PORTAGE PARK — Four groups are competing to manage the Six Corners shopping district this year after the city ousted the previous service provider for mismanagement.
The Belmont-Central Chamber of Commerce, Portage Park Chamber of Commerce, Six Corners Association and the Edgebrook Sauganash Chamber of Commerce have applied to permanently manage Special Service Area 28.
Property owners in the territory — roughly from the Metra tracks to North Lavergne Avenue and between Byron Street and Warner Avenue — pay a special tax that’s used for beautification and cleanup projects there. The city’s planning department oversees special service providers throughout the city.
City officials pulled funding for the previous provider, the Six Corners Chamber of Commerce, in a rare move last year. The planning department has only terminated two service provider contracts prematurely in the past 10 years.
The Belmont-Central group was appointed in December to temporarily manage the special service area.
The Belmont-Central and Edgebrook Sauganash groups already manage special service areas in their respective business corridors, though it is not uncommon for one group to manage multiple special service areas, as indicated on the city website and as officials previously said. The Edgebrook Sauganash group is more than 3 miles from the busy Six Corners intersection.
Six Corners Chamber of Commerce leaders previously said they planned to apply to be returned to the role, but they did not submit documentation in time for the Feb. 15 deadline, officials said.
The city’s planning department is reviewing the proposals and will select three finalists to participate in a virtual public meeting in late March where neighbors can weigh in, said Peter Strazzabosco, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Planning and Development.
The selected finalist will be introduced to City Council in the spring and be approved tentatively by late April, officials said.
Each of the city’s special service area providers collects a tax on property owners within specific boundaries for services that benefit all businesses, including holiday decorations, trash pickup, security and snow removal.
At least seven commissioners for the districts are appointed by the mayor and oversee the services and annual budget for the taxing districts.
The appointment will be the third shift in oversight of Northwest Side taxing body in less than three years. A City Council committee controversially appointed the Six Corners Chamber of Commerce to the role in late 2020, replacing the Six Corners Association after 16 years.
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