The Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) held its annual meeting on Thursday, got pledges of support from local elected officials, elected a slate of board members, discussed expanding to cover more of Bell Boulevard – and revealed that it was running a deficit.
“We ran a surplus for the first two years… but we’re projecting about a $10,000 deficit,” for the current fiscal year, which ended June 30, said BID Executive Director Greg Sullivan. He pointed to the $17,000 expenditure for the highly-acclaimed holiday lights as the reason for the shortfall.
Since its formation three years ago, the BID has had the enthusiastic support of business owners in its territory, along Bell Blvd. from Northern Blvd. to 35th Ave.
In response to pleas from those outside the boundaries, the BID is looking to expand to include the whole commercial district along Bell in the heart of Bayside, according to Sullivan. “Of course that will increase the sanitation expense,” he said.
As of May 31, the group still had $41,450 cash on hand, according to the financial statement prepared by Roslyn CPA Lou Liberta. For the year, nearly $30,000 was spent on cleaning the sidewalks and curbs of the district.
BIDs are comprised of property owners, commercial tenants and residents of the business districts they cover. Businesses are charged dues based on their “frontage.” Sullivan pointed out that at $15-per-foot, dues for the Bayside BID were some of the lowest in the city.
In addition to the lights and street cleaning, upcoming projects include installing flags along the boulevard extolling Bayside and beautifying the area around the Long Island Rail Road station.
Also on the horizon are more events like the well-received art and craft show in the plaza area close to the station, including “street festivals” which would have very limited participation by outside vendors.
“These events are to help promote our businesses,” Sullivan said, adding, “We aren’t going to put a sausage truck in front of your restaurant.”
Capt. Ronald Leyson, commander of the 111th Precinct, also praised the BID and promised to keep up efforts to make the precinct safer. He pointed out that it would be impossible to completely close Bell Boulevard for festivals, but pledged to maintain open communications with the business and larger community.
In addition to a paid executive director, a volunteer board administers the group. The members voted in Jim Riso as Chair; Pat Perulli as Vice-chair; Terry Triades as Treasurer and Meri Triades as Secretary.
Dominick Bruccoleri, Gerry Biordi, Eric Belanich, Nicholas Kotsianas, Wendy Prush and Ed Sheen were also elected to the board.
At the beginning of the meeting State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblymember Ed Braunstein both congratulated the group and expressed their support for efforts to improve the neighborhood – especially the resurfacing of Bell Boulevard.