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Peekskill BID Looks to Future Following Election

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The city's downtown Business Improvement District (BID) may be making lots of improvements in the coming weeks following Thursday night's annual meeting. 

The BID members -- 145 property owners and 175 tenant owners -- voted for new board members at their meeting at the Peekskill Elk's Lodge Thursday. 

"Each board position is a two-year term, so every year half the board gets re-elected,” said new BID Executive Director Jason Angell, who was hired to oversee the organization last fall.  

Members pay a special assessment to BID that amounts to a roughly $100,000 a year budget for the organization. The money is used to fund programs and events like the annual Jazz and Blues Festival. 

BID members also discussed plans for the year ahead. One of the things that they may be doing in the coming months is expanding the downtown farmer's market on Bank Street. 

"We'd like to add specialty food vending which would draw in food tourism and maybe entertainment at the farmer's market that would pull more families in and supports local performance artists," Angell said. 

Angell added that the BID is also planning to renovate its website to make it more useful to city businesses, and may increase advertising. 

"We think we can put a little bit more money into promoting Peekskill as a place for new residents and new businesses and do some targeted marketing," Angell said.

In recent years there has been critiques from members about lack of transparency and oversight for the organization, most notably in 2010 when the organization was cited by the state comptroller's office for poor management oversight and record keeping. 

Since his hiring last year, Angell said that the BID has begun posting meeting minutes on its website and has them stored in the city clerk's office. 

Thursday's meeting was also a step in the right direction, Angell said.

"Just having this annual member meeting and presenting of 2011 finances and 2012 budget, it's what should be done in any good organization," Angell said. “Just saying ‘This is how we spent your money, and this is how we're planning to spend it in the next year.’"

The BID will be voting for the new chairperson and other leadership positions at its March regular meeting.



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