.

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