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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mayfair Civic Update re: NeastPhilly.com

Mayfair Civic Association talks fundraisers, zoning and more1

JAN27
The logo for the Fallen Heroes Run, as designed by Mike Ennis. The 5K one among many topics at last night's Mayfair Civic Association meeting.

The logo for the Fallen Heroes Run, as designed by Mike Ennis. The 5K one among many topics at last night's Mayfair Civic Association meeting.

Members of the Mayfair Civic Association came together last night to update residents on pressing topics, like plans to rebuild Mayfair Memorial Playground, the Fallen Heroes Run and four recent zoning issues.

With little more than four months until the annual Fallen Heroes Run, Civic Association President Joe De Felice is pushing for funding to rebuild the playground off of Rowland Avenue at Lincoln High School, which is currently set for groundbreaking following the run.

The first phase of door-to-door fundraising at homes and business yielded $2,000, and Home Depot will donate $5,000 in store credit for materials. But with a $50,000 goal in mind, De Felice is thinking outside the box. He’s already applied submitted an application to KaBOOM!, an organization that helps communities build playgrounds through volunteerism. Next, he said, he’ll apply with Boundless Playgrounds, a similar company that focuses on special-needs equipment.

Also lying in wait is a bond given to the 1958 organization Mayfair Improvement Association. Now worth more than $3,000, the bond has been awarded to the Civic Association, as approved by a member of the old Improvement Association, which had the same basic goals of the current civic group.

But De Felice acknowledge the significant amount of money still needed, saying: “We’re not where I thought we’d be.” He said he still hopes to have a groundbreaking at the end of the May 15 Fallen Heroes Run.

The annual run will honor firefighter John Redmond, who lost his life in 1994. Mayfair CDC Executive Director Brian Patrick King said he expects at least 300 people at the 5K event, which includes a bagpiper, national anthem and foods like pretzels and water ice.

No civic meeting would be complete without zoning issues, and Mayfair is no exception. De Felice mentioned three, which the board had previously voted on, but focused last night on the lots the Civic Association is selling.As detailed at a September meeting, the association is selling lots in an effort to liquidate and start fresh as the Civic Association of Mayfair — complete with a new bank account.

The lots, which comprise the triangle behind the 3400-block of Cottman Avenue, the 3400–block of Ryan Avenue and the 7300-block of Crispin Street, were first sold to interested owners of the adjacent homes. With 11 sales so far, and little interest from the neighbors to take over more, the Civic Association will begin offering the properties to nearby homeowners on other blocks, and then to random buyers, with the purpose of breaking even on the $6,800 in surveying costs.

De Felice said the plots, which were owned under the association’s previous president, are “becoming a headache.” He offered Mayfair Town Watch President John Vearling a deed — provided there are leftovers — to be used to store a radar machine, which the Town Watch is acquiring from the former Civic Association president.

On a final note, De Felice brought up the upcoming Shamrock Shuttle and Erin Express events, and attendees tossed around ideas to keep the neighborhood safe and clean during and after the popular bar-hopping events. Though De Felice and some Business Association members agreed their “backs are against the wall time-wise for this year,” last-minute plans include increased town watch patrols, hiring off-duty police officers and asking bar owners to help fund the cleanup.

The meeting was adjourned within an hour, with plans for the next public meeting to be held Tuesday, March 30 The board members will meet next month to review zoning issues.

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