Frequently Asked Questions
What is SCSSD?
SCSSD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. This Special Services District was created to address the unique needs of residents living in close proximity to an active Sports Complex.
What is the mission of SCSSD?
The SCSSD operates to complete a three-fold mission:
- Protect community interests
- Improve neighborhood quality of life
- Promote efficient operation of adjacent sports venues
In fulfilling this mission, SCSSD coordinates efforts between City and State Departments, elected officials, sports venue operators, and the community it serves. SCSSD completes projects and programs designated by Community Directors to beautify, protect, and enhance quality of life for area residents.
How is SCSSD funded?
Comcast Spectacor, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Philadelphia Phillies are committed to community improvement and donate a combined $1 million to SCSSD each year. This amount is adjusted each year by the Consumer Price Index.
How is the SCSSD governed?
SCSSD is guided by a Board of Directors that includes 20 members, seven of which have voting privileges. The voting members include one representative each from Comcast Spectacor, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Philadelphia Phillies, and one each elected from the four Community Districts. City and State elected officials and the City Managing Director serve as ex-officio non-voting representatives to the Board. The Board has a set of written bylaws, or rules, that specify how the District is organized and operated.
How are SCSSD Board Members chosen?
Community Directors are elected by residential households and serve a four-year term. Elections are conducted under the auspices of an independent election firm (American Arbitration Association). Sports Venue Directors are assigned by their respective venue management. Ex-Officio Directors serve during the term of their respective positions.
Is SCSSD a City agency?
No. SCSSD is not a City agency. SCSSD is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, completely separate from City government. SCSSD does not replace any services of city, state, or federal government. SCSSD may only supplement government services from time to time, with such projects as increased street tree care, landscape maintenance, and street cleaning.
What legal limitations control SCSSD project and program selections?
The most significant limitation relates to projects of private benefit. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, SCSSD benefits from tax-exempt status and also is strictly prohibited from funding any project or program where the benefit to a private resident or group of residents outweighs the benefit to the community at large. The best example of applying this rule relates to many neighborhood requests for SCSSD to repave their common driveways. In the eyes of the IRS, repaving a common driveway (the deeded responsibility of private homeowners) is no different than installing new carpets in someone’s living room. SCSSD may not engage in any such activity of clearly private benefit. In another example, SCSSD cannot clean common driveways under the Residential Cleaning Program. To verify this reality, SCSSD legal counsel has studied this issue at great length and cautioned that any violation of this private benefit guideline would likely result in loss of nonprofit status. Without nonprofit status, SCSSD would cease to exist. It is critical that SCSSD protects the financial investment that Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Philadelphia Phillies are making in the community. This can only be accomplished with prudent decision-making that conforms to government guidelines, thereby protecting our tax-exempt status and future neighborhood improvements.
I see that SCSSD has made valuable donations to schools and recreational facilities in the area. Why can’t SCSSD make similar donations for organizations outside the District boundaries?
SCSSD has a set of written bylaws, or rules of operation, that SCSSD is legally required to follow. SCSSD may only provide services in the geographically defined boundaries. An interesting example of applying this law is the Residential Cleaning Program and our border streets. Border streets like Oregon Avenue are only cleaned on one side of the street, the innermost side. This conforms to the service boundary rules. Making exceptions to this rule would set a precedent that could quickly grow out of control, thereby compromising funds that should continue to be dedicated specifically to the defined residents of SCSSD as originally intended. Borders need to be defined or we will have no way of gauging where to stop our services.
Can the boundaries of SCSSD be moved?
In accordance with SCSSD bylaws, any proposed change in the SCSSD boundaries would require a unanimous vote of the SCSSD Board of Directors for approval.
How much money is spent in each SCSSD Community District?
Each of the four Community Districts receives an equal 25% share of SCSSD services and offerings over time. Special attention is given to Community District I, most notably in the first few years of operation, due to this District’s close proximity to the Sports Complex venues and its related special needs. SCSSD closely tracks spending in each Community District to ensure that all residential neighbors benefit equally.
Why did your cleaner just walk down my street and only pick up the large litter, skipping the leaves?
The likely answer is that the SCSSD maintenance ambassador was performing a “large litter pick.” The primary goal of the SCSSD Residential Cleaning Program is zero tolerance for litter. Leaves are not litter. A secondary goal is to assist neighbors with leaf pick up, when possible. SCSSD uses a combination of cleaning techniques to ensure that large litter is addressed at least twice per week in every location. SCSSD will most certainly return to get the leaves at a future time, after the large litter is cleared and a more detailed cleaning is possible. Weather is also an unknown variable that can and often does impact the cleaning schedule and types of cleaning performed. SCSSD maintains a log of all cleaning methods and results by location, including the real-time tracking of employees with GPS technology, to maximize efficiency. Residents may call the SCSSD offices at 215.271.1701 with any cleaning program questions.
Can SCSSD plant a new tree in the sidewalk in front of my home?
If you are an SCSSD resident and complete an application, SCSSD will install a new street tree when approved by the City of Philadelphia. To get an application, please contact the SCSSD offices at 215.271.1701.
Can I get my tree trimmed or removed?
Please contact the City of Philadelphia’s hotline by simply dialing 3-1-1 for all street tree maintenance or removal requests.
Can I buy a copy of the SCSSD Photo History Book?
No. This gift publication was prepared exclusively for SCSSD residents and was already distributed with a limit of one per household. Photo reproduction rights prohibit SCSSD from selling additional copies of the book. A digital version of the book is viewable on this website.