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Belmont-Central Chamber Will Take Over Six Corners Services Until City Picks New Provider

PORTAGE PARK — A Northwest Side chamber of commerce is assuming overview of the Six Corners shopping district after a different organization was booted in October.

City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that tapped the Belmont-Central Chamber of Commerce as the interim provider for the Special Service Area 28, which manages how Portage Park’s main shopping district spends tax dollars.

The special service area imposes a tax on property owners roughly from the Metra tracks to North Lavergne Avenue and between Byron Street and Warner Avenue. Funding helps neighborhood groups provide support to businesses, host events, add holiday decorations and manage snow removal and trash pickup in the corridor, among other things.

The shift allows the Belmont-Central group to carry out contracts for those services temporarily until a new provider is chosen, city officials previously said.

Executive Director Reid Mackin told Block Club Thursday the group installed holiday lights at Six Corners last week and has secured a snow removal service for the area for the winter.

It will be the same contractor the chamber uses for its designated area, he said.

“We’ll have the [Six Corners area] serviced if it snows,” Mackin said.

The Belmont-Central group is also based in Portage Park, about 2 miles away from Six Corners. Mackin has led the chamber for 12 years, he said.

The Six Corners Chamber of Commerce was ousted from its role as the SSA provider for the shopping district in October after mismanagement allegations.

Chamber leaders later accused the city of terminating its funding for political reasons. City planning officials, who supervise tax provider agreements with neighborhood groups, have said chamber officials violated their contract by allowing an unauthorized person to manage some of the work.

The Belmont-Central chamber will oversee the Six Corners area until planning officials choose a permanent provider through a request for proposals process early next year.

City officials hope the process will be complete in February so an ordinance to approve the new provider can be introduced in March and passed by City Council the same month, officials previously said.

Leaders of the Six Corners Association, which was the area’s provider until 2020, and the Six Corners Chamber of Commerce have said they intend to apply.

Mackin said his group has not ruled out the possibility of also applying to be the Six Corners service provider.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibilities,” Mackin previously said. “Being an interim is almost like a test run. I’m not looking to play politics… [we] want to focus to provide services.”

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