DiCicco’s office informed us that the city has worked out a deal with the owner to purchase the land from him. They say they will close on the property this month. The transfer to the Neighborhood Gardens Association will then take several months to complete.
The gardeners received a letter asking us to remove all of our gardening implements by November 1st. We contacted DiCicco’s office and learned that the acquisition process hit a snag, but the process is now moving forward. Councilman DiCicco has ordered an expedited appraisal and The Gardeners, The Queen Village Neighbors Association, The Lutheran House, The Neighborhood Gardens Association and others are all working together to ensure the garden is preserved. We intend to continue using the garden.
The 2nd annual Great Bodine Street Garden Pumpkin Festival was a great success!
The Garden gets a shout out in the Philly Weekly! Check out this article written by Gwen Shaffer.
It’s officially gardening season again!! We have plots available so if you are interested in joining the garden please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bodine Street Garden received a $10,000 state grant for improvements! We can only use the grant money after our garden is officially transferred to the Neighborhood Gardens Association. According to DiCicco’s office the transfer should be finalized by this summer 2005 and that would give us a year to spend the funds on the improvement projects.
Last year Mayor Street signed Bill #0303299 (for bill details see entry below). Now our garden is on a huge list with other Neighborhood Transformation Initiative properties to get appraised to find its fair market value. The RDA will pay the owner the value of the property minus taxes owed. So we are in a sit and wait period.
On May 1, 2003 Councilman Frank DiCicco introduced the legislation (Bill #030299) requesting that the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) acquire the property where the garden is located, as part of its South Central Urban Renewal program through the Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative.
A public hearing was held on the bill before the Committee on Rules on June 3, 2003 in City Hall. Councilman DiCicco invited several of the S. Bodine Street gardeners to testify in support of the bill. Gardeners Mike Legacki, Lisa Buscaglia, and Rob Buscaglia spoke to the Committee, detailing the history and value of the garden in the community, and requesting that the properties be condemned and confiscated by the Redevelopment Authority and turned over to the Neighborhood Garden Association.
The South Central Urban Renewal legislation that includes the South Bodine Street Community Garden property will be voted on by the full Council next Thursday, June 12, the last day of session before the summer break. If it is passed, Mayor Street will need to sign it and the RDA will then need to officially take the property and give it to the Neighborhood Gardens Association.
Don Ventresca informed us that he and his associates have decided to pass on the purchase of the land, realizing the seriousness of our efforts and how much it means to us.