DDA Minutes

 

2011 Minutes

 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: January 27, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: Worden, McClintic, Crowley, Kubin, Baumann, Vibber, Moore

Attendance did not constitute a quorum, but discussion was held with members who did attend.

McConkie mentioned that City is in process of putting together a Debt Retirement Plan for the DDA concerning the property owned at 111 North Mill Street. More details at next DDA meeting.

Projects and downtown properties were discussed.

St. Louis Pharmacy

Dollar General building

EDC Pool & Spa Supplies building

Quality Clutch & Gear

Mill Street Furniture buildings

Marathon Station progress

Fenwick house

Creative Crafts at Anderson Custom Carpeting

Jesus Coffee House

China City building

St. Louis Florist, Gifts & Greenhouse building

Pat Harris building

Façade Program possibilities discussed

111 North Mill Street

Paint Pantry buildings

St. Louis Food Pride

Promotional ideas discussed

Morrow said “flailing arm guys” cost up to $800

Spotlight

Two sided signs on North Mill Street

Sidewalk displays increased

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: February 24, 2011

Present: Lewis, Moore, Vibber, Hoyt, Morrow, Kubin, McConkie, Baumann, Near, McClintic, Crowley and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Worden, Hornus

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

Moved by Moore, supported by McClintic to approve and file the minutes of December 2, 2010 and January 27, 2011.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report was reviewed through January 31, 2011.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hoyt to accept the Financial Report through January 31, 2011 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

McConkie gave brief report on City's efforts to satisfy Treasury requirements regarding DDA deficit retirement plan. Hansen will discuss potential sale of 111 North Mill Street to current occupant Rhonda Clark to see what her plans might be.

Vibber reminded us that we need to review the TIF program and its timetables, potential for reductions, etc.

Hansen presented a quote from Freed Construction to do some repairs this spring on the back wall and entryway at DDA owned property at 111 North Mill Street. Board agreed that this was work that needed to be done to that building and was our responsibility. Funding can be approved when work is ready to begin.

Board discussed current and potential projects and available properties:

St. Louis Pharmacy is now open and doing well

Senior Housing possibilities for 2012

Potential sale of The Friendly Tavern

Primary Home Care completed purchase of EDC Pool & Spa Supplies building

Morrow reported that someone had looked at the China City building recently

Possible small takeout food business in former Jan's Pizzeria

Teardown of portions of old ADM property between Michigan Avenue and South Main

A Façade Program for FY 2011-2012 was discussed. Hansen will get out initial letter with general program description to request letters of interest on projects. Board felt we should give preference to those who hadn't received grants in the past and hoped to provide between $3,000 and $5,000 this year with grants in the $750 to $1,000 range. Hansen also will include information in the mailing regarding the St. Louis Electric Department's Energy Efficiency Grants. This offer has not been taken advantage of enough so far and is a very good program. Board suggested that those who had already done it, such as Kubin's, could talk to anyone who might be interested to describe their positive results from the program. Lenore at HairWorx Plus is in process of doing a project as well. Board continues to feel that the Façade Program is an effective use of DDA funds and should be continued. Suggestion that we consider a “cleanup person” for downtown again this summer as we did a few years ago if funding is available.

No streetscape projects at the moment. Morrow did mention that the tree in front of Peters Hardware had been damaged by recent snow removal and might need to be replaced. Hansen will have Twin City Landscape take a look at it to make a recommendation.

Promotional items were discussed including:

Chamber of Commerce annual Comedy Night coming up Saturday, March 12. This raises funds for many events that happen downtown.

St. Louis Business Association planning a sale/promotion for the week of April 4-9 that will give food donations to the St. Louis Office of Human Services.

2011 St. Louis Promotional Brochures are being designed for publication in April. Also getting prices on Shop St. Louis First! bookmarks and continuing to send out weekly Constant Contact e-newsletters. The March 1 City News & Views newsletter has an article on the St. Louis Business Association and shopping locally. Rich and Bev Apps will bring flyers listing Downtown St. Louis businesses to attract more people from out of town. St. Louis will again be a stop on the Old US-27 Motor Tour this summer on August 25.

McConkie gave a brief review of the new Governor's budget proposal. As it is now, it would cut Statutory Revenue Sharing which would cost the City of St. Louis approximately $135,000. This could necessitate cuts of up to 10% across the board in the City's General Fund budget. Though the DDA itself is not part of General Fund, the DDA/Economic Development Director's position is funded through General Fund. The DDA should also be prepared that TIF income may continue to decline because of tax roll backs, if economic development does not continue to occur. Need to keep working on sales of long-held properties and projects for potential new construction within the DDA district.

Hansen continues to work with local Arts Association on possible projects in the downtown.

Meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: March 24, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: Worden, Crowley

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

Minutes of meeting of February 24, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Moore, supported by Hoyt to approve the minutes of February 24, 2011 and place them on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Financial report was reviewed through February 28, 2011.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Vibber to accept the Financial Report through February 28, 2011 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board accepted letter from Michigan Department of Treasury approving DDA deficit plan, dated March 7, 2011.

Hansen presented a quote from Freed Construction to do some repairs this spring on the back wall and entryway at DDA owned property at 111 North Mill Street. Board agreed that this was work that needed to be done to that building and was our responsibility.

Moved by Kubin, supported by McClintic to approve bid by Freed Construction for $1,285 to do repairs on the DDA owned property at 111 North Mill Street.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board discussed current and potential projects and available properties:

China City building – prospect looking

Dollar General – prospect looking at financing

Jesus Coffee House – need to contact to get price

St. Louis Pharmacy – open and doing well

Senior Housing possibility – planning for 2012

ADM property teardown – working with RailAmerica

Marathon Station – back to work within a few weeks renovating

North Main Street project – 2012 and 2013

Primary Home Care – beginning interior work – will have one space available in building too

Pat Harris Office – need to meet with Todd Fisher

Friendly Tavern – P.A. signed – Ben & Michelyn Crowley and Mike & Monica McCloskey

Hansen sent out initial letter to evaluate interest in a Façade Grant Program for 2011-2012. Once some replies are received, board can decide how they want program structured this time.

Streetscape items included stand-up banners being priced similar to what Arby's and Taco Bell have in Alma. Would need board input once we get prices, as to how they think this kind of thing could be used, if at all. DPW Director Mark Abbott is getting costs for us to letter both sides of the street signs on North Mill Street. Kubin mentioned that there still is not a pole on the corner of North Mill and M-46 to replace the one that was taken down during the reconstruction of that intersection last year. Hansen will look into it. Need to look at that intersection to see if any other signage is needed designating North Mill Street. Some photos of the area might help.

Promotional items were discussed including:

St. Louis Business Association planning a sale/promotion for the week of April 4-9 that will give food donations to the St. Louis Office of Human Services. Event is starting to be advertised

Discussion was also held about what the next promotion might be for the downtown businesses. “Ag Day” was suggested as a summer event. Suggestion was to perhaps make it part of the week of Rural Urban Day or 4th of July week. McConkie said, since Rural Urban was no longer in St. Louis that the City would be promoting that as it usually does, so there may be some funds to collaborate with the DDA on something like this. Need to contact MLS and A & E Ag amongst others to get their input. Could the businesses have a drawing for a prize at the end of the week, perhaps at the Fireworks?

2011 St. Louis Promotional Brochures are being designed for publication in April. They are almost finished!

Presented packets of “Shop St. Louis First!” bookmarks for businesses to hand out free to their customers. Sent lots of them to schools for Reading Month in March and to the Cutler Library as well. This wasn't a DDA project but board asked if they bought 2,000 more if they could be put in a City bill mailing. Kubin asked if Hansen could make sure the word “Bookmark” was on the item somewhere if we were going to mail it so people would know for sure what it was.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Moore to purchase 2,000 bookmarks.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

A Restaurant Brochure is also being planned along the same format as the general St. Louis brochure. Hansen will ask local restaurants if they would like to advertise in it.

Hornus reminded board that we had not determined officers for this year for the DDA Board.

Moved by Near, supported by Moore to keep the same slate of officers: Rudy Hornus, Chair; Scott Morrow, Vice-Chair and Brad Vibber, Secretary.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen informed board that he needed to be out of town on the next regular meeting date of April 28. Board decided to meet Wednesday, April 27 at 12:15 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

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

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: April 28, 2011

Present: Lewis, Hoyt, Kubin, McConkie, McClintic, Hornus and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Worden, Crowley, Moore, Near, Baumann, Morrow, Vibber

Attendance did not constitute a quorum so no official actions were taken.

McConkie as City Manager presented a DDA Budget history back through FY 2004-05 and the proposed 2011-2012 budget that will go to City Council. Discussion was held and consensus was that board members attending were satisfied with the report.

Board discussed current and potential projects and available properties:

Jan's Pizzeria building – candidate working with Health Department

China City building – discussed condemnation process and next steps

Check to see if there is a mortgage – Register of Deeds

Jesus Coffee House – need to contact to get price

Senior Housing possibility – planning for 2012

ADM area, Tester site, St. Louis Florist property, Reznich Property on river

ADM property teardown – working with RailAmerica

Marathon Station – workers supposed to be there this week

Friendly Tavern – liquor license transfer approved by City Council; earlier than planned

Mill Street Furniture/Sunshine Clothing – new realtor; price reduced

Hornus suggested that Mill Street Furniture might consider having an “inside sidewalk sale” there during the winter months if it is still empty.

Façade Program was discussed. This year hoping to get as many people to do small projects as possible for maximum overall effect.

DPW Director Mark Abbott is working with MDOT to replace the North Mill Street street sign on M-46.

Standup banners were discussed. DDA thought their use should be more on M-46 or South Main Street rather than on North Mill Street. Possibilities included somewhere on M-46 showing where to turn for downtown, banners for use for events such as the Fireworks and Blues Festival and something near the entrance to the St. Louis Area Historical Society Depot. One downtown spot that might work would be at the Food Pride corner with their business name on them.

Board would still like to look at the M-46 and North Mill Street/Michigan Avenue intersection. Need to get some good photos of it.

Promotional items were discussed including:

2011 St. Louis Promotional Brochures were made available. Mailed today to MDOT Rest Areas and Welcome Centers. Gave 25 copies to each person attending DDA meeting. Ordered more this year so that we didn't run out or have to scrimp with them as the year goes on.

Second batch of 2,000 “Shop St. Louis First!” bookmarks will be going out in the City mailing with utility bills and newsletter this month. Mailing should be received by all City households on May 1. There will be a small article in the newsletter too, mentioning the bookmarks.

St. Louis Business Association met last week and is considering encouraging a craft and/or antiques show somewhere in the downtown this fall.

Hansen reminded board members of the Middle of the Mitten Golf Outing and the opportunity for advertising and Hole Sponsorship.

Brief discussion held about DDA Board taking time to do some brainstorming on planning/future projects. McConkie and Hansen have already begun discussions on meeting to begin to coordinate existing City plans and DDA could possibly work in this process. Some of the plans include the City Land Use (master) Plan, Recreation Plan, Gratiot County Master Plan, DDA Plan, Small Town Design Initiative, Velsicol Site Reuse Plan and other ideas have included having a Riverfront Plan as well.

Consensus was that the DDA could use one of its regular meeting dates to do this.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
No meeting was held in May
 
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: June 23, 2011

Present: Lewis, Moore, Vibber, Hoyt, Morrow, Kubin, Baumann, Near, McClintic, Hornus, Crowley and Hansen.

Absent/Excused: Worden, McConkie

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

There was no DDA meeting held in May, and April's meeting did not constitute a quorum, therefore minutes of meeting of March 24, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Moore, supported by McClintic to approve the minutes of March 24, 2011 and place them on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Financial report was reviewed through May 31, 2011.

Hansen noted that estimates for TIF income for 2011-2012 are still relatively close to this past year. Hansen will also meet with Rhonda Clark, our tenant at 111 North Mill Street to discuss her possible future plans.

Moved by Morrow, supported by Moore to accept the Financial Report through May 31, 2011 and place it on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board discussed current and potential projects and available properties:

Morrow mentioned that Denise Bouchey knew of someone interested in started a Chinese Restaurant, possibly in the Pringle's building on the corner.

City of St. Louis has purchased Dollar General building to use as future site for City Hall. Hansen wanted to make sure that rationale was clear to DDA Board, that the main reason it was purchased was that the Fire Department needs to be moved out of the basement of the current City Hall because of water issues. Board asked if perhaps the front of the Dollar General building could remain as a retail business somehow, or in the future if a new City Hall was built if it could go back to retail.

China City building has been condemned. Hansen will check to see if there is a mortgage on the building or not and if so what bank held it. Hornus looked at the building's exterior and said that the northwest corner appeared to be sinking somewhat causing some damage in the wall. If this building ever did need to be torn down, would have to be very careful because it has a common wall with the building to the south.

Other spots mentioned that need attention were the exterior of the Subway building and the north wall of the Herbs in the Middle building. Tuck pointing and silicone would be the best solution. Board would also like to see the weeds and other physical features of the downtown be kept up more. New mulch will be going into tree beds by July 1.

Façade Program for 2011-2012 was discussed. Board decided guidelines to be a maximum of $1,000 per project, no match required but taken into consideration, preference given to businesses who have not received a grant in the past, exterior improvements that are most visible to the public, deadline to be August 1 and emphasize that funds are limited to encourage timely applications. No limit determined but $5,000 total was a rough estimate.

Discussion held about banners on M-46. Several of them need replacing and some have been thrown away already since they were in such poor repair. Consensus was to replace the ones that we already have arms for as soon as possible. Hansen will get costs, evaluate the number of banners needed, etc. and e-mail to board members for their review. Will also inquire about restoring banners instead of buying new. Need to check to see if we had in the past approved some money towards this. Also, do we have any more brackets in storage? Would any businesses be willing to help with the cost of some new banners?

City will look into getting two-sided signs on North Mill Street/Saginaw Street and North Mill Street/Center Street intersections.

Promotional items were discussed including 2011 St. Louis Promotional Brochures continuing to be distributed and a brief discussion about the next meeting of the St. Louis Business Association, Thursday, August 18 at 5:30 p.m. Need to decide the next cooperative sales promotion for downtown. Need to encourage people to continue to shop locally, especially with new Wal-Mart opening in Pine River Township on July 20. Hansen will put letter in next News & Views City Newsletter to come out August 1.

Brief discussion about the Board's interest in having another planning/brainstorming session. Consensus was to use the next DDA Board meeting date for that purpose, but to have an evening meeting at 5:30 p.m. instead.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 AT 5:30 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: July 28, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: McConkie, Near, Morrow, Baumann, McClintic

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 5:45 p.m.

Minutes of meeting of June 23, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Worden to approve minutes of June 23, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Financial report through July was not available as process is being finished to complete FY 2010-2011 through June.

Board had set aside this time for planning, project discussion and updates.

Hansen answered questions regarding prospects downtown and the status of certain buildings:

China City building has been sent their follow-up letter regarding condemnation by the City. There is no mortgage on the building and it appears to be a land contract that has been paid off. Taxes are paid up.

Developer from Lansing interested in the Jesus Coffee House building has made contact with owners and is looking into what Health Department would require there.

Prospect looking at the former Jan's Pizzeria space for a small take out restaurant. Working with health department and local contractor to determine what is necessary for venting.

Dr. Zia's second building in the 200 block of North Mill Street is now for rent.

With Joseph and Joseph Tax Service moving out of 124 North Mill Street, the Bustle and Grind and Weathervane Antiques have combined to fill that room with more antiques. Entrance will be through the Bustle and Grind rather than directly from the back parking lot.

Todd Fisher may be in the process of purchasing Pat Harris' building and legal practice.

HairWorx Plus interior wall seems to have been damaged somewhat after work on 111 North Mill Street. Hansen will get Freed Construction to give an estimate of what it would take to make repairs there.

Work going on at Victoria's Flower Cottage in the room in between there and the Tea Room.

Discussion about how we could encourage more use of the theater building. What other kind of events could happen there? Gratiot County Players, drama club, other musical performances, magic show, Evening in the Park, movies, etc.

Façade Grant applications and possibilities were discussed. Mailing went out after last month's DDA meeting with an August 1 deadline. Have received two inquiries so far, one from the new owners of the Friendly Tavern and one from new lawyer Pam Munderloch for a sign. New name for the Friendly will be the Blue Shamrock Pub.

Potential spots were mentioned including the back and sides of Subway, the face of 111 North Mill, the Food Pride overhang and a sign high up on Common Threads.

Banners on M-46 replaced prior to the 4th of July as DDA had discussed at the June meeting.

Physical improvement possibilities and maintenance of things were discussed.

Board asked if we could have curb cuts in the middle of the North Mill Street blocks. Already have this type of thing in the 200 block near the doctors' offices. Need to determine locations and widths for these if it were to be done.

A couple of potential trip hazards were mentioned, one in front of Tammy's Therapeutic Massage, another in front of Peters Hardware and also some places where small pipes should be shaved off, in particular in front of HairWorx Plus and Phil Hoyt's insurance office where they are sticking up.

Board felt that we could request suggestions from the St. Louis Garden Club about potential flower baskets on any light poles downtown. Thought we should encourage flowers in general to our business owners. Possibly have a contest or promotion in late April or early May to get more stuff in front of storefronts similar to what we do for Halloween. Could be put in empty storefronts too.

Other physical improvements/maintenance included keeping landscaping and plantings weeded, etc. Discussed keeping sidewalks clean, especially of cigarette butts. NW corner of M-46 and Main Street intersection needs attention and perhaps MDOT needs to be contacted. Take a look at shrubs/landscaping/big rock behind CarQuest. Look at shrub situation on Saginaw Street south side across from City Hall. Board mentioned again that snow removal with big loader does damage. Hansen recommended that all board members take a walk around town and make a list of “little things” that we might be able to attend to.

Discussed future plans for Tester Site and Pocket Park site on north end of North Mill Street.

Of all the physical items mentioned however, board agreed that putting money into the actual storefronts by way of Façade Grants was our most important item.

Hansen will get more copies of TIF plan and make them available for review.

Underground electric was discussed, including tree-to-tree connections on North Mill Street and the overhead wires and poles that are on the east side of the businesses on North Mill such as behind the old Dollar General building. Can we come up with a plan to continue to bury wires on M-46 too.

Determined that November/December meeting would be Thursday, December 8 at 12:15 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, AUGUST 25, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: August 25, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: Near, McClintic, Kubin, Crowley

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

Minutes of meeting of July 28, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Worden, supported by Moore to approve minutes of July 28, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Hansen announced that Nancy McClintic has resigned from the DDA board as she will be spending more time with Primerica Financial Services out of the Lansing office and eventually opening a small office in Alma.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by McConkie to accept the resignation.

Board members to come up with potential replacement suggestions for the next DDA meeting.

Financial report reviewed through June 30, 2011 which is the end of the Fiscal Year. McConkie noted that this still was subject to our annual audit.

Moved by McConkie, supported by Morrow to accept the financial report through June 30, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Discussion was held on repairs needed at HairWorx Plus that could be related to work at 111 North Mill Street on the common wall of the two buildings. Board determined that more investigation was needed so item was tabled until next month.

Projects, available properties and potential projects were reviewed.

Hansen and Building Official Kathy Roslund spoke to owner of China City building and they agreed to consider purchase offers for the building if we could find any prospects.

Car Quest Auto Parts closed recently. Hansen visited with area manager and will work with them to determine what they want to do with the building since it is a corporate-owned store. Also have had conversations with other people who could possibly be interested in operating a car parts store in St. Louis but there are a lot of parts places locally already. Board suggested another potential prospect that Hansen will follow up with.

Mill Street Furniture and Sunshine Clothing buildings price reduced. Hansen will meet with Deann Readmond for an update.

Work proceeding at former Jan's Pizzeria building. The Coney Corner will be owned and operated by Randy and Michelle Van Horn of St. Louis. Plan to be open early in the school year.

No word lately on Lansing developer looking to create a Chinese Restaurant in the former Jesus Coffee House building.

Todd Fisher is in the process of purchasing Pat Harris' building and legal practice.

Closing scheduled for this Friday, August 26 for the sale of the Friendly Tavern, to be renamed The Blue Shamrock by new owners Ben & Michelyn Crowley and Mike & Monica McCloskey.

Lewis wondered if we might pursue a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Hansen will contact local Habitat President Larry Mott.

Helcher's Black Belt Academy should be moving in at Anderson's Custom Carpeting and would then be in the DDA area. Hansen will follow up on this.

Façade Grant applications were reviewed. Three have been received:

Law Office of Pam Munderloh – new business at 308 West Washington Street; request for $245

Weathervane Antiques – replacing front windows of shop at 119 North Mill Street; request for $1,000 towards a project cost of $3,227 just for purchase of windows

The Blue Shamrock – enlarge size of windows on front façade at 223 North Mill Street; request for $1,000 towards a project cost of $4,558

Committee of Hoyt, Morrow and Moore recommended all three requests verbally to Hansen earlier this week. Hansen pointed out that all fit the program criteria and also that the two requesting the maximum amount were both making significant private investment in the projects.

Moved by Worden, supported by Moore to approve the three Façade Grant applications.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Potential applications for a sign at the new Coney Corner and from St. Louis Variety to paint and detail the upper front façade.

Hornus suggested that for the next round of grants we consider revising our guidelines for new businesses, especially sign requests that they be in business for one year before payment. Also that our sign guidelines include more detail on how the sign should fit into the historic theme of downtown. Mentioned how nice Kubin's Furniture's new lighted sign looked.

On the topic of Streetscape work, Hansen reported that the City is working on the repair of the grass areas at the M-46 intersections of North Mill Street and Main Street.

Events coming up included the Old US-27 Motor Tour today, the annual St. Louis Bridge Walk on September 5 and the Blue Revolution Car Show at Clapp Park on Sunday, September 11.

In addition, flyers were handed out for the Lucky MacDuck Day in Alma on Saturday, September 10. This is a countywide event put on by the Pine River Arts Council which is a group we'd like to continue to work with in regards to our downtown businesses.

2011 St. Louis Promotional Brochures have been distributed to workers on the Invenergy Wind Farm Project, to local prison workers as well as in plastic holders to many of our downtown businesses. More “Shop St. Louis” bookmarks have gone to the T.A. Cutler Memorial Library and they will be distributed in the schools early this year as well.

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: September 22, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: Near, Kubin, Crowley, Baumann, Vibber

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

Minutes of meeting of August 25, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by McConkie to approve minutes of August 25, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Board discussed potential candidates for open DDA Board position. Hansen will talk to those mentioned to gauge their interest.

Financial report reviewed through August 31, 2011.

Moved by McConkie, supported by Morrow to accept the financial report through August 31, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Discussion about repairs needed at HairWorx Plus, next to DDA project at 111 North Mill Street. Lenore Worden provided report from her insurance company. Still not sure what the cause of the damage was. City Manager McConkie said she should submit a claim to the City so that their insurance company could investigate along with contractor's insurance company.

Other development was discussed including Blue Shamrock opening, China City building prospects, potential sale of Car Quest building, Clark Gas Station progress, etc.

Façade Grant program was discussed. Coty Properties, LLC's application had been approved verbally this past month.

Moved by Morrow, supported by Lewis to confirm approval for $1,000 Façade Grant for painting and detailing at 134 North Mill Street.

Aye: Lewis, McConkie, Morrow, Hoyt, Hornus, Worden

Abstain: Moore

Nay: None

Motion Carried.

Moved by Worden, supported by Hoyt to approve a $1,000 Façade Grant for The Corner Café for sign and exterior work at 103 East Saginaw Street.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Streetscape work and potential projects were reviewed and a brief review of that section of the TIF plan. Hansen will look into CDBG possibilities and find the alley project drawings behind the 300 block of North Mill Street on the west hand side.

Distribution of promotional brochures continues along with bookmarks. St. Louis Business Association put together a full-page ad for The Country Register. Hansen working on a restaurant brochure for later this fall. Questions from board included possibility of 7/11, Food Pride, Francesco's and the Cattle Run Café to make sure they are included if they are willing.

High School Homecoming is Friday, October 14

Halloween Decorating will coincide with this date

Christmas Open House sale is Saturday/Sunday, November 12 & 13

Hansen passed out brochures for new area website http://www.midmisite.com/ which helps people who are looking to start, expand or improve a business. Greater Gratiot has been involved with this.

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011 AT 12:15 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: October 27, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: Baumann, Worden

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

Hansen spoke to Pam Munderloh about membership on DDA Board and gave some minutes and materials to look over. Meeting was good, Pam asked if she could have until Monday to decide.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Moore to bring Pam Munderloh's name to City Council should she be willing to serve, term to begin January 1.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Minutes of meeting of September 22, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Hoyt, supported by Morrow to approve minutes of September 22, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Financial report reviewed through September 30, 2011.

Moved by Kubin, supported by Lewis to accept the financial report through September 30, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Projects, properties and business attraction discussed including:

Mill Street Furniture buildings – City representatives to go through

China City building – need to meet with Hearing Officer

Clark Gas Station – has been hard to get response from owner lately

St. Louis Food Pride – Electric Department working on Energy Efficiency project with them

Dr. Zia's second building – some interest in renting it; need to have condition looked at

Helcher's Black Belt Academy – up and running; lots of new student interest; had open house

Extreme Sports Apparel – interior work being done; opening mid to late November; UPS dropoff

St. Louis Corner Café – opened last week; doing well so far

Dollar General Building – City in discussions on how to put to use; physical improvements/paint

ADM/Elevator property – cleanup nearing completion for this year; closing in end of building

Upshaw's Indoor Garden Supply – opened recently; working with them on several ideas

Jesus Coffee House – seems to be advertising and operating as a church

St. Louis Pharmacy – closed last week; low volume; in process of recruiting; will attempt to contact Ferris State University to advise

Still have a possible prospect to bring in a Chinese Restaurant but need a good available site.

During discussion of restaurants, Board asked if someone could meet with the schools to see if lunch hour could be a little bit longer. Might encourage more students to come downtown if they didn't feel it would be such a rush. Can we work with the schools to have food delivered to the High School from a variety of businesses if orders were made and paid for in advance? Also mentioned kids being in cars at lunchtime when it is against school policy. Hansen will look into these topics.

Façade Grants were discussed. St. Louis Corner Café costs came in under the $1,000 they requested originally, so cost to us was only $653.37. Helcher's Black Belt Academy has put in an application but needs to work with Kathy Roslund on sign guidelines before we approve. This winter need to revisit Façade Grant guidelines and policies, especially regarding new businesses

Hansen recommended an application from Upshaw's Indoor Garden Supply for two signs totaling $305.

Moved by Morrow, supported by Moore to approve a $305 Façade Grant for Upshaw's Indoor Garden Supply for exterior signs at 321 North Mill Street.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Streetscape ideas include a collaborative grant between St. Louis, Alma and Ithaca to imitate a project that Art Reach in Mt. Pleasant does. Banners would be painted by local artists and/or school students and sponsored by area businesses. St. Louis would receive 14 banners to do however we would like. Application is sent in November 1 and results should be November 16. This fits several ideas that we have discussed in the past.

Promotional items include work being done by St. Louis Business Association leading up to the holidays. Ads are going in the Country Register, Alma Reminder and Saginaw Valley Shopper. Also doing radio spots with WMLM. Hansen preparing to offer local restaurants/eateries/bars an opportunity to combine to do a brochure at relatively low cost. Not a DDA project but would include DDA area businesses. Downtown website also being updated and improved. E-mail will be sent to businesses requesting that they review their page for additions/corrections/comments/requests. We need the downtown website ADDRESS displayed in more places like business windows.

Halloween Decorating Contest concludes tomorrow

Christmas Open House sale is Saturday/Sunday, November 12 & 13

Small Town Family Christmas Parade and Reception with Santa at GEM Theater is December 2

Hansen encouraged that we use the next meeting to brainstorm about potential businesses or other ideas to use to fill downtown buildings. Start the meeting 15 minutes early. Think of businesses, services, ideas, arts, schools/training centers, etc. Gather some other small downtown brochures to see what's working. Lewis mentioned banners and tables in Lakeview on their main street. Morrow mentioned bigger buildings divided into multiple spaces or an incubator for startups.

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 AT 12:00 PM IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: December 8, 2011

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

Absent/Excused: Baumann, Crowley

Meeting called to order by Hornus at 12:00 noon.

Board welcomed new member Pam Munderloh to her first meeting. Her law office opened this year and City Council recently approved her appointment to the DDA Board.

Minutes of meeting of October 27, 2011 were reviewed.

Moved by Vibber, supported by Hoyt to approve minutes of October 27, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried

Financial report reviewed through October 30, 2011.

Moved by McConkie, supported by Worden to accept the financial report through October 30, 2011 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Discussion was held regarding business attraction, recent activity, available properties, etc. Goal was to evaluate what our strengths and weaknesses were as a downtown and prioritize what we wanted regarding business mix in particular.

Things to Build Off Of:

hometown feel and cooperation between existing businesses

core retail with local ownership and variety of businesses

support from City and DDA – façade grants, promotion, snow removal

success of long-standing businesses – have some anchors

emphasized importance of St. Louis Food Pride and finding a pharmacy

good reputation

people like the pets we have in our stores

nice physical atmosphere downtown

variety of available spots that are reasonably priced

St. Louis Area Historical Society

Things to Work On:

streets and sidewalks – water in North Mill Street gutters after snow melts

pharmacy recruitment

many different open hours from business to business

gas station

clothing store of some kind – describe better, something unique

long-standing empty spaces – China City

recruit more locally-owned businesses – the ones that closed are NON local owners

improve under-used buildings – theater can really be an asset

message on marquee – welcome to Downtown St. Louis or Shop St. Louis First

Dollar General building, etc.

helping businesses that are willing to sell on the internet to help sustain them

is an auto parts store a possibility or not likely

after pharmacy, priorities were antique and collectible stores, another quilt shop

old-fashioned things in historic buildings – peanut machine, candy, etc.

continued new, unique things too – My PC Pro, Dish Netweork, etc.

getting more young business people involved and recruited

maintaining high standards of maintenance and appearance

Conclusion was that we needed to find the local PEOPLE who are interested in running a business and help them learn how to do it. Continue to encourage the community to support our businesses. Work with schools to find kids that don't necessarily want to go off to college, or if they do to have the ability to come back and live here when they graduate. Create a plan for these young people, St. Louis Schools, Alma College, CMU, list kids in college, entrepreneurship plans, etc. Co-op or trade school development.

Hansen encouraged board member to bring anyone to him that might be interested in starting a business or purchasing a downtown building to give them some help. Also requested that DDA Board members be key people in turning back any negative talk by other store owners or customers/citizens during a difficult economy. Mustn't let up on having a positive attitude even in tough times!

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 AT 12:15 PM IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 
 
 
   
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