DDA Minutes

 

2010 Minutes

 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: January 28, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Vibber, Near, McConkie, Kubin, Moore, Hoyt and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Readman, Crowley, Zoppa, Meyer

Meeting called to order by Lewis at 12:15 p.m.

Election of officers for 2010 held.

Moved by Kubin, supported by Morrow that Rudy Hornus be DDA Chair for 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hornus that Scott Morrow be DDA Vice-Chair for 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Near that Brad Vibber continue as Secretary for the DDA for 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hornus took over the running of the meeting at this time. Brief discussion about possible open seat or two on DDA Board. Hansen will speak with City Clerk/Treasurer Roehrs about this. Vibber mentioned that perhaps some candidates may emerge during meetings with St. Louis Business People group.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Morrow to approve the minutes of December 3, 2009.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report presented through December 31, 2009. Brief discussion was held.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Morrow to approve the financial report through December 31, 2009 and place it on file.

McConkie presented City Council Resolution 2010-02 which is a Deficit Elimination Plan required by the State of Michigan. Also, since they don't recognize the building at 111 North Mill Street as an asset on financial reports, the City will refund the DDA payment toward the parking lot project for this fiscal year in order that the DDA be sure to have a positive fund balance.

Hansen reported on project activity within the DDA area including a brief review of 111 North Mill Street, a potential small bakery, efforts with the Rowley & Church property and the ongoing project with the sale of St. Louis Food Pride. Also briefly discussed the possibility of more Senior Housing in the DDA area. After Kentwood Pharmacy closed in Shepherd, Hansen spoke with our local Kentwood Pharmacy people and they were very happy with the support of the St. Louis community and said they would remain here.

Hansen presented a grant opportunity to the board that could provide funds for the replacement of the old fiberglas light poles on North Mill Street. Grant requires a 50/50 match but may be able to be paid for out of Electric Department funds and the Project Fund from the City. Application is due March 5 and our rep at the State seems to think we would have a good chance to receive this. Hornus mentioned that perhaps we should look at a different style globe for the top of these poles to set apart the Central Business District a little bit from the rest of the area. Board agreed that this was a good idea.

Upcoming events flyers were passed out including a Spaghetti Feed fundraiser for St. Louis community events on Saturday, February 6 and the annual Comedy Night on Saturday, March 13. Both events are sponsored by the Middle of the Mitten Association, which is St. Louis' branch of the Gratiot Area Chamber.

Morrow and Moore asked if we could get a garbage can or two back downtown soon. Especially behind the St. Louis Variety area where a lot of kids seem to travel at lunchtime. Hansen will follow up with DPW head Abbott.

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: February 25, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Vibber, McConkie, Crowley, Moore, Hoyt, Worden (Meyer) and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Readman, Zoppa, Kubin, Near

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Brief discussion about potential board opening(s) coming up.

Moved by Worden, supported by Morrow to approve the minutes of January 28, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report presented through January 31, 2010. Brief discussion was held.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hoyt to approve the financial report through January 31, 2010 and place it on file.

Brief discussion of 111 North Mill Street project. Bit of a problem at the back door with water coming in underneath. Need to pave a small section behind the building this season. Once building is sold, may need to enter into a lease with the purchaser similar to the ones in place from the alley project.

City continues to work with Dollar General to find a site for a new building. Bethany Township made a proposal for a 425 Agreement to City Council that was not agreeable to the City. McConkie working on a reply and possible counter-proposal. Other sites examined including Rowley & Church site. Need to keep working with RailAmerica to determine value of their property on South Main Street.

Sale of St. Louis Food Pride continues to progress. People have been in cleaning and getting the store ready, but closing has not happened as of yet. Project looks promising even though it is taking awhile to finalize.

Hansen presented near-final draft of grant application to MEDC requesting funds for the purchase of 50 new Victorian light poles for the Central Business District in the DDA area. Types of poles, especially the lamp heads, will provide a look to that area that distinguishes it from the rest of the town's lighting. Board wanted to make sure that the existing United States flag holders could still be mounted on the new poles.

Morrow asked if there was a way we could string some banners across North Mill Street downtown leading up to and during our major events. Hansen will get with Utilities Director Kurt Giles to come up with ideas and possible locations.

Board members thanked DPW for getting some garbage cans back on the street. Suggestion to put the cans right next to the buildings seems to have worked well and not interfered with snow removal. Hansen will check to see if, with that in mind, it is even necessary to put the cans away during the winter.

An upcoming event flyer was passed out for the annual Comedy Night on Saturday, March 13. Event is sponsored by the Middle of the Mitten Association, which is St. Louis' branch of the Gratiot Area Chamber. New Chamber yearly booklets were also distributed. Hansen also reported that the 4-color 2010 St. Louis Promotional Brochures should be ready within the next month or so.

Meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: March 25, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Vibber, Crowley, Moore, Kubin, Worden (Meyer) and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Readman, Zoppa, Near, McConkie, Hoyt

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Moved by Moore, supported by Morrow to approve the minutes of February 25, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report presented through February 28, 2010. Brief discussion was held.

Moved by Morrow, supported by Moore to approve the financial report through February 28, 2010 and place it on file.

Dollar General project was discussed. City continues to work with Bethany Township on possible 425 agreement and also on sites within the City. Brief discussion held about what could be done with the existing building should Dollar General move.

St. Louis Food Pride sale should happen soon. Potential new owner intends to be open in April. Hansen will help with promotion of new opening. Bakery/deli will be continued so Food Pride can be in St. Louis Promotional Brochure that goes to MDOT rest areas.

MEDC grant application for new Victorian light poles downtown was submitted and results to be announced on April 1. Hansen worked with Senator Kahn and Representative Opsommer to get their support.

Kurt Giles and Hansen met and discussed the possibilities of a banner being hung on North Mill Street but Giles' opinion was that we shouldn't attach anything to our buildings. Still need to continue to work on idea of a hanging sign between Kubin's and Commercial Bank across North Mill Street.

Banners were discussed. Need to inventory what we have and consider buying some new ones as replacements, as well as to continue the pattern south on Main Street to the depot. Also should consider having banners that feature things downtown attractive to travelers such as “antiques,” “ice cream,” etc. Moore mentioned that the most questions he gets are about a grocery store, so that would be a possibility too. Need to put this topic on next DDA agenda. Board also asked Hansen to check with DPW and Electric Department to get banners up between mid-April and May 1.

Board also asked to see when all garbage cans would be back out, and recommended that they not be removed next winter but rather just pushed up to building faces. Hansen will follow up with DPW.

Façade Program was discussed briefly and board asked for it to be an agenda item again next month. Idea is, with our current financial situation, to re-evaluate the program and prioritize what we are giving money for, decide how much we can afford each year, etc.

2010 Gratiot Area Chamber brochures were passed out along with flyers for the June Fishing Derby and Middle of the Mitten Golf Outing. The 4-color 2010 St. Louis Promotional Brochures should be ready in April.

Hansen showed small St. Louis promotional flyers created for Weathervane Antiques to bring to the Breckenridge Antique Show this weekend. The event typically draws hundreds of people, many from outside our area. The flyers list the places to shop and eat in St. Louis as well as the GEM Theater and St. Louis Area Historical Society along with our downtown website address.

DDA Directors from Alma and Ithaca met with Hansen recently to put together a couple of brochures including all places to eat in the three communities as well as the locally-owned places to shop. We should hopefully be able to get these in MDOT rest areas. These would be paid for by small donations from each business included.

Another project potentially in the works for 2011 is the paving of North Main Street north of the Main Street bridge. This would include bank stabilization near Barnum Park and the fishing platform, a walkway by the Mill Pond and have a plan for a pedestrian bridge across the Pine River south of the dam. This is not a DDA project but could be a benefit to the downtown by making it easier to walk downtown from the east.

Reminder to the board that the next meeting to discuss a St. Louis Business Association will be Wednesday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers in City Hall. Hansen encouraged all board members to commit to being part of this organization somehow. Hornus and Vibber are involved with the project's initial drive and both support the idea of cooperation in planning sales and promotion.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: April 22, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Vibber, Moore, Near, McConkie and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Readman, Zoppa, Crowley, Hoyt, Worden, Kubin

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Moore to approve the minutes of March 25, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report presented through March 31, 2010. Brief discussion was held. McConkie reminded us that we will be receiving $10,000 back from the City in order to satisfy State of Michigan financial requirements for the current fiscal year.

Moved by McConkie, supported by Morrow to approve the financial report through March 31, 2010 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Dollar General builder has decided to attempt to do project entirely in Bethany Township, as a new lot has become available next to the proposed lot. Attempting to rezone the property at this point. Should this move happen, DDA will need to meet to discuss possible use for building Dollar General would move out of.

Hansen has made contact with RailAmerica to continue to try to put an accurate value on the property they own on South Main Street, the old Rowley & Church property.

St. Louis Food Pride sale completed two weeks ago. Work in progress to prepare for opening next Tuesday, April 27. Great news for downtown. They have hired the person who was interested in starting her own bakery so that project is on hold for now. However, hopefully it will make the Food Pride bakery a very good one so downtown still benefits. Need to confirm liquor license situation as well as cigarette sales ability.

Now that Ken Zoppa no longer is the owner of St. Louis Food Pride, he is not eligible to remain on the DDA Board. City Clerk/Treasurer Roehrs supported Hansen writing a letter to Zoppa thanking him for his service. Hansen and Zoppa met after the letter was received and he was very appreciative.

Board also asked Hansen to talk to Deann Readman about her DDA Board position and request a letter of resignation if she was no longer able to attend because of her work situation. Hansen and McConkie will also check to see if we have any specific attendance policy for DDA Board meetings. Vibber mentioned Mark Nyquist from Kentwood Pharmacy as a person who might be interested in being on the DDA Board.

Decision on MEDC grant application for new Victorian light poles still has not been made, though April 1 was supposed to be the deadline for the announcement. Hansen continues to work with Senator Kahn and Representative Opsommer to get their support.

Façade Program was reviewed. There are approved requests totaling $3,860 that can be honored after June 30. After discussion, board decided to not offer another round at this time, but wait to see what our financials look like after 2010-2011 TIF money begins being collected, etc. Discussion points included a scaled-down program with only $5,000 available, perhaps making some of the awards smaller (some $1,000 but some $500), concentrating only on the fronts of buildings, making rules on repeat awards, trying to encourage new businesses to apply, etc.

Board agreed that award letters could be sent around to those who already had approved applications and that they could begin work now, as long as requests for payment be dated July 1 or later.

Banner program was discussed. Price from Superior Sign is $125 per banner, two sided. The arms would be extra but we shouldn't need to buy any of those as we should have a supply in storage. Need to do inventory of banners and arms to determine how many replacements might be needed. Will also offer opportunity for businesses to purchase banners with their name on them, or a popular feature they offer such as “ice cream,” “antiques” or “grocery store.” Hansen will talk to Mike Parsons to drop off banners to inventory and also ask him about number of arms we have available. Board mentioned that it would be nice to get some banners on South Main Street and maybe one or two near the tracks that said “Historical Society” or “Museum.”

Moved by Vibber, supported by Moore to approve $625 to purchase five new banners.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen met with DPW Director Mark Abbott yesterday to discuss spring projects they will be doing downtown. Street line painting, including center line painting, will be happening within a week or so. Mulch application in downtown tree beds within the next few weeks. May go with dark brown mulch this year instead of red, to see how it holds up. Also need to compare it price-wise. In the future may look at using colored rock instead, so that it is not a yearly expense for DPW. Hornus suggested looking into rubber mulch too. Also hoping to remove some of the chain link fence on M-46 near the bridge at the west entry to the downtown. Lewis mentioned that there is a little lip on the cement in front of Jim's Barber Shop that could be a trip hazard and also the stamped concrete corner by Discount Tire is not in good shape.

Mentioned that Schnepp Health Care Center was doing another major improvement at their main entryway and that they're planning to tear down the adjacent house in the future to expand the main building. Need to contact Dick Prestage, Jr. for details.

St. Louis Promotional Brochures will be finished and printed in May. Will go into MDOT rest areas.

St. Louis Business Association meetings have gone well. It looks like the will is there to form an organization, but that they are determined to go through the process gradually while still doing cooperative things while the association is being formed.

Cooperative brochures featuring “places to eat” are being attempted with Alma and Ithaca. Initial letters have already been sent out.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: May 27, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Vibber, Moore, Near, McConkie, Hoyt and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Crowley, Worden, Kubin

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Hansen reported that Zoppa and Readman each have relinquished their DDA Board positions. Zoppa has sold St. Louis Food Pride so no longer is eligible, and Readman has taken a new job in Alma that prevents her from attending meetings here. No action taken yet to appoint new members to fill the positions.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Moore to approve the minutes of April 22, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report presented through April 30, 2010.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hoyt to approve the financial report through April 30, 2010 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board asked if we knew yet what the projected TIF capture would be for 2010-2011 considering some property values may go down. This will be part of the budget McConkie presents soon.

River Rock has postponed its outdoor seating request temporarily after learning more about the “No Smoking” law passed in Michigan recently.

Board held brief discussion about smokers throwing cigarette butts on the ground/sidewalks. Felt that we should just ask DPW Director Abbott to see if his guys can make a sweep downtown a little more often. Also suggested looking into purchasing units that cigarette butts can be thrown away into.

Victoria's Flower Cottage continues to clean out the storefront that housed Mill Pond Treasures. They are hoping to put something else in there, perhaps as part of Victoria's. Hansen is still working with bakery prospect that perhaps would be a good fit there. Katie from Victoria's also has some ideas.

Façade Program was discussed briefly. Hansen will follow up with those who have been awarded so they can get their reimbursements after June 30.

City of St. Louis was awarded a Downtown Urban Revitalization Grant in the amount of $53,150 for new Victorian light poles in the Central Business District. This will allow us to dispose of the fiberglass poles in the downtown as well as have LED lights for cost savings. Project should begin later this summer and be finished this season.

Green banners are up. Need to evaluate how many more we need, where they should go, etc. Lewis mentioned offering individual businesses the change to buy a banner that has their business name on it. Hansen will draft a letter and proposal.

Line painting is done downtown including center lines, parking lines on streets and in parking lots. City used PK Contracting from St. Louis Woodside Industrial Center this year. They gave us a better price than we had gotten before and it appears they did a good job.

Eastlund Concrete is in the process of doing some work for MDOT on M-46 within the Enhancement Grant area. They are tearing things up pretty badly but are contracted to replace all stamped concrete with new stamped concrete. This is good news because some of it may be on the verge of needing to be replaced anyway.

Mural project for the back exterior wall of the bath house at the W.T. Morris Memorial Pool is progressing. Tentative plan is to try to have it done prior to the June 10 opening, though that may not be possible. City crew will be painting the building exterior anyway, so they can prep and prime the back wall for the folks doing the mural.

Board asked if Hansen could check with Abbott to see when the flowers are going to be planted in the downtown garbage can tops.

Also mentioned that the flower beds at the entry to town from the west looked real nice but that the one on M-46 in Clapp Park didn't seem to have been worked on yet. Hansen will follow up with City Clerk/Treasurer Roehrs to see who is responsible for that particular spot.

It was mentioned that St. Louis Food Pride will be having a Grand Opening for the month of June and that a ribbon cutting is planned for June 15 by the Gratiot Area Chamber.

Hansen distributed 2010 St. Louis Promotional Brochures to Board members. They already have been sent to MDOT Rest Areas and Welcome Centers. Working on local distribution now. Board commented that they turned out very nice.

Vibber reported on progress of St. Louis Business Association. Mailing going out soon to elect officers so that things can proceed. Good interest in this so far.

Middle of the Mitten Association and the City have advertised in all three local newspaper inserts focusing on recreation/travel/tourism for the summer.

Lots of events coming up with Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 12, Golf Outing on Thursday, June 17 and 4th of July & Blues Festival on July 2 & 3.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: June 24, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Kubin, Vibber, Moore, Near, McConkie and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Crowley, Worden, Hoyt

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Discussion held about possible replacements for two positions on DDA Board.

Moved by Moore, supported by Morrow for Hansen to send invitation letters to St. Louis Food Pride owner Steve Baumann and Primerica Financial Services owner Nancy McClintic to join the DDA Board.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Minutes were reviewed.

Moved by Morrow, supported by Moore to approve the minutes of May 27, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report presented through May 31, 2010.

Moved by McConkie, supported by Kubin to approve the financial report through May 31, 2010 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

McConkie reported that $10,000 had been transferred from the City to DDA and would show up in the June financial report. He also mentioned that TIF capture for 2010-2011 was estimated to be 3% lower than the current fiscal year.

Hansen led discussion about Mill Street Furniture being for sale and asked for ideas of what might go in there. Hornus mentioned that it was such a big space, perhaps it could be used for auctions. Some local people who do this kind of work are John Pavlik, Joe Sherwood, Mike Doty (Merrill) and Kevin Laethem. Zoning for this type of business might need to be confirmed, but board thought it was a good idea. Could there be antique display spaces as part of this too? McConkie mentioned that the City should obtain an alley easement behind the 300 block of North Mill Street.

Dollar General still plans to move into a new building out on M-46 but there has been no recent physical progress. Several board members mentioned that the closing on the second property east of town that is proposed as a site, has not happened yet. Need to think of what we might want in that space once the move is official. Suggestion was to combine two or three related businesses and to contact Rite-Aid to determine their plans with the building. Ideas included photographer, framing, t-shirts, signs, kids stuff, etc. Hansen will talk to Jan Craig at Peters Hardware who bakes cookies, etc. from home.

Façade Program was discussed briefly. Hansen will follow up with those who have been awarded so they can get their reimbursements after June 30.

Papers have been signed with MEDC for the City's Downtown Urban Revitalization Grant for new Victorian light poles. Bids can go out soon and project must be completed by December 31.

The green banners that are up are in good shape. No need to purchase any more immediately but did discuss where the next ones should go.

Eastlund Concrete continues MDOT work on two intersections on M-46. Kurt Giles has the plans for this project if anyone would like to see them.

Vibber reported that the St. Louis Business Association now has a group of four officers charged with putting together some guidelines, suggestions and bylaws. Twenty businesses returned ballots and there is interest from several more.

Hansen distributed Blues Festival and 4th of July Celebration materials. Morrow mentioned ideas for more events that could be part of that weekend in the future, or even as separate events. One idea was a boxing display that Lonnie McQueen might be in charge of. Hansen mentioned that sometimes event days are not necessarily shopping days, but that the SLBA would be a good group to decide what they thought would be good downtown.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: July 22, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Worden, Hoyt, Kubin, Vibber, McConkie and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Crowley, Near, Moore

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Hansen reported that Nancy McClintic of Primerica Financial Services and Steve Baumann of St. Louis Food Pride have both agreed to serve on the DDA Board.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hoyt to bring the names to the next City Council meeting and that McClintic should serve the term that ends at the end of 2012 and Baumann the one that ends at the end of 2011.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Minutes were reviewed.

Moved by McConkie, supported by Morrow to approve the minutes of June 24, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report was not available as end of the year postings still need to be completed.

McConkie and Hansen presented information about upcoming Energy Efficiency Grant Program to be offered to businesses county-wide within the next couple of weeks. Funding available with only 15% match by business for projects that would save money for a business regarding heating/cooling, lighting, insulation, window or door replacement, etc. $5,000 maximum per business but City also has a program that might interact with this. Kurt Giles will get us more information on the City program and Hansen will distribute county-wide information once it is completely available. News was well received by DDA Board and they felt that this would generate a lot of interest by businesses. Davis-Bacon rules do need to be followed if someone is hired to do any work.

Properties and projects were discussed briefly. Mill Street Furniture is reopening. There have been a few minor repairs needed at 111 North Mill Street to keep water out of their back room. Dollar General site in Bethany Township still not approved. It was mentioned that the current manager may not believe that moving is a good idea, so Hansen will follow up to give the DDA's view to Dollar General that we feel they will be better served by staying where they are downtown. Hansen will contact Lucinda Fox to see what her thoughts are.

Board asked if Paul Erskine could please do an inspection of the China City building. Hansen and McConkie will follow up. May need to contact the realtor to get this done. Also would like to see contact made with Dave Duba from the Old Bank Building to see what his plans are for the near future. Board also asked what might be done to get the owner of the old ADM property to clean up that area.

Façade Program was discussed briefly. Hansen continues to follow up with those who have already been awarded.

City is ready to go out to bids for Victorian light poles for the Urban Revitalization Grant Program. City Council should approve at the first meeting in August.

Hansen provided information on upcoming Old US-27 Motor Tour including a t-shirt order form from the Chamber as well as an update of the “Places to Eat” Downtown brochure revision. Board also discussed success of Blues Festival and 4th of July Celebration and gave some ideas on parking improvements, signage for the weekend, etc. Need to check to see if we can use church parking lots if things continue to grow.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: August 26, 2010

Present: Lewis, Morrow, Hornus, Near, Moore, Worden, Kubin, Vibber, McConkie, Baumann, McClintic and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Crowley, Hoyt

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Board welcomed new members Nancy McClintic of Primerica Financial Services and Steve Baumann of St. Louis Food Pride. Introductions were made around the table.

Moved by Worden, supported by Kubin to approve the minutes of July 22, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report was reviewed through June 30, the end of the Fiscal Year.

Moved by Moore, supported by Vibber to accept the Financial Report through June 30, 2010 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen will also put together a reminder of the items that the DDA is financially committed to for the upcoming Fiscal Year.

Gratiot County Energy Efficiency Mini-Grant program deadline is tomorrow, and several downtown businesses have applied already including The Hair Loft, Reichard Insurance, Weathervane Antiques, The Bustle & Grind, Tony's Restaurant and Jim's Barber Shop and The Sportsmen's Barber Shop are also in the process of applying.

McConkie mentioned that the City also has an energy efficiency program that targets electric savings. Kurt Giles is the contact person for that.

Current and upcoming projects were discussed. Dollar General will be moving out of their downtown building this fall. Hansen has spoken to the building owners to work with them to get the building either sold or leased as soon as possible. The Invenergy wind farm project is scheduled to begin November 1 east of St. Louis and Hansen is working on making sure we benefit from the construction activity nearby. New Wal-Mart construction is also beginning in Pine River Township and suggestion was made to be in contact with their work force as well. Hansen has worked with Woodridge Inn & Suites recently next to Big Boy which has opened under new ownership and will get St. Louis brochures into their lobby and rooms. Marathon station will be a foreclosure but Hansen has talked to the bank in Chicago and the person who hopefully can get it up and running again. Kubin asked if we could make contact with them to make sure the area gets mowed and weeds trimmed on a regular basis. China City property was discussed again and we feel like there are enough potential issues there to have the City inspect it. New business at 225 North Mill Street, My PC Pro does computer sales, repair, technical support, etc. New business at 603 East Washington next to Anderson Custom Carpeting, Dun Gud Auto Detailing.

Façade Program was discussed briefly. Hansen suggested that we consider doing a scaled-down program just for front facades now that we are in a new Fiscal Year.

Motion by Kubin to reactivate the Façade Grant Program with the following qualities:

To be used by people who have not previously received a grant

Maximum of $750 per grant, $3,000 total available funds

No match required, as before

Must be for front face of building, emphasis on painting and color choice

Review Committee continues as before to make recommendations to DDA Board

Supported by Worden.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen will work with Rhonda Clark to finish the painting of the front of our building at 111 North Mill Street.

Streetscape ideas and improvements discussed. City is ready to go out to bids for Victorian light poles for the Urban Revitalization Grant Program. Lights will be installed by the end of the year. Hansen will look into why some street signs need to be replaced on North Mill Street. Board felt like small trees on North Mill were trimmed back too much and wondered who did the work.

Hansen provided sample of Ithaca's brochure that they just produced. Has ads from individual businesses. Will pass this along to St. Louis Business Association for their September meeting and see what their costs were as well.

Old US-27 Motor Tour is stopping in St. Louis today from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Hansen thanked our DPW for getting the street patched, street sweeping and blowing off the sidewalks as well as Twin City Landscape for getting new mulch in the tree beds in preparation for the event.

Meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: September 23, 2010

Attendance did not constitute a quorum, but discussion was held and agenda reviewed.

Meeting began at 12:15 p.m.

Hansen presented a short summary of the items that the DDA is financially committed to for the upcoming Fiscal Year.

Projects/Available Properties:

St. Louis Marathon – we are working with the bank in Chicago as they make plans to renovate and reopen

Dollar General – their lease in current building runs through the end of January; we are working with building owners to keep building from being empty once Dollar General moves

EDC Pool & Spa Supplies – working with owner to either rent portion of building that is vacant or sell building; Nancy McClintic is helping us with ideas at since they already lease part of it

China City building – there was an interested party that went through the building recently, so we have held off on our inspection until we see if that progresses

Bank Building – board members mentioned possibilities again for this building; Hansen will again try to have owner meet with Hovey Companies to explore apartment options

Lot next to Frosty Cone – Hansen will be meeting with Frosty Cone owners to discuss possibilities of their purchasing the lot to the south from the City; board members mentioned something else fun for kids – arcade or computer/video/internet games, etc.; could they partner with My PC Pro somehow; also mentioned how good their regular food is and to try to advertise it more than just an “ice cream” place; new business is supposed to be opening in Alma in the former Book Shoppe building that may be something along these lines

Pat Harris office – it was mentioned that this property probably will become available before too long on West Saginaw Street

Façade Program:

Reviewed recent applications. Need to get together with Greg Butcher on his application to remove dilapidated overhang on building at 219 North Mill Street. Front façade painting at 225 North Mill should happen within a week or so. Need to get with Rhonda Clark for painting and brick work on upper story of front of 111 North Mill Street.

Streetscape improvements/maintenance/signage:

Street signs for North Mill Street corners have been ordered. 4-6 weeks delivery time but will be up this year.

M-46 corner work is just about done. MDOT and Eastland have done a really good job.

New Victorian light poles should get here in early November and get put up right away. Can do it right after Halloween Decorating Contest is over.

Hansen described upcoming potential enhancement project on North Main Street adjacent to Central Business District. Includes paving, curb & gutter, utility work, etc. from north of the bridge up through Prospect Street intersection. This is a 2012 project. River bank stabilization, walking path, canoe portage, etc. to be a 2011 project. Working on combining the two for grant applications in order to possibly add other amenities such as lighting, a bridge across to the swimming pool property, etc. Not a DDA project but downtown could definitely benefit from it. It was noted that it is important to inform the public far ahead of time when roads might be closed so that other activities and events can adjust (Work Camp, Little League, etc.) Create maps if possible that show dates and schedule of construction.

Halloween Decorating Contest:

Hansen encouraged all businesses to take part! Police Department and City Hall will take care of two poles on north side of Saginaw and one directly across the street. Chemical Bank will take care of the one in front of their entrance.

St. Louis Business Association had a good meeting last night and are planning two sales, one for November 13-14 and another for January 22.

Board members suggested that we set a meeting so that we had some time to plan and discuss things in a little more detail. A day meeting seemed like it would be difficult for business owners so it was suggested to have a 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. meeting and allow 2-3 hours. Hansen will contact all board members to see if we could have it on our next regular meeting date instead of a lunchtime meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010 AT 6:00 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: October 28, 2010

Present: Lewis, Hornus, Near, Moore, Worden, Vibber, McClintic, Crowley, Hoyt and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Morrow, Kubin, McConkie, Baumann

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 6:00 p.m.

Moved by Moore, supported by Worden to approve the minutes of August 26, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Moved by Moore, supported by Worden to approve the summary of the non-quorum meeting of September 23, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board noted that our next meeting date will be Thursday, December 2 and that it will be the last meeting of the calendar year. This is done because the third Thursday of November and December are the busiest part of the Holiday Season.

Financial report was reviewed through September 30.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hoyt to accept the Financial Report through September 30, 2010 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen noted that the bond payment towards the parking lot and alley project has already been paid in September and is reflected in these financials. We will also be taking care of our $1,000 annual billboard rental on US-127 soon.

Discussion on potential/current projects, available properties and ideas for new businesses:

Dollar General

China City – we are going to have it inspected; discussion on how to possibly recruit a

Chinese restaurant and whether or not it would do well here

Jan's Pizzeria

Victoria's Treasured Memories

Old Bank Building and storefront on Saginaw Street

GEM Theater

Historical Society Depot

EDC Pool & Spa Supplies and their tanning equipment

Office of Human Services

St. Louis Marathon

Pat Harris building

Paint Pantry

Pringle's Building – plans that church has for it

McClintic mentioned that an old bank was renovated in St. Johns and is now a restaurant/bar/motel called The Mint. Might have a Pool Room as well. Board mentioned to make more contact with Francesco's as far as them helping us get people downtown as they draw a lot from out of the area.

Gratiot County Energy Efficiency Mini-Grant – St. Louis received several including The Hair Loft/Expressions, Jim's Barber Shop, The Bustle & Grind and Sportsmen's Barber Shop

Façade Program applications discussed. Façade Committee and Board already approved $750 for Victoria's Treasured Memories at 133 North Mill Street for the painting of their front façade via phone and e-mail. Hansen then presented application from Anderson Custom Carpeting for front façade painting and from Greg Butcher, owner of 219 North Mill Street to remove old overhang/awning in very poor condition and replace it with a small mansard roof/overhang.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Moore to confirm the Façade Grant Award of $750 for Victoria's Treasured Memories at 133 North Mill Street.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Worden to approve a $750 Façade Grant for Anderson Custom Carpeting at 603 East Washington Street.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Moore to approve a $750 Façade Grant for Greg Butcher for 219 North Mill Street.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Streetscape improvement ideas, maintenance and signage were discussed. Victorian light poles should be delivered week of November 1. Street signs for North Mill Street intersections at M-46, Saginaw, Center and North Streets on the way. VFW has taken flags down off old poles and will put them back up next spring with rubber attachments under metal straps. Board will inventory M-46 banners and consider banners for North Mill Street and possibly parking lots next year. Will try to plan on how to get some donated money for this. Hansen will come up with some potential designs for North Mill Street banners. Need to have electric boxes installed on the poles on the corner of North Mill and Saginaw so that Christmas decorations can be lit on that corner. Hansen will meet with Electric Department to discuss possibility of getting electricity to each small tree on North Mill Street, work on a hanging sign between Kubin's and Commercial Bank, etc. Thought it is not in the DDA, the North Main Street paving project should be a nice addition to the downtown area in the next two years.

Brief discussion about promotion including brochures, websites, e-mail, e-newsletters, etc. City of St. Louis now has a Facebook page and Hansen has a booklet for retailers/businesses on how to use it to their advantage. Big opportunity to use this to connect to large volume of people! My PC Pro may be able to help with this too. St. Louis Business Association planning Christmas Open House on Sunday, November 14 and a “Pink Day” Promotion as a fundraiser sale for the American Cancer Society in January.

Planning ideas for the future were brought up including public restrooms, park/open space areas in downtown, walking paths and connections, continuing to market the downtown and emphasize our strengths, etc. Hornus will get Hansen the “customer comment cards” that have been discussed by the SLBA. Board would like to continue to see connections with arts, culture, history, etc. Other big topics are the opening of a Super Wal-Mart next year and the Invenergy Wind Farm project beginning this fall.

Board mentioned that this should be an annual event at our October board meeting for planning for the upcoming year. Thanks to Chemical Bank for providing pizza and pop for the meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2010AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: December 2, 2010

Present: Lewis, Hornus, Moore, Vibber, Hoyt, Morrow, Kubin, McConkie, Baumann and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Near, Worden, McClintic, Crowley

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:15 p.m.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Kubin to approve the minutes of October 28, 2010.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report was reviewed through October 31.

Moved by Moore, supported by McConkie to accept the Financial Report through October 31, 2010 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board discussed current and potential projects and available properties.

Dollar General building – has been some interest; listed with Coldwell-Banker in Mt. Pleasant

China City – City has condemned it; process will be ongoing

Pharmacy – building owner working with three potential pharmacy clients

EDC Pool & Spa Supplies – purchase agreement; inspections done; environmental in process

St. Louis Marathon – rehab continues slowly

Pringle's Building – owner may be interested in selling; Jesus Coffee House not open

2010 Façade Program – My PC Pro, Victoria's Treasured Memories and Anderson Custom Carpeting all completed including their paperwork. Greg Butcher currently working at 219 North Mill Street at Milene's Salon and Drake Accounting & Tax Service.

Streetscape improvements were discussed. St. Louis Electric Department almost finished installing the 57 new Victorian lights. It has been mentioned that lights aren't real bright, but not really a problem. Hansen will check with Mark Abbott to see when street signs are supposed to be delivered to us. Suggestion to consider putting white lights up all year round possibly on light poles or in parking lot trees.

Small Town Family Christmas Parade tomorrow, Friday, December 3. Now that we have some additional events included, need to encourage stores to be open.

Hornus asked that we talk to Fire Chief Rich Apps about inspecting basements of downtown buildings that adjoin other buildings. After fire in Alma, is there any way that we can encourage our building owners to do work that would help prevent fire spreading if it should ever happen?

Hansen gave out a few copies of a Facebook for Retailers booklet. Also was mentioned that Alma College may have interns who could help businesses setting up Facebook pages and that the St. Louis Schools has a Technology Club that might do something similar.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 
 
 
 
   
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