Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Sara Bergsma (SB), Eric Chabot (EC), Alan Cooke (AC), Margaret Lara (ML), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Colin Best (CB), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Joe Taglieri (JT)
SB called the meeting to order at 7:23 pm.
SB asked the board if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. None were made.
Review of previous minutes
- CB moved to accept November minutes. EC seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report (delivered by RS)
- Expenses were almost $32k for November. Increase in monthly expenses are due to Holiday event.
- Grant, vendor fees and sponsor support helping to cover costs for HolidayFest.
- 91% of adjusted annual budget spent to date.
- Expected expenses are December are around $21k, plus $23k for HolidayFest.
- EC moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. CB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- 2022 Town budget has been approved by Council. Includes a 5.47% municipal tax rate increase (blended rate of 2.94%).
- Breaks down to a $20 increase per $100k of assessed property value. Our tax rates continue to be among the lowest in the region.
- Two elements that Council members ensured were reflected in the 2022 budget:
- The Steeles bus program pilot – an initiative through the Town and the Chamber of Commerce which brings employees from Mississauga to Milton by bus;
- Additional support for tree planting – Two new positions were added within the Town.
- Tax rate increase for regional portion of taxes is 2% (translates to a 2.9% rate adjustment).
- COVID numbers are rising so government is pausing on further reopenings at this time. Keep checking Halton Region website for updates.
- Province approved Amendment 48 to the Regional Official Plan – changes to mixed use developments, allows for greater intensification.
- Possible provincial election on June 2, 2022.
- Province not coming through on growth support for the region. Region is currently short by $9M.
- ML moved to accept the Council Reports. EC seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Now opened: SG Hair Design, Bud’s Cannabis Store, Mirror by Nurse Yara, Soccer World
- Coming soon: Marquee Steakhouse
- Forest Hill Christmas tree in place in parkette – thank you to Eric for assistance, tools, supplies
Downtown Flashback Tour
- Launched in November and in place until end of January. Self-guided tour of historic downtown buildings and the businesses operating there today. Funded through Shop Local, churches contributed as well in order to participate. Could extend the tour into warmer months if we wanted to, and could add more locations. Good opportunity to pilot this type of initiative.
Santa Claus Parade
- Thank you to Alan for taking the lead on the parade float. Float used to promote HolidayFest, downtown businesses. Included flyers, signage, Paw Patrol characters. Chamber (Shop Local) involved.
- CB – High number of people came out for the parade. Overall, event worked out well and people were pleased to be out at an event again.
- AC – Two volunteers dressed as Paw Patrol characters were very popular with the kids and did a fantastic job. Asked them to come for HolidayFest.
Downtown Milton HolidayFest
- Event took place November 27. Overall, positive response from the community. Good turn-out. Developing attendee estimate using video footage, counter results, wifi stats.
- Member feedback was generally very positive. Several businesses, restaurants were busy.
- A couple businesses complained about parking – their regular customers couldn’t find parking on the day of event. Businesses that come out with a booth on the street, as well as some other specific businesses (some restaurants, retailers), benefit the most on event days.
- SB – Businesses need to notify customers about events and impact on parking downtown. Events make downtown feel vibrant, helps generate business in the future, not necessarily on the day of event.
- CB – When events happen, parking spots will fill up faster than usual. Events bring potential customers downtown so businesses should take advantage of that.
- EC – Cannot provide special parking privileges for specific businesses at event time. All businesses will want them and we don’t have it in our budget to accommodate everyone.
- AC – Store and café were busy all day long. Great to see people out enjoying our downtown again and see the businesses benefitting. Some businesses may not benefit as much as others, but events benefit the community as a whole.
My Main Street Funding
- Grants between $25k and $250k (federally-funded), supports local community placemaking projects, including events, activities, enhancements, and policy and capacity building designed to draw visitors and increase local vibrancy.
- Year 1 (end of 2021) – Spoke to Town staff about a couple project options, but the timeline was tight for applications and we decided not to apply for that round.
- Year 2 (2022) Applications open Dec 1-Feb 1, for work completed Jan 1-Dec 31, 2022 – Consider applying for the funding for this round. 30% of the grant dollars are left to be awarded.
- Parkette mural (beautification through public art) – Applied to Canada Community Revitalization Fund for this but haven’t heard back yet. Could repurpose application for My Main Street.
- Safety barrier at Main & Martin intersection – Town will put bollards up for 2022, and consider other safety barrier options for 2023 budget.
- SB – Loved the marquee letters at HolidayFest and they generated a lot of interest and engagement. Consider something more permanent.
- EC – Could incorporate art/creativity into the safety barriers (ie statue, etc), so it looks visually appealing and that keeps pedestrians and storefronts safe.
- KTD – Could involve FASM, local artists, engineers, etc.
- CB & KTD to request further action from Town staff on this project to make sure we get responses in a timely manner and can make a decision on whether to apply for this.
- Ivy Walkway improvement – new furniture, redesign of the Ivy walkway. Incorporate more seating, functional furniture into it. Project is highly dependent on the Town’s involvement, could be hard to achieve in a short time. Don’t apply for this at this time.
- Patio infrastructure – Boardwalks and other equipment to allow restaurants to extend their patios. Only a few restaurants extended onto Main Street, and this project would directly benefit a small number of businesses. Don’t apply for this at this time.
- Seasonal lighting – New light-up street pole decorations. Costs range from $800-$1800 per unit, approximately 50 poles. Other costs include brackets, annual installation and removal, storage and transport, maintenance, etc.
- KTD – Community in Scotland has local children design their street pole decorations and produce one new one each year. Decorations are unique and colourful. Excellent way to engage the community, involve children, showcase ‘local art’, etc.
- RS – Would need to design all at once instead of one per year for it to fit within the perimeters of the My Main Street funding.
- Banners in recognition of local veterans – showcase local war veterans on street pole banners in the fall, leading up to Remembrance Day.
- AC – Involve local businesses, families of local veterans, the Legion, etc. Could be a Legion-led initiative that we support. After Remembrance Day, present the families with the banners. Businesses could sponsor the banners, and have their logo included on them. Would need to cost out how much it would be to create, install, remove banners, then determine sponsorship.
- EC – Partnership opportunity with the Legion. Could ask Legion to lead the fundraising side and family coordination. We could lead on banner design, creation, installation.
- RS – Total cost of our recent banner updates falls below the threshold for My Main Street funding, so not a fit for that program, but could work as part of another program or as its own initiative. RS to include on list of possible projects, RS and AC to explore further.
- Highest potential projects for My Main Street application – Artistic safety barrier, mural (if we don’t get CCRF funding) and customized seasonal lighting. RS to develop grant application for one.
- EC moved to accept ED’s Report. CB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB – Speeding along Millside Drive: When Main Street is closed, many drivers speed along Millside Drive and we have received complaints from residents. I will ask Town to put detour signs up prior to events, construction or other road closures on Main Street so people know where to go.
- AC – Strategic priorities for members: A lot has changed for our businesses in recent years. Could consider reaching out to members in the new year and see what they want, need, how we can help.
- CB moved to adjourn. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 8:57 pm