The Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District, which was created in 2007 to improve maintenance, security, marketing and beautification of Westchester’s central business district, has received a huge vote of confidence from the property owners it serves.

The Los Angeles City Council announced recently that the BID was renewed for a new, 10-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2012 and expanded to a larger area of Westchester business district by an overwhelming secret ballot vote of 83.8 percent in favor.

BIDs must be approved by more 50 percent of the affected property owners, first through a petition to the city and then by a secret ballot vote.

“It’s a testament to the hard work of the commercial property owners to improve the area since we began in 2007,” said Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District Executive Director Don Duckworth. “I think that the customers, employees, and visitors to the community appreciate the fact that Sepulveda Boulevard is cleaner, friendlier and a more positive experience than ever before.”

The new area includes the addition of 11 new parcels that border the BID’s current footprint, including sections of airport property west of Sepulveda Westway, a variety of office, school and other properties east of Sepulveda Eastway and the parcels that include Del Taco and Pep Boys at the corner of Manchester Avenue and La Tijera Boulevard.

The business improvement district is a geographically defined area within the city of Los Angeles, in which services, activities and programs are paid for through a special assessment which is charged to all property owners within the area in order to equitably distribute the benefits received and the costs incurred.

The county collects the assessment money, and those funds cannot legally be spent outside of the BID area.

The expansion of the business area also means that it will assume responsibility for maintaining some areas where the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association has previously paid for hand watering of landscaping and other maintenance.

Since its inception, the BID has provided landscape lighting and maintenance along Sepulveda Boulevard, street sweeping, sidewalk pressure washing, trash collection, graffiti removal, and homeless services coordination throughout the entire Westchester Town Center area.

Decorative trash receptacles throughout the area have been added, dangerous, broken sidewalks have been replaced and more than 120 new street trees have been planted. Additionally, the BID has created a website, a shop local advertising campaign, and a Halloween Town Fair event designed to attract new customers to the area.

JET TO JETTY EVENT A SUCCESS

Once again, the annual Jet to Jetty race that raises funds for Airport Marina Counseling Service was a success.

The 2011 event, which included a 5K, 10K, Kids Fun Run and a bicycle race, attracted nearly 1,200 registrants, the most in the 27-year history of the event.

Kathleen O’Leary Lefferman, executive director of AMCS, added that this year’s event was also the most financially successful.

More than 130 volunteers donated their time to put on the event, which attracted runners of all ages and skill levels.

Following the race, runners enjoyed burgers from the In-N-Out Burger truck, and Lefferman said more than 600 bagels were consumed that morning.

The race’s sponsors included the title sponsor, The Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation and the William H. Hannon Foundation, which donated an eight-day, seven-night trip for two to Maui.

Other sponsors were The Inn at Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, The Rotary Club of Westchester, Los Angeles World Airports, The Lefferman Family, The Westchester Family YMCA, LAX Travelodge Hotel, The Westchester Mental Health Guild and The Guilded Cage.

HANNON FOUNDATION CONTINUES SUPPORT OF AIRPORT MARINA

The William H. Hannon Foundation has made a $20,000 gift to renew its support of the Hannon Immediate Intervention Program at Airport Marina Counseling Service in Westchester. Established in 2003, the Intervention Program is designed to help those in the midst of a personal crisis due to death of a friend or family member, illness, trauma, job loss or related economic issues. The program also provides education and training experiences for interns.

“We are pleased to continue to provide support for the Hannon Immediate Intervention Program and we thank the wonderful people at Airport Marina for what they do every day to help people in need,” said Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, president of the William H. Hannon Foundation and a member of the Board of Governors at Airport Marina.

During the last year, the program served 55 clients who were seen an average of 8 to 12 weeks. In addition, the program provided 800 sessions of group therapy.

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