Dear BID Member,
I am writing to update you on two important developments that will certainly impact our downtown: the Paramount Center for the Arts is “temporarily suspending operations” due to fiscal troubles and potential ramifications of the budget proposal released yesterday by Acting City Manager Brian Havranek.
Paramount Center for the Arts: The Paramount’s Board of Directors just issued a press release announcing they are “temporarily suspending operations” due to fiscal troubles. This means that the Center’s doors will be closed and all performances for the foreseeable future will be cancelled. As many of you know, the Paramount plays a critical role as the cultural and entertainment heart of our downtown — their success is good for the whole community and all BID members. We all have a stake in ensuring that the Paramount lives up to it’s potential and helps pack the streets and businesses of downtown. The BID will be meeting with the Paramount’s Board, the Hudson Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Peekskill to learn more about what led to this situation and discuss what should be done to create a stronger Paramount in the future.
Peekskill’s 2013 Budget Proposal: Yesterday, Acting City Manager Brian Havranek released his 2013 budget proposal and the news was grim: due to the effects of a weak economy, he recommended cutting 31 full-time and 9 part-time City positions next year to save money and raising the property tax rate by 6% to raise money in order to meet the deficit. Although this is the first step in a long budget process, it gives some indication that City services will be significantly impacted next year (including the ability of the City to support the types of events that draw so many visitors downtown and benefit BID businesses due to the costs associated with Police and Department of Public works time).
The BID will continue to monitor these two developments and will keep you posted on new developments. We continue to explore solutions to reforming downtown residential zoning policies and will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks to get your opinion on the issue.
We look forward to working with you.
Jason Angell & the BID Board
The Peekskill BID
16 South Division Street
Peekskill, NY 10566