MAY 2003

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Community Board passes Flushing BID plan
From The World Journal
April 15, 2003

Queens Community Board 7 in Flushing passed the Flushing BID (Business Improvement District) plan unanimously last night after a public hearing. A second public hearing will be held by the Department of City Planning and will be signed by the mayor if the plan is approved by the City Council.

More than 150 residents and community board members attended the public hearing held at Union Plaza Nursing Home last night. 24 residents voiced their opinions about the plan and three expressed their disapproval. Most people said the street-sweeping project by the Doe Fund, sponsored by Destination Flushing, Inc., has shown great results in beautifying Flushing. They believe that establishing a BID will bring more business to Flushing.

However, Hsuan Chang, a lawyer representing the Coalition of Flushing Businesses Against BID, Chie-yu Liu of the Busy Mall on Main Street, and Yi-hua Fu, another Main Street business owner, expressed their strong opposition against the BID plan.

The plan is inappropriate in a time when businesses are suffering from an economic downturn and a tax hike, said Fu. She added that it would be an extra burden to the business owners and that the budget for cleaning Flushing in the plan proposed by City Councilman John Liu, who asked for $380,000 per year, is unreasonable. Instead, she suggested that the police crackdown on the people who litter.

Meanwhile, Liu, the owner of Busy Mall, suggested that the BID plan should start at a smaller scale and then expand if it receives good results. He also questioned the $380,000 budget for cleaning, and said 120 out of the 300 business owners included in the plan voted against the plan and that it should be put on hold until further discussion.

Among other attendees, the mayor, the Queensborough president and the state senator representing Flushing all sent their representatives. Representatives from the Flushing Chinese Business Association, Macy’s Department Store on Roosevelt Avenue, and other Flushing businesses all voiced their support for the plan.

Ning-na Yu-Chien, a community board member, said she supports the BID plan because it is the best way to improve the quality of life in the community. But she said the administrative spending in the plan, which is at $55,000, is too high. However, she added that the plan is subject to re-evaluation after one year and should be given a try.

Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung.

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