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BRONX TIMES REPORTER,12 AUG. 20-26, 2021 BTR
BY ROXANNE DELGADO
The White Plains Road Business
Improvement District (BID), founded
in 1994, is the second smallest BID in
a city of 76 BIDs. A BID is a formal organization
made up of property owners
and commercial tenants funded by
a special assessment — billed to property
owners — to provide supplemental
services. Services provided consist
of sanitation, marketing and public
events, public safety, streetscape and
beautifi cation to improve the district.
White Plains Road BID is funded with
an annual $110,000 assessment. The
district extends from Bolton Street,
east along Pelham Parkway South, to
White Plains Road and south for three
blocks to Brady Avenue; it covers
seven block faces and about 88 stores.
Reviewing the White Plains Road
BID’s fi nancial statements for fi scal
years 2018-2020, the sanitation
expense remained fl at at 34%, while
other expenses such as beautifi cation
and marketing decreased by 20%.
General and administrative expenses,
which includes payroll and rent, increased
by 20%. In other words, 60%
was spent in general and administrative
expense to administer 40% in services
mostly for sanitation. No money
is spent for public safety and only 6%
or $5,700 is spent on beautifi cation and
The White Plains Road BID has
not raised any money or received
any grants or funding outside of its
$110,000 assessment, which means services
will continue to decline as general
and administrative expenses continue
to rise. Even though the White
Plains BID has the largest percentage
of overhead, other comparable BIDs
in size also did not fare as well as the
large-sized BIDs that average 20% or
BIDs hold events and do marketing
to draw foot traffi c to its business corridors.
The White Plains BID has no
visible presence on social media and
its website does not seem updated for
years. Its website lists stores closed
for years — Dress Barn, Payless
ShoeSource, Petland Discounts and
7-eleven — while it omits new stores
such as Children’s Place and Chipotle.
The BID also has not updated the
names of our representatives and instead
lists those that have not represented
the community since 2013. It
held only three events in fi scal year
2020 and four events in fi scal year
The White Plains Commercial Corridor
is lined with overfi lled trash
cans, illegal dumping in front of vacant
storefronts and graffi ti covered
and fi lthy storefronts. After speaking
with some stores and making service
requests to the NYC Sanitation
Department, some of the stores are
no longer overfi lling their trash bags
and leaving them out on our tree pits.
However, other stores have refused to
clean daily in front of their storefront
as required and responded that it is
not their trash and not their responsibility.
New York City requires all commercial
premises to be maintained
(the sidewalk and the area 18 inches
from the curb) at the beginning and
end of the day. What purpose does the
supplemental sanitation provide if
some of the stores refuse to help keep
the community clean which makes
good business sense.
Large BIDs made signifi cant impacts
even on property values, but
small BIDs, such as the White Plains
BID, do not and cannot function on a
non-working budget which creates an
illusion of action. I suggest the city
and the White Plains Road BID redirect
the assessment to neighborhood
improvement and vocational programs
such as Wildcat and Fedcap,
which have less overhead and therefore
more money for sanitation services.
The city should have more ideas
on fi lling up vacant storefronts which
accumulate trash and negatively impact
the corridor as well as more sanitation
enforcement, which would
make White Plains Road cleaner and
a better place to do business. The city
should offer other alternatives than
BIDs to address issues within a business
corridor that is too small to become
a functioning BID.
Photo Steven Goodstein
White Plains Road BID is
too small to function