The Mayfair Community Development Corporation is getting a much-needed financial boost.
The CDC held a news conference on Sunday morning near Frankford and Cottman avenues to announce a partnership with Allegheny Iron and Metal Corp., based at 2200 Adams Ave. in East Frankford.
The city Department of Commerce recently chose five CDCs for a program that allows them to partner with businesses. The companies receive tax credits, and CDCs receive $85,000 of a company’s business income and receipts tax per year, for 10 years.
Tom Forkin, vice chairman of the CDC, described the sum of $850,000 over the next decade as a “substantial economic boost.”
Forkin reached out to Allegheny sales manager Bill McKeown, who discussed the proposal with Charlie Dolaway, president of the 114-year-old company.
Dolaway thinks his company’s investment in the CDC is a wise one.
“At least we know where it’s going,” he said.
The CDC will keep clean sweep manager Jim Berghaier while hiring Suzann St. Marie-Galliani as corridor manager and Mia Hylan as program director/office manager.
In addition, it will team with the Mayfair Business Association to develop a Frankford Avenue Business Improvement District, from Rhawn Street to Harbison Avenue. It will also increase the number of neighborhood festivals and markets.
The CDC will continue to try to rehabilitate blighted homes. And it will partner with the Mayfair Civic Association and Mayfair Town Watch on local needs.
“The money will be spent right here in Mayfair,” said CDC chairman Joe DeFelice.
To supplement the money from Allegheny and the funds already in its account, the CDC will seek grants.
Elected officials in attendance at the announcement were City Councilman Bobby Henon, state Reps. Kevin Boyle and Brendan Boyle and city elections commissioner Al Schmidt.
“Mayfair is a can-do neighborhood,” Henon said.
DeFelice said the contributions from Allegheny signal a “rebirth” of the CDC.
The CDC was once a potent force in Mayfair, thanks in large part to former state House Speaker John Perzel. It built a large community center and managed the Devon Theater, among other initiatives.
However, the CDC started to struggle when Perzel lost power and state funding dried up for community and economic development projects across Pennsylvania.
The CDC no longer runs the center or the theater, and was fortunate when a judge dismissed it as a party to a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the Devon.
DeFelice said, thanks to Allegheny, the CDC will be more active again.
“We’re now on a positive trajectory,” he said. ••