CORONA — The controversial plan to expand a business improvement district along Roosevelt Avenue is temporarily on hold as its new director meets with business owners, she said.
Ballots for the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District were sent out to businesses, residents and other stakeholders in the summer and were supposed to be tallied in the fall, officials said.
But Leslie Ramos, the 82nd Street BID's new director, said the process has been postponed until the new year so she can meet with more businesses. They're overseeing the expansion plan, and ballots are still being accepted as more outreach is done.
"My priority has been to meet individually with local business owners, residents, street vendors and other community leaders to discuss their needs and concerns," she said in an email.
The plan to expand the 82nd Street BID down Roosevelt Avenue into Corona has its critics.
Some business owners and groups have been vocal opponents of the plan they say will push out small business. The BID says the plan will clean up the major thoroughfare and provide support to all businesses.
Ramos — a member of the Latina Leadership Forum's founding committee — told DNAinfo in October that it's a priority to meet with everyone who would be impacted by the BID.
"This is a decision that should be made by community and stakeholders," she said in October.
Jack Friedman, the executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and a member of the BID expansion's steering committee, said they will meet in January to discuss the plans further.
Their goal is to meet with those against the plan to better understand their concerns, but the plan is still going "full steam ahead."
"Giving voice to the opposition is the most important thing," he said. "It's ultimately a neighborhood decision of what's best for the neighborhood."