As the BID’s first president, I can say with some authority that I disagree with Mrs. Casey’s assertion that the BID is not wanted or needed. The Gloversville BID should not be dissolved. It’s accomplished much over the years and has improved downtown Gloversville. Decorative streetlights replaced the old aluminum ones that would blow over in a strong wind, and were obtained with grant money. The city now saves $150,000 a year that they paid to lease the old ones. The BID has had Victorian Strolls, downtown marketing, a website, sidewalk cleaning, flowers, Christmas decorations and more, paid for with BID money and for the benefit of all.
Do you all remember the sorry state downtown was in before the BID? The Christmas decorations were awful, what flowers were planted were paid for by one business person, and there was litter everywhere. There were constant letters to the editor about how awful it looked. If the BID is dissolved, it will go back to those days. Is that what we want?
Business Improvement Districts have been proven to work when properly managed. Saratoga Springs had one of the first in the country and there are many in upstate New York.
As for the way the voting was done, it is called a negative referendum and it not only wasn’t illegal, but was required to be held that way by New York state law. To dissolve it would require more than a petition with 50 names on it. As when the BID was formed, every property owner within the district would have to be contacted.
Sue Casey owned only one property when the BID was formed. Since that time, she has purchased nine more knowing full well of the BID tax. If this tax is so onerous, why did Mrs. Casey keep investing downtown? Mrs. Casey can afford to buy and renovate 10 downtown buildings, but can’t afford the average $225 per building BID tax? Fifteen percent of the city tax bill is peanuts to a business owner who spends many thousands of dollars just in advertising.
With the imminent opening of the Super Walmart and surrounding businesses that will surely locate there, the BID is needed now more than ever.
Green Cove Springs, Fla.