Summer may have just started, but the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) is already thinking ahead to the holiday shopping season.
During its 29th annual meeting in Ridgewood on Wednesday, June 28, the BID outlined its yearly budget, and a familiar project was one of the top priorities for the BID: holiday lights along the corridor.
Making the season bright on Myrtle Avenue is of the utmost importance to Herman Hochberg, president and chairperson of the BID.
“That’s something that motivated me to start a BID,” Hochberg said of the holiday lights.
For July 1 to June 30, 2018, the Myrtle Avenue BID has a budget of $533,976 before expenses. Those funds came from: $507,676 from the BID assessment; $5,000 from the Department of Transportation (DOT) Weekend Walk; $20,000 from the DOT Equity Fund; $1,000 from the street fair; and $300 in interest.
Throughout the year the Myrtle Avenue BID will use those funds to pay for important services for the participating members of the BID — which runs along Myrtle Avenue from Wyckoff Avenue to Fresh Pond Road.
“I call this taxation with representation because we tax ourselves and we spend the money the way we want,” Hochberg said. “That, to me, is a great pleasure because we know what’s important for our street.”
The BID’s fiscal year 2018 expenses include $137,550 for sanitation services; $3,800 for security; $10,000 for beautification projects; $2,500 for streetscape improvements; $37,700 to bring back holiday lights to the strip; $117,900 for marketing and promotion for the BID’s businesses; and $196,766 for administrative costs, including approximately $36,000 for insurance costs. In total, the BID’s FY 2018 expenses total, $506,216, leaving the BID with $27,760 in surplus funds from this year’s budget and approximately $42,000 from prior years, which will remain as contingency funds.
When it comes to sanitation, the BID will get seven-day-a-week sidewalk and curbside sweeping, with two Green Machine drivers year-round; one additional manual worker for the weekends during select months, and use of an anti-graffiti program as needed.
“I think, in the city Myrtle Avenue has always come out on top as far as cleanliness,” Hochberg said.
As far as security is concerned, the BID will continue to work closely with the 104th Precinct. The BID will also consider looking into creating a crime prevention brochure for merchants and property owners, and a safety seminar with members of the NYPD, as well as looking into obtaining security cameras.
The beautification of the area includes landscaping, weeding and watering the plazas within the BID. Streetscape improvements include brick repairs in the plaza areas, and the installation of additional benches in front of businesses that have requested them.
When the holidays roll around, Myrtle Avenue is guaranteed to be lit up with illuminated decorations on 24 light poles, 25 lighted arches at various points along the avenue, and two Myrtle Avenue BID signs at either end of the BID.
Marketing and promotion funds will go toward supporting sales, promotions, ad books and events including the Youth Farm Market, street fairs, holiday events and other strategies.
Finally, the administrative costs will go to pay staff, utilities, supplies, insurance and other expenses.