Is the Group Going to Reject a $50,000 Grant?
During the public comment period at the monthly Business Improvement District meeting on April 3 in the Chamber of Commerce office, resident Marge Gold asked when they were going to hold a community meeting to gather suggestions about how to spend the parking-meter money designated for Pacific Palisades
BID board member Rick Lemmo explained that a meeting isn’t planned because the BID would have to submit an application and a designated project (funded by this pilot program) would need to be completed in a year.
Asked how much money it would be, Lemmo said “about $55,000,” and added, “We would only be able to spend the money on that project.”
Circling the News asked Lemmo and BID President Elliot Zorensky for a clarification: “Does this mean you won’t take the money because you don’t want to fill out an application?”
CTN was told “No.” Zorensky clarified that “We can only spend money on a specific project, and one isn’t being considered.”
Lemmo added, “We would never have a forum for that.”
Councilman Mike Bonin’s Field Deputy Lisa Cahill said, “There are lots of other entities that really want this money, for example the Brentwood Community Council, who wondered why the Palisades got it.”
DRB representative David Peterson asked if the money only goes to BIDs or if it could go to the Pacific Palisades Community Council.
“My understanding was this area was chosen to do a good thing as a pilot for parking meter money,” said Cahill. “I’m hearing that people don’t want this money.”
In his February newsletter, Councilman Bonin wrote: “The city recently approved a pilot program that is designed to keep the money spent at parking meters in the neighborhood where the money is generated. Under the pilot program, 15% of the revenue from parking meters in designated business improvement district areas will go to the BID, so decisions about how best to use money from meters to improve local transportation can be made by people in the neighborhood.
“I am very happy to report that Pacific Palisades will be one of three areas where this pilot program will be launched, meaning that a minimum of $50,000 – and likely more – will be available for the Pacific Palisades BID to spend on local mobility improvements, like street and sidewalk repairs, wayfinding signage, or on streetscape and community beautification efforts. The BID, which is made up of local businesses, will be responsible for engaging local stakeholders to decide which local improvements are best for Pacific Palisades.”
The other two BIDS chosen were Westwood Village and Lincoln Heights.
Circling the News contacted Bonin’s spokesperson David Graham-Caso in February, asking if it was all meters in the Palisades meters or just those in the business district. In a February 7 email, he clarified that the money would only come from meters within the BID boundaries (from Carey to Via de la Paz, on both sides of Sunset, plus side streets).
BID members Joe Ramirez and David Peterson volunteered to form an ad hoc committee and see exactly what needed to be done to receive the money.
Gold said, “I was thinking some sidewalks could be fixed.”
Lemmo replied, “You don’t get a lot of sidewalks fixed for $55,000.”