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Gordon Square Arts District to become 1st Special Improvement District in a Cleveland neighborhood

The “Gordon Square Arts District-Cleveland Improvement Corporation” (GSAD-CIC) – also known as the Detroit Avenue Special Improvement District, or SID – has the distinction of being the first Cleveland neighborhood that will benefit from SID services. Funding will provide maintenance, snow removal and landscaping, security services and marketing along the corridor between West 58th and W. 73rd Streets along Detroit Avenue beginning June 1, 2011.

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1710 provides for the formation of SIDs by property owners who wish to assess themselves in order to provide services for the benefit of a contiguous geographic area.  Property owners, representing 69.5% of front footage between West 58th and West 73rd Streets, petitioned Cleveland City Council for formation of the SID in March 2010 to which council approved the necessary resolutions at three different 2010 meetings. Special assessments began for property owners on their first half of 2010 tax bills; funds for service administration will flow to the SID beginning in June 2011.

Jennifer Spencer, a project manager with the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, who helped the new organization meet the state requirements for a Special Improvement District, says the property owners along the stretch of Detroit Avenue have agreed to pay $29.25 per linear foot of frontage on Detroit Avenue on an annual basis. (i.e. just under $900 a year for 30 foot of frontage).

Spencer said a Neighborhood Responsibility Fund has been set up by the Gordon Square Arts District Special Improvement Corporation to pay 100% of the assessment for owner occupied houses in the Special Improvement District.

The GSAD-CIC will operate over a five-year period, after which time property owners representing 60% or more of front footage must again submit petitions to Cleveland City Council.

A local Board of Directors will administer SID services. Spencer says the seven-member Board of Directors is made up of five property owners from the district and two city appointees. She said the Board of Directors is responsible for stewarding the funds going forward to assure they are spent in accordance to the priorities set by property owners signing the petition to set up the Special Improvement District. Spencer said maintenance and safety were high on the list of priorities of petition signers. Spencer estimates that the assessment will raise about $114,000 a year. Board Chairman is Robert Maschke, owner of 1point618 Gallery at 6421 Detroit Avenue. Spencer says the CSAD-CIC plans to hold an annual meeting each November.

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