Jesse Brackenbury, Executive Director of Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, provided updates on the new Business Improvement District (BID) and the Carolyn Lynch Garden at the May Residents’ Association meeting.
Jesse spoke first about the Greenway BID (00:43). MassDOT has historically provided about 40% of the Greenway budget and the Conservancy handles the other 60%. That 40% has now been divvied up between the State, property owners along the Greenway and the City.
A BID is an elective tax in which you draw a boundary and the properties within that area sign a petition that they’re interested in a BID (2:00). In this case, the boundary is a block off of the Greenway on either side and more than 80% of the properties signed.
This BID will yield $1.5 million a year to supplement the Conservancy budget (3:00).
Following his overview of the Greenway BID, Jesse spoke about the Carol Lynch Garden (4:46). A major gift from The Lynch Foundation has funded the construction and endowed the ongoing care of the southern boxwood gardens.
The Conservancy is also adding tables, chairs, umbrellas and planters in the small plazas next to the fountain (5:32). All of this will be completed in the month of June.
Questions from the audience begin at 6:56 in the video.
BID questions addressed the boundary of the BID, how the funding will work, and how decisions will be made:
- The northernmost property included in the BID is the Beverly, the southernmost is the 1 Greenway Building just after Kneeland Street (6:59).
- How the money moves (7:58): the city’s Assessor’s Office collects the funds, passes them to the BID corp, and that group writes a check to the Conservancy.
- The Conservancy has a board of 21 people. The BID will have only two of the 21 seats (10:14).
- How the money breaks down (11:42): $1 million funds basic operations such as cutting the grass, keeping the fountains running, taking out the trash, etc. The other $500,000 is for enhancements that will be mutually agreed upon. With this the BID board can be a little more directive, but these changes have to be on the Greenway, in the public interest, and done by the Conservancy.
Questions about the gardens:
- The swinging benches that were in the park needed to be reengineered and will be returning this summer (15:40).
- At the southwest corner of the boxwood gardens there will a granite paver on the ground that says “The Carolyn Lynch Garden on the Greenway” and at the northwest corner, on the wall, it will say the same (18:08).