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Public Safety Services Area

Downtown West Chester Five Year Plan 2011 - 2015
Chapter II: Public Safety Services Area


West Chester Business Improvement District
A Municipal Authority

PO Box 3109
119 North High Street
West Chester, PA 19381
phone 610-738-3350
fax 484-843-2250

E-mail Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director, at mjohnstone@wcbid.com

Introduction
It has been determined that there is a need for additional resources to mitigate alcohol related incidents in the Borough. The increasing number of restaurants and bars has created a situation where there are crowds (amounting in the thousands) of alcohol influenced people on the streets and sidewalks of downtown West Chester late at night who often travel into adjacent neighborhoods while making their way home. Police services are overburdened with alcohol fueled altercations, underage drinking violations, noise, vandalism and other misconduct. There are also regular violations by the bars of Pennsylvania Liquor Code provisions despite periodic enforcement by Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement officers.

Specifically, Chief Scott Bohn of the West Chester Police Department has determined, using multiple criteria, that the West Chester Police Department is at least four positions below what is deemed adequate and sustainable. There is no budget to enhance resources for the department or address the public safety need stemming from the alcohol licensed establishments.

In order to address this issue, an additional special assessment program called the Public Safety Services Area has been added to the re-authorization of the West Chester Business Improvement District currently being considered. It will provide consideration to establish a Public Safety Services Area to raise funds for additional police officers. It is considered separately for approval, but under the same rules, as the re-authorization for the West Chester BID. It is an additional assessment placed on all liquor license holders within the boundaries of the Borough of West Chester.

The outcome of the vote on the Public Safety Services Area will not affect the renewal of the West Chester BID as the approval process is severable.

Governing Body
The Board of Directors of the West Chester Business Improvement District Authority (BID Authority) is the administrative body that governs the West Chester Business Improvement District.  The statutory authority for the BID Authority is the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, approved May 2, 1945, P.L. 382 and the Neighborhood Improvement District Act, approved December 20, 2000, P.L. 949, No. 130.  Each board member is appointed for a five year term by the Borough Council from a suggested slate provided by the current board. As per the Bylaws of the BID, reasonable efforts are made to ensure that the board members adequately represent the diverse interests and organizations located in the Borough, including but not limited to: commercial property owners, retail business operators, restaurant operators, personal service providers, financial service providers, legal offices, Borough government, Chester County government, the Chamber of Commerce of Greater West Chester, non-profit organizations, residents, and institutions of higher learning.  The board consists of 15 members.

An advisory committee to the BID will be selected to provide oversight of fund collection and uses of the funds and will include three restaurant/bar owners including at least one restaurant/bar owner and one club owner, the Mayor or Borough Council member, a representative from the Police Department and a representative from the West Chester Business Improvement District Authority.

West Chester BID 2010 Board of Directors

2010 Board of Directors
H. Paul Fitzpatrick, Chair
Community Representative

Richard May, Vice-Chair
RKM Advisors

Cyndi Meadows, Secretary
Penwick Design

A. Roy Smith, Treasurer
Community Representative

Jacqueline Van Grofski, Past-Chair
Property Owner

The Honorable Terence Farrell
Chester County Commissioner

Christopher P. Blakely
Community Representative

Frederick T. Gusz, Jr
Community Representative

Patrick Comerford
Jane Chalfant

Ernie B. McNeely
Borough of West Chester

Lance J. Nelson, Esq
MacElree Harvey, Ltd

Ray H. Ott, Jr
Ray Ott & Associates

Frank Herron
Barnaby's

William J. Scott, Jr
Community Representative

Katie Walker
Chamber of Commerce of Greater West Chester

Staff
Malcolm Johnstone
Executive Director

Elizabeth McGuire
Program Associate, Administration

Dan Price
Clean & Green Manager

Donna Bonner
Bookkeeper

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Cooperative Agreement with West Chester Borough
The BID Authority has a cooperative agreement with West Chester Borough that states that the BID Authority and West Chester Borough may cooperate in implementing certain projects, programs or services in the BID plan, that the Borough will maintain the same level of programs and services within the BID as before the BID designation, and the Borough will maintain at least one Council member on the Board.  Basically, this means no activities generally performed by the municipal government shall be undertaken or transferred to the BID Authority.  A copy of the agreement may be examined at the Borough Manager's office, 401 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 and the Business Improvement District office, 119 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19380.

Procedures for Filing Objections
The establishment of the Public Safety Services Area shall be subject to a negative vote by persons representing ownership of 40 percent of the R, D, E, H, ED, and C licensed establishments as identified by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board within the Borough of West Chester. Any objections to the plan or the establishment of the Public Safety Services Area must be filed in writing by liquor license owners with the Borough Manager, c/o West Chester Borough, 401 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 within 45 days of the presentation of the final plan adopted by Borough Council.

Budget
The assessment rate is based on assessed value of land for R, D, E, H, ED, and C licensed establishments times the number of levels (or floors) as identified by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a total of $150,000 per year for five years.

That amount will be matched by $150,000 provided by the Borough of West Chester, the State of Pennsylvania and West Chester University Foundation. Voluntary payments from non-profit organizations within the BID are requested annually.

Annual Budget for 2011 through 2015
Revenues
$150,000  Assessments
$  75,000  Borough additional parking fees
$  50,000  West Chester University Foundation         
$  25,000  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania         
___________________________________________________________
$300,000  Total Revenues

Expenses
$300,000  Three additional police positions         
________________________________________________________
$300,000  Total Expenditures                     

Unused funds will be carried over to the next year.

Special Services Assessment District Rate
The rate is based on assessed value of land for R, D, E, H, ED, C Licenses times the number of levels (floors). The current assessment rate is .0610. See the estimated costs for each establishment for 2011.

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Map of Benefited Liquor License Establishments within the Public Safety Services Area

The following map demonstrates the exact boundaries of the Public Safety Services Area. R, D, E, H, ED, and C licensed establishments, as identified by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and within the boundaries of the Borough of West Chester, are considered to be benefited properties and will share the costs of the program by paying an annual assessment fee.  

The list of properties and liquor licenses to be assessed is subject to change over the five year period based on changes determined by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

 
 

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Call 610.738.3350 or fax 484.843.2250