Mayfair CDC gets $85,000 a year from partnership

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. ••

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