DDA Minutes

 

2015 Minutes

 

City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: January 22, 2015

Present: Lewis, Moore, Morrow, Anderson, Coty, Saurman, Peterman, Giles, McCloskey, Hansen

Absent/Excused: Worden, Kubin, Near, Anderson

Vacant Position: Baumann

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

Moved by Moore, supported by Giles to name the following slate of officers for 2015:

Chair: Morrow, Vice-Chair: Lewis, Secretary/Treasurer: Peterman

All Ayes/Motion Carried

New Chair Morrow took over running the meeting.

Minutes of meeting of October 23, 2014 were reviewed as was the December, 2014 update to board.

Moved by Moore, supported by Giles to approve minutes of October 23, 2014 as well as the December, 2014 report and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report through December 31, 2014 was reviewed.

Moved by Coty, supported by Moore to approve the financial report through December 31, 2014 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Historic Designation for Downtown was discussed. Nomination was approved at the state level in Lansing on September 19 and was listed on December 3. Still waiting for an official Press Release on this but hopefully will be soon. Need to create some marketing materials for this before long. Hansen will also get DDA Board information on the Michigan Historic Marker program.

Hansen provided report on downtown properties and project activities (attached). In addition:

Parking for LEAN group fitness classes is being worked on. Most of the initial issues have been resolved and they have been real responsive to requests from other businesses. The 4:30 p.m. time slot still may need to be looked at. Also need to make sure we communicate with them on Downtown Classic Car Cruise-In evenings where we close North Mill Street. They may need to park in the back lot those days.

Have been told that Dr. Bontrager is making efforts to be in Phil Hoyt's building by February 1.

Discussed potential mural project again at Jim's Barber Shop. Will check with schools to see if it would be easier for them to do the mural on plywood or MDO sheets at the school, then install them on the barber shop wall once it is done. Also asked about the tree in the area between the barber shop and Steve Near's building. Can anything be done to beautify that space once the mural is up?

The St. Louis Garden Club and our Parks & Recreation Commission would like the ground-level flower beds on M-46 in the MDOT Enhancement area to be filled in with cement and then large flower planters installed. They are not looking for money from the DDA but would like our support for a grant application. Question came up that maybe by doing it this way the flowers could possibly be put in earlier in the season.

Moved by Moore, supported by Lewis to support the Garden Club project and to write a letter that they can use in their grant application.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen reported that the fourth annual Gratiot Downtown Art Expo banner project is underway. Will again have 20 painted art banners up on North Mill Street by Memorial Day. Working with the schools on this as well. Brochures and registration forms were handed out and are available to the public.

Discussed events a bit. Group felt that we should consider doing fireworks on Friday, July 3 instead of the 4th, which would be the same night as Breckenridge. Need to find out carnival situation too. Would it be OK to do a beer tent with local bands on Friday, July 3?

Discussed the proposed Gratiot Quilt Trail project. Suggestions for possible sites for quilt blocks: Common Threads, New City Hall, Subway. This group is holding a public meeting Thursday, January 29 at 1 p.m. at the Alma Library. A Quilt Trail could help bring more tourism to our area and hopefully to our downtowns as well if our businesses will buy into it. Hansen will keep DDA informed as the project goes along.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015 AT 12:15 PM IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: April 24, 2015

Present: Lewis, Moore, Morrow, Coty, Saurman, Giles, Kubin, Near, Anderson, Hansen

Absent/Excused: Worden, Peterman, McCloskey

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

Minutes of meeting of January 22, 2015 were reviewed.

Moved by Coty, supported by Lewis to approve minutes of January 22, 2015 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Financial report through March 31, 2015 was reviewed.

Moved by Kubin, supported by Near to approve the financial report through March 31, 2015 and place on file.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Board confirmed that they were satisfied with the board membership at this time, consisting of 12 members. Meeting schedule to remain quarterly with the first two meetings of each year being at 12:15 p.m. and the next two at 5:30 p.m.

Historic Designation for Downtown was discussed. This process has been completed. Excellent Press Release by the State of Michigan and St. Louis got some good publicity from it. Certificate of Recognition from State Senator Judy Emmons. Next step is to explore State of Michigan Historic Marker program. Suggested that location be considered at new City Hall site.

Hansen presented report on downtown properties and project activities (attached.) In addition:

DDA Board asked Hansen to check for update from Dr. Zia on project at 218 North Mill Street.

Hansen will also check on BRA opportunity for Clark Gas Station and see if taxes have been paid.

Donna Kolar has closed the Purple Pear in Alma and is not looking to open a store here in Peg Boyd's house after all.

Moore mentioned that we should look at painting the second story front face of 111 North Mill Street. Hansen will try to get a bid and also check on the details of the lease regarding rent amount and purchase options.

OPRA Applications: Coty Properties, as well as Mike & Monica McCloskey have submitted applications to the City of St. Louis to consider projects that would require the City to permit an OPRA designation for a property for each of them. Discussion was held regarding the OPRA program.

Moved by Kubin, supported by Lewis for the DDA to encourage the St. Louis City Council to learn more about this program and consider granting OPRA requests or to designate an OPRA district.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

M-46 Planter Project was discussed. The St. Louis Parks & Recreation Commission along with the St. Louis Garden Club have been working on this. Flyers/donation forms passed out. A person, business or organization can sponsor a planter for a $300 one-time fee. Anderson mentioned that we should emphasize that a business could sponsor a planter. They don't just need to be in memory of someone.

20 banners for Gratiot Downtown Art Expo are being painted and will be ready to put up on North Mill Street prior to May 22.

Mural project for Jim's Barber Shop is underway! City received a grant for $500 from the Pine River Arts Council to pay for materials and the City will take care of installing it. Rather than paint it on the side of the building and having to worry about the weather and scheduling around school classes, Jay Puffpaff's High School art students will do this on an 8'x8' plywood/MDO sheet that will be attached to the north wall of Jim's.

DPW Superintendent Mark Abbot gave Hansen a tentative schedule of downtown spring cleanup items and projects. Board members mentioned that some of the parking lot trees were not trimmed very well, in agreement with Mark. Board thought the North Mill Street trees could be left alone for a while and allowed to grow back a bit. Also asked that whoever does the street/parking lot lining this year does a better job of cleaning off old paint chips and sweeping them up before applying new paint.

Banners were discussed. We have enough of them in good shape to take care of poles on M-46. Hansen will look at costs for having something made for the North Mill and North Main Street bridges.

Discussed events. Flyers passed out for Downtown Classic Car Cruise-In dates, Middle of the Mitten Community Golf Outing, Joe Scholtz Memorial Fishing Derby and the Old US-27 Motor Tour. 4th of July Fireworks will be on Saturday, July 4. No beer tent. Working on other events for that day too including Free Swim, City-wide Garage Sales, Coach Kelly Races, carnival, etc.

Discussed the proposed Gratiot Quilt Trail project. County-wide project moving forward with 16-18 sites committed already. Plan is to have them up this summer and have a fall event. Opportunities for our downtown to be involved in this.

2015 St. Louis Promotional Brochures are being designed. Business card ads being collected. Plan is to go to print by beginning of May. Not a DDA project but includes many downtown businesses and promotes the downtown.

Hansen asked for board member comments on the possibility of a four way stop at the North Mill and Center Street intersection. Response was positive that they would like it considered. Very hard to see when trying to turn onto North Mill from Center. Hansen will approach Police Department and City Council.

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015 AT 5:30 PM IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: July 23, 2015

Present: Lewis, Moore, Coty, Giles, Peterman, Near, Hansen

Absent/Excused: Worden, McCloskey, Anderson, Kubin, Saurman, Morrow

Meeting called to order by Secretary/Treasurer Peterman at 5:30 p.m.

With six of the twelve board members attending, there was not enough for a quorum. Attendees decided to proceed with a meeting without voting on any items.

Minutes of meeting of April 24, 2015 were reviewed.

Financial report through June 30, 2015 was reviewed. Hansen described financial situation for DDA. With reduced income from TIF because of property value decline over the past five years, we are barely taking in enough to pay off the bond payment for the parking lot project and cover other necessary expenses. For the next three fiscal years, including the current one just begun, this will be the situation. The 2018-2019 FY will be the next time we do not have a bond payment.

Hansen presented report on downtown properties and project activities, attached. Comments included:

Feel we need to encourage new owners of VCare Pharmacy to make a vigorous effort to market their business. Hansen will look into WQBX/WFYC program for 1,000 radio spots. KMart Pharmacy is closing, so hopefully the opportunity will be there for more St. Louis people to use VCare.

Talk to Subway again about painting their exterior walls and perhaps doing a mural project with us.

St. Louis Marathon project should attract more large vehicles to their business. Make sure they have lots of St. Louis Promotional Brochures out there. We should have more at 7/11 & Sunoco too.

Janie Clark, who owns a barber shop in Alma, considered Michigan Avenue before, also to do antiques/gifts. Should check with her to see if this is still a possibility.

111 North Mill Street second story of storefront should be painted. Board suggested contacting Inniger, Charlie Stimson who is doing work at Peters Hardware right now or Tim Denman. Also, need to review lease on this property to confirm what we are allowed to do in order to get it sold.

Potential OPRA district was discussed. City Council has given their approval to move ahead and put together the paperwork for their review.

M-46 Planter Project was discussed. The St. Louis Parks & Recreation Commission along with the St. Louis Garden Club have done a nice job with this and got enough donations to almost cover the entire project. Lots of nice comments on the appearance and maintenance.

North Mill Street trees were discussed. City removed the one at Frosty Cone as it was blocking vision for cars pulling out from their drive-through. Many of the trees are in bad shape and they seem to be hard to maintain. The bases of the trees cost the City money each year for mulch as well as constant removal of weeds from the mulch beds. Leaves from the trees in the fall also make a mess. DDA Board members attending did not feel like we needed to keep all the trees. Coty mentioned historic photos that he's seen where there are no trees at all, so removing them would fit the historic character of the downtown just fine. Thought was to replace the trees with flower urns similar to the ones on M-46. City could offer downtown businesses the opportunity to donate an urn next year. Hansen will bring a proposal to DDA and council as well as get input from the other downtown business owners, especially on North Mill Street. Question was asked whether we could maintain watering flowers if we had that many more flower urns. Hansen will discuss with DPW Director Mark Abbott.

Downtown garbage cans were discussed. Our wooden units are on their last legs, but there is no funding right now to purchase new ones, which can be very expensive. Need to take inventory of our current wooden containers and ask DPW to do their best to repair and paint them for one more year. Comment was made that we should see if the City's contract with Granger can include emptying these garbage cans weekly so DPW doesn't have to do it, as it seems like it is hard for them to keep up with it. We need to check with Granger to see what kind of garbage cans we should purchase in order for them to agree to emptying them. Also, board was in favor of removing the flower pots from the tops of the garbage cans. They have been hard to maintain, when they water them some of the water ends up in the garbage bags and kids have dumped out flowers and dirt and made a mess on a regular basis. Need to remind DPW to move the trash cans up to the faces of the buildings before winter for plowing purposes.

Seems to be a lot of cigarette butts thrown on the ground this year too. Hansen will look into costs for containers that are used to dispose of cigarette butts and how many we might need.

Mural project for Jim's Barber Shop is underway, but high school students couldn't complete it by the end of the school year. They will get right back at it for completion in September. City received a grant for $500 from the Pine River Arts Council to pay for materials and the City will take care of installing it. Students will do this on an 8'x8' plywood/MDO sheet that will be attached to the north wall of Jim's.

4-Way Stop at North Mill and Center Streets has been approved by City Council. Working on getting the proper arms ordered for two poles to mount the stop signs on. How soon they can be delivered to us will determine when the 4-Way Stop will actually go into effect. Near also requested we replace several “one-sided” street signs at downtown intersections. City Manager Giles will look into.

Discussed events. One more Downtown Classic Car Cruise-In on Wednesday, August 12 and St. Louis Youth Football will again do a Kids Carnival a block away at Saginaw/North Main Street intersection. This went well last time and seemed to increase foot traffic a bit downtown too. Old US-27 Motor Tour is Thursday, August 20 immediately followed by the St. Louis Blues Festival on Friday/Saturday, August 21 & 22. Setup for the Blues Festival will be Thursday night after the cars leave. Also was mentioned that we need to have a plan for the Old US-27 event if we have 400 cars, where to put them.

Discussed the Gratiot Quilt Trail project. County-wide project moving forward with 16-18 sites committed already. Eventually need to discuss how our downtown to be involved in this.

2015 St. Louis Promotional Brochures continue to be distributed.

Meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2015 AT 5:30 PM IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 
City of St. Louis Downtown Development Authority

Minutes of Regular Meeting: October 22, 2015

Present: Lewis, Moore, Giles, Peterman, Near, Worden, McCloskey, Anderson, Saurman, Hansen

Absent/Excused: Coty, Kubin, Morrow

Meeting called to order by Secretary/Treasurer Peterman at 5:30 p.m.

Board discussed meeting schedule for upcoming year. Hansen suggested going back to monthly meetings at 12:15 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month from January through October. No meeting scheduled for November or December unless necessary. Board agreed with this.

Minutes of meeting of April 24, 2015 and July 23, 2015 were reviewed.

Moved by Moore, supported by Near to approve the minutes of April 24, 2015.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Moved by Worden, supported by Giles to approve the minutes of July 23, 2015.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Hansen reviewed financial statement with board through September 30, 2015.

Moved by Worden, supported by Moore to approve the financial report through September 30, 2015.

All Ayes/Motion Carried.

Brief discussion on status of 111 North Mill Street. Hansen will meet with City Manager Giles and Financial Officer Marr to review the lease and clarify what our options are.

Hansen gave report on downtown properties and project activities. Comments included:

With Dr. Vanderlugt retiring, ideas for what might go in that building: Urgent Care, doctor from Sparrow or an Orthodontist were ideas.

There is a For Sale sign in the window of Gary Sych's building at 133 North Mill Street.

Peg Boyd's former house owned by Donna Kolar has gotten exterior paint job but no word if there are any plans for it.

Old Bank Building was discussed. There is no activity going on there at all as far as business goes. Are they in violation of our Zoning Ordinance by using the building for Warehousing? Should there be a fire inspection of the building?

Streetscape improvements and maintenance items were discussed:

Urns on M-46 have been put away for the winter.

City will remove more North Mill Street trees as needed or as business owners request it. One at north end of New City Hall will be removed because of visibility concerns. One between Jim's Barber Shop and Steve Near's office will come out so that new mural can be seen better, and it is a visibility issue too.

Need to look at surrounding trees/brush by our small sign on US-127. Can we use the entire sign or have it taken down?

Face on the larger sign that used to belong to SLEDCO needs to be replaced on US-127.

Wooden garbage cans downtown have been painted and new signs attached to them.

Mural project for Jim's Barber Shop should be finished before long. City DPW will install.

4-Way Stop at North Mill and Center Streets will go into effect soon. Arms have been ordered. Public will get plenty of announcements and a “grace period” where tickets won't be issued.

MDOT projects coming up for M-46 and South Main Street next year through St. Louis. Need to get more information on the timetable for this in order to let customers know, consider sales and promotions, etc.

Discussed possibility of having handicapped ramp cutouts in the middle of North Mill Street blocks. Would take some engineering and probably would cost one parking spot per block. Need to look at what was done in front of River Rock.

Discussed the Gratiot Quilt Trail project. Over 25 committed so far around the county. Planning an event for Saturday, October 8, 2016. St. Louis needs to decide what we'd like to do that day.

Meeting tentatively scheduled for November 4 on potential St. Louis Farmers Market.

Hansen described WQBX/WFYC radio spot promotion for consideration by businesses.

Small Town Family Christmas will be Thursday, December 3 with 6 p.m. parade start. Santa and Mrs. Claus in GEM Theater and reception with food in The Bakers Dozen. SLHS Festival of Bands that night too at the high school.

Meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING DATE IS THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016 AT 12:15 PM IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL
 
 
   
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