Since many stalled projects have been taking off in Edgewood over the last couple of years the fulfillment of Community Benefit Agreements (CBA) that were negotiated many years ago have now come to pass. There are two such agreements that will give money to the Edgewood Civic Association. I have noticed through the listserv that the Eckington Civic Association has decided to use their money from an agreement to install historic neighborhood signs. The language of the agreements states what purposes the money can be used for by the association. I asked at the last Edgewood Civic association if we were going to have a vote on how to use the money and was told that the board was going to make the decision.
The 2008 EYA-St Pauls College (07-27) CBA states that:
Contribution to Edgewood Civic Association – Prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for this PUD project, the Applicant will provide $15,000 for equipment and services for the benefit of Edgewood Civic Association. EYA will purchase laptop and printer for the Association so that it may further its membership goals. Any funds remaining from the purchase of the referenced equipment will be used pay
legal fees for establishing the Association as a non-profit 501(c)(3) and to prepay printing costs of the Association.
Since the Edgewood Civic Association is already a non-profit it seems that this money will go to a laptop and printer and a whole lot of printing! I am not sure how much paper this can buy, but I am guessing that we will find out over the coming years. There was mention at the meeting that the civic association is looking to produce newsletters now and welcomes contributors.
The 2007 NoMa West Residential One, LLC (05-23A) CBA states that:
A statement providing an additional condition of the Modified PUD approval, providing for a $20,000 contribution to the Edgewood Civic Association approval to cover (i) the cost of printing and distributing the Association's quarterly newsletter, (ii) donations of equipment to the Harry Thomas Recreation Center and the Edgewood Recreation Center, (iii) donations to the PTSA for the Emery and Shad Elementary Schools for student and parent enrichment programs, (iv) grants to senior citizens for snow removal and safety maintenance of their homes, (v) a summer festival for youth in the community, and (vi) community beautification projects, which is marked as Exhibit 26 of the record;
Since the EYA CBA has to be spent on printing and there is already $10,000 in this CBA donating equipment to the Harry Thomas Recreation Center I think it would be nice if we used this money for equipment for the Edgewood Recreation Center and community beautification projects. Both Bloomingdale and Eckington have signs and decorated lampposts. It would be nice to have flowers and signs added to the lampposts in Edgewood as we are often grouped in with Brookland. It would help to define our neighborhood and add a sense of community pride. Again, the board of the Edgewood Civic Association stated that they were going to decide at their board meeting so we will have to wait and see.
My thoughts on the CBAs are that they really should be negotiated better to serve the community surrounding the development. I know that these were negotiated years ago, but I do not think cash donations to organizations should be part of them. The civic associations may cover large areas but have small memberships. I think it would be better if we had more items that included improvements to roads, sidewalks, parks, bikeshare stations, facade improvements for current businesses and funds to run cleanup crews. While I may be dreaming here it would be great to collect donations to start a BID similar to what NoMa has that promotes the area, plans events and maintains and performs beautification.