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Riverhead Business Improvement District picks leaders, sets budget

The Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association elected its leaders and adopted its budget for 2020 last Wednesday.

BIDMA president Steve Shauger, who is the general manager of the Hyatt Place East End hotel on East Main Street, was re-elected president with no opposition. 

Mr. Shauger, a Riverhead native, has been serving as president since June 2016 and was its vice president from 2014 to 2016.

The vice president position became vacant when Nancy Kouris’ business, Blue Duck Bakery, closed in June. 

The new vice president is Jim Liszanckie, who co-owns Sunny’s Riverhead Diner and Grill on East Main Street with his wife, Sunny. 

Dave Barczak of BNB Bank will continue as treasurer while Isabelle Gonzalez, who fills the requirement for a BID resident to be on the board, remains as secretary. 

The Business Improvement District, a special tax district that was created in 1991 and is governed by the Town Board, comprises 323 properties in downtown Riverhead. 

 The management association handles the day-to-day operations, which is comprised of mostly business owners and tenants. The BIDMA board is voted on by property owners or tenants within the district, and the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary are elected  by BIDMA members.

BIDMA’s budget for 2020 calls for $116,700 in tax levy and is required to be voted on by the BIDMA by Sept. 15.

The BIDMA’s vote is merely a recommendation to the Riverhead Town Board. The budget includes $69,165 for marketing and advertising and $36,730 for events, such as the Fourth of July celebration, the Cardboard Boat Race and the Halloween Fest. 

The BIDMA is also creating a “BID Ambassador” position, which will be part time, 15 hours per week at $14 per hour. 

“This position will be responsible for maintaining a clean, attractive and safe environment in downtown Riverhead for residents and visitors to enjoy all that the community has to offer,” said Kristy Verity, BIDMA’s executive director. 

The duties and responsibilities include picking up litter, weeding and graffiti removal as well as power washing sidewalks and reporting issues of vandalism, falling or damaged trees and missed waste collection. Other duties include jobs such as painting or repairs.

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Photo caption: The Riverhead BIDMA met Wednesday to select its leaders and set its budget. (Tim Gannon photo)