History of the Grand Avenue Special Services District (GASSD)
The Grand Avenue Special Services District (GASSD) was established by Section 37-3 of the New Haven Code of Ordinances on March 24, 2009. Working with the Grand Avenue Village Association (GAVA) and the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven (EDC), the GASSD was established to support the property owners and businesses in the District. The GASSD runs from the Mill River to the West to the Quinnipiac River to the East, and the district is approximately 1.25 miles long. The purpose of establishing the GASSD was to provide additional services to the property owners which would include keeping the Avenue clean and upgrading its beautification, marketing the Avenue and addressing any special concerns otherwise not being met but identified as an entity.
Merchants along the district were canvassed to determine their interest in participating in the endeavor with additional costs to the property owners. After the initial canvass, the property owners were asked to vote on whether or not to create the district; the resultant vote was an overwhelming positive vote to create the GASSD.
The future of our community.
Since its creation, the GASSD has been governed by an all volunteer Board of eleven Commissioners. The GASSD has a strong partnership with the police sub-station located on Blatchley Avenue and all matters of safety are discussed with the Fair Haven District Supervisor, who attends the GASSD monthly meetings. A strong working partnership exists between the New Haven Police Department and the GASSD. The Board of Commissioners meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 4 PM at the Spanish American Merchants Association, 258 Grand Avenue, and all meetings are open to the public. The Board of Commissioners is responsible for determining the District’s budget, corresponding assessment and expenditures. The Board supervises its cleaning contract with its partner, Marrakech, Inc. which hires individuals with special needs, some of whom live in Fair Haven. The Annual Meeting is held in February of every year as required by its By-Laws and also as required by City Ordinance, the Board of Commissioners sees to it that all quarterly and yearly reports are sent to the governing agencies. The GASSD envisions a business-robust Avenue, clean, safe, filled with customers and vibrant with business opportunities. The Grand Special Services District seeks to attain a strong, vibrant, retail-successful Avenue that is a desired customer destination for New Haven residents and visitors. To that end, the Board of Commissioners of the GASSD has developed the following strategies that govern its yearly objectives:
• to grow the business base on Grand Avenue;
• to care for Grand Avenue as a customer destination; and
• to provide oversight and consistency over the best use of real estate on Grand Avenue.