July 2018

Downtown Milton Business Improvement Area

Board Meeting Minutes (July 4, 2018)

Location: Milton Chamber of Commerce Boardroom

In attendance: Sara Bergsma, John Silva, Valerie Nicholson, David O’Connell, Margaret Lara, (Colin Best called in for beginning of meeting), Rachel Shuttleworth

Regrets: Mike Boughton, Eric Chabot, Colin Best, Troy Newton

Guests: Kristina Tesser, Sukh Brar, Joseph Pedulla, Philip Suos

Call to order:6:45 p.m.

Declaration of Pecuniary or Conflict of Interest


Previous minutes

MOTION to approve June meeting minutes by Valerie, seconded by Margaret

Introduction of Guests

  • Kristina Tesser – Lawyer at Johnson McMaster Law Office
  • Sukh Brar – Owner of Printd
  • Joseph Pedulla – Owner of Joseph & Mike’s Barber Shop
  • Philip Suos – Owner of Vaulted Inc.

Guest Presentation & Discussion: Holiday Street Market (Philip Suos)

  • Philip is the owner/founder of Vaulted Inc, which organizes the Holiday Street Market, Mac & Cheese Festival, etc.
  • Philip would like to make some changes to this year’s Holiday Street Market in Milton in response to some public feedback, to help make the event more sustainable going forward and to make it easier to manage. Changes include:
    • Running the event over two Saturdays in December, not three
    • Santa will be free (no change to sit on Santa’s knee, take photos with your camera/phone)
    • Use of ReStore parking lot for vendors
    • Put speakers along Main St to help create a more festival atmosphere
    • Road closure – Plan to close from Brown to Martin. If there is interest from enough vendors, they will close from Martin to Commercial as well.
    • Token system for food vendors – Visitors buy tokens and pay for made-to-order food with those. Vaulted Inc will ensure there are multiple token stations set up to avoid long lines and so people don’t have to walk too far to get tokens
    • Vendors set up at regular intervals up the street – like at the Street Festival (avoids ‘gaps’ on the street)
    • 50% discount on vendor fee for BIA members (does not include tent, equipment & set-up)

BIA will focus on:

  • Engaging our members in the event
  • Communication with members about the event
  • Marketing and promotions of BIA members and the event as a whole
  • Input into vendor placement along the street

Treasurer’s Report

  • We are currently at the mid-point in the calendar year
  • No concerns in our administration costs
  • We usually have our peak costs in May/June (related to our summer events) – figures are as expected for those months
  • Reduced some of our beautification costs this year by going through the bidding process for our flowers
  • There was a calculation error at the Town for our levy amount. John is currently working with the Town to correct that and to collect the missing funds ($500)
  • Correction made to the Charities Rebate amount – BIA received some money back from the Town for that

MOTION to accept the Treasurer’s Report by Valerie, seconded by Sara

Council Report

  • ED updated the board on the bridge repairs at Carriage Square – The Town and the landlord were unable to come to an agreement on repairs to the bridge behind Carriage Square. So, the Town cannot move forward with doing the bridge repairs. More information to come next month.

ED Report


  • Sponsorship – continuing to follow up with prospects and reach out to potential sponsors for events and initiatives taking place later in the year
  • Lease Extension Renewal – BIA’s current lease agreement expires on September 30, 2018. Our landlord has proposed the new rates.
  • Considerations:
    • Our office is 380 square feet, we have an additional 117sqft of storage space in the basement
    • We contacted several other landlords and they do not currently have units available that are a suitable size for us
    • Proximity to Main Street
    • Benefits of being located close to the Chamber
    • Use of Carriage Square and our office for Street Festival and other events
    • With new furniture and office layout, we have adequate space for three staff members and mid-sized meetings
    • Discussion – Market rates for office space, location, BIA needs in the future, other possible property options, availability of comparable space in Downtown Milton, renewable leases, etc.
  • 2018 Annual General Meeting
    • Planning currently underway
    • Will take place September 19 or 20 (week after the September Board meeting)
    • Venue – Southside Community Church
    • Ask Southside for permission to have alcohol (wine, beer) at the event, but if it’s not permitted, we will still host the event there
    • Catering by Locanda (appetizers)
    • Potential guest speaker topics/themes: entrepreneurship, marketing, other BIAs or OBIAA, marketing, wifi, SMART cities, technology panel, Band/entertainment

Members, Vacancies, Issues

  • Vacancy rate for June – Estimated 5.5% (OBBIA vacancy average is 9.7%)
  • Member updates – BANG! Creative moved into new location. 16 Hugh Lane will be used by the Town at least until December. Landscaping association moving into 174 Mill Street. Pizzaiolo and Wings Up under new management.
  • Requests from landlords to have discussions with Town’s Planning Department about the floodplain.
  • Food Trucks/Trailers – Outreach to members to get their perspective. Preliminary research into other BIAs (OBIAA) and municipal bylaws.

Marketing and Promotions

  • Summer 2018 e-newsletter distributed at the end of June:
  • Sent to over 1,000 people (community and members)
    • Open rate – 27% for community, 43% for members
    • Popular links – swimming information, Farmers’ Market, Car Show event page
  • Car Show promotions coming up in the Champion, Snap’d, Old Autos, MyFM, social media/online
  • Upcoming: Profile on Yogurty’s, promotions for Sounds of Summer Sidewalk Sale
  • More online promotions planned for this summer


Downtown Milton Street Festival

  • Discussion of 2018 Downtown Milton Street Festival Summer Report
  • Overall a successful event, good attendance at the event
  • BIA expenses were up 10% from last year, revenues were up 33.5%, still waiting for final numbers from the Town on their Actuals
  • This year, we surveyed all BIA members after the event, not just participating members. 24 members responded to the survey – satisfaction was 3.8/5 for all members, 4/5 for participating members
  • Average spending per visitor was slightly lower this year (likely due to a change in the way we did the calculation)
  • 2/5 satisfaction rating from the general public, 85% said the event increased their awareness of the shops, restaurants, services and amenities in Downtown Milton
  • Good traction on social media, the Facebook Live videos performed well
  • Discussion on learnings/recommendations for next year (performances, location of beer tent, vendor fee structure, online payments, parking, generator noise, etc.)
  • See report for full details

Milton Farmer’s Market

  • Began Saturday, May 19
  • Eight members have reserved the BIA bump-outs, reaching out to members this week to fill a few additional spots

Downtown Milton Classic Car Show

  • Friday, July 20, 2018, 6-10pm
  • Vehicle registrations are currently over ¾ full
  • Continuing to seek prize donations for the raffle
  • Charles Street will be under construction so making some small adjustments to the floorplan
  • No external vendors at the event so we will not require a transient traders permit

Sounds of Summer Sidewalk Sale

  • Saturday, August 11, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • NEW event (combining sidewalk sales and some elements of our Music on Main event)
  • Have received the rules and requirements from the Town for this event
  • Currently working to engage members in the event – encourage them to put out displays, products, etc

Other events

  • Farmers’ Market – Ongoing participation from BIA members throughout the season
  • July 6-8 – Milton Ribfest at the Fairgrounds
  • Lots of member and community-hosted events on the BIA Events Calendar



  • Gardens continuing to fill in, contractors are great to work with
  • Currently recognizing sponsors through social media posts and on our website
  • Suggestions for flowers for next year – more variety in the baskets, less potato vine in garden beds, try to have baskets at equal heights (adjusted some this year so as not to block street signage)

Tree bed receptacles

  • Discussion on tree bed receptacles – repairs are costly and need to be done each year
  • ED to get quotes and bring options to the Board on what to do with the receptacles, then bring recommendation to the Town. Options include:
  • Decommissioning the street receptacles
  • Continuing to repair them and use them
  • Replacing them with more durable hardware

MOTION to accept ED Report by John, seconded by Margaret

New Business

  • Recommendation to include a ‘give-away’ in the packages for new members to help build community spirit, build our brand in the community
  • Could be a sticker for store windows or buttons
  • Consider other branded items – bottle opener or cork screw, etc.
  • ED to explore options

MOTION to adjourn meeting at 9:15 p.m. by Valerie, seconded by Margaret

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