BID director visits Holmesburg Civic meeting

By Tom Waring

The Holmesburg Civic Association last week welcomed Sam Siegel, executive director of the nonprofit Mayfair Business Improvement District.

Siegel explained that the BID focuses on the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor, from Harbison Avenue to Sheffield Avenue, along with the blocks of Cottman Avenue just off Frankford.

The BID’s mission is to make the area cleaner and safer. A cleanup crew from Ready, Willing & Able sweeps the avenue three times a week.

City Council approved the BID, which requires commercial property owners to pay a yearly assessment.

The BID plans to add landscaping and security cameras.

Siegel invited the community to attend the BID’s public board meetings, held the first Wednesday of every month at the Mayfair Community Center, 2990 St. Vincent St.

Siegel is also available every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Grey Lodge Pub, 6235 Frankford Ave.

For more information, visit

In other news from the March 28 meeting:

• Graham O’Neill, administrator of taxpayer assistance programs for the city Department of Revenue, spoke about the Homestead Exemption Program, which reduces the assessed value of a property by $30,000, resulting in lower taxes. There is no income requirement. Anyone who has not applied can visit or call 215-MU6–9200.

O’Neill also discussed the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The deadline to file is April 18 for qualifying people age 25–65. There is a Northeast site at 2115 Cottman Ave., Unit 45, next to the Gap Factory. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Walk-ins and drop-offs will be accepted. Albanian, Turkish, Russian and Spanish languages are spoken.

And, O’Neill mentioned income-based revenue department programs such as the senior citizen real estate tax freeze; owner-occupied real estate payment agreement; real estate tax installment; real estate tax credit for active duty Reserve and National Guard; real estate tax deferral; senior citizen discount; water revenue assistance; and water revenue bureau standard payment agreement.

• Joe Hansbury, community relations officer for the 8th Police District, provided an overview of neighborhood crime. He told the crowd that, for safety reasons, police officers are not permitted to chase operators of four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles.

• The owner of a twin home on the 3600 block of Hartel Ave. will be going to the Zoning Board of Adjustment to try to legalize a duplex.

The civic association has a policy of opposing the conversion of single-family homes to duplexes.

• Friends of Mayfair Memorial Playground will hold an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the playground, at Rowland Avenue and Vista Street.

The cost is $3 per child. The event is for kids 10 or under.

The rain date is Sunday, April 9, from noon to 2 p.m.

• State Sen. John Sabatina Jr. will host a free shredding event at his district office, 12361 Academy Road in the Parkwood Shopping Center, on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 215–695–1020.

• State Rep. Kevin Boyle will hold a senior citizen luncheon on Thursday, May 18, at 11 a.m. at Fox Chase Recreation Center, 7901 Ridgeway St.

• Holmesburg Civic Association will meet again on Tuesday, April 11, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmesburg Recreation Center, at Rhawn and Ditman streets. ••