Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Colin Best (CB), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Margaret Lara (ML), Sara Bergsma (SB), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Troy Newton (TN), Joe Taglieri (JT), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Eric Chabot (EC), Alan Cooke (AC)
SB called the meeting to order at 6:34 pm.
SB asked the board if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. No declarations were made.
Review of previous minutes
- ML moved to accept May minutes. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Expenses for the month were $15,000, YTD expenses are $77,500
- Expenses to note for last month: charities rebate $2,000, website redesign $2,000
- Revenue – received second half of tax levy and $39,000 from surplus
- Projections – if we continue on the current trend, would have an excess based on our base levy. Option to transfer surplus dollars back to reserves account now or hold on to surplus dollars for now until we finalize event plans for rest of year. Will hold on and revisit decision in the fall.
- CB moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. JT seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Town reopening on June 11 – some programs resuming with capacity limits in place (fitness, etc.), splash pads opened in May, Rotary Park Pool opening in June.
- Transit on Demand now in place.
- Rainbow crosswalks being installed downtown this week.
- Red banner at Halton.ca highlights changes in restrictions for COVID-19 rules.
- Construction projects underway throughout region.
- June 21 & 29 Town Council Meetings – discussions on Regional Official Plan growth concept options. Everyone invited to participate.
- JT moved to accept the Council Reports. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- RS on vacation the weeks of July, August meetings. Will email to select different dates.
- Move to Step 1 – bringing lots of questions from businesses, excitement about opening.
- Flowers installed downtown last week.
- Patios can open June 11. Some members still waiting on permits. Marketing push planned for summer.
- Town Engineering Department is working to enable use of on-street parking spots to expand patios (Casa Americo, Ivy Arms). Grateful for Town staff’s support.
- No update yet on possible traffic calming pilot project for Main Street this summer.
- Town and BIA discussing possibility of retail-focused ‘patios’.
- Social media posts from members and community on closing Main St to allow for more patios. Lots of logistical considerations. Discussing further with Town.
- Secured a booth for use for free by eligible BIA members to sell items and promote their stores.
- Currently food/agriculture vendors can participate, hopeful it will open up to other businesses later.
- Three BIA businesses participating. Continuing to call out to other members in newsletter.
Fun in the Sun Scavenger Hunt
- Virtual scavenger hunt on GooseChase, June 25 to July 4.
- Focusing on summer theme, some Canada Day elements, downtown landmarks, local businesses.
- MCRC is charitable partner. Some sponsorship support received to date.
- Lots of interest on social media. One department from Town is participating as a team building activity.
HolidayFest/Back to Business Event
- Target date for event – End of November 2021. Planning to begin soon.
- Expect to hear back about our Reconnect Festivals & Events Program application mid-summer.
- After COVID, many BIAs opting for smaller activations instead of large-scale festivals, at least for now. Discussion on our vision for Downtown Milton events.
- SB – Most people getting vaccinated. For some members, events are the most important thing BIA does for them. May not help on the day, but brings business later. Outside vendors want to come back. If we renege on DMSF, could risk losing Town’s investment in downtown for events.
- KTD – Short-term, may see hesitation but likely lots of pent-up demand for events. People that are vaccinated and comfortable will come, others won’t. DMSF integral to what we do, could grow it.
- CB – Challenged Town a couple years ago to maintain investment in DMSF. Need to ensure Town continues stays involved and invests in it. DMSF is the only event the Town does now. Hold Halloween event if possible. Full support for holiday event.
- TN – Need to maintain DMSF and our events. Festivals give our businesses exposure. Otherwise, too easy for people to just buy off Amazon, etc. Festivals are good for business on day of and afterwards.
- RS – Approximately two thirds of DMSF are external vendors. Bring in revenue, attract visitors, but also some members complain about vendors in front of their stores. Big loss to not have Janet Davidson at the Town now (retired).
- TN – Reduction in external vendors reduces revenue and makes it look sparse, less professional. Events that do well are large, lots of food, music and stuff to buy. Suggestion to expand DMSF west past Brown St, fit more vendors and attractions there. Can charge vendors more.
- SB –Suggestion to grow it as much as possible. Open DMSF spaces up to downtown businesses first, if the don’t respond, bring in external vendors. Need a good headliner. If live music not allowed, use recorded concerns on large screens.
- KTD – Draw crowds with vendors, music, etc. Bands want to get back on stage.
- MG – We have surplus dollars available if needed for events.
- CB – Milton Cruise wants to do the Car Show. Were hoping to do something in Milton this summer.
- MG – Car Show is a lower cost but brings benefit to our members. Good cost-benefit.
- TN – Beneficial to restaurants because people come and stay.
- RS – Minimal disruption for businesses not participating because road closes mid-day.
- CB – BIA boundary goes to Bell St., Brown St. lot available. Use these spaces for events.
- JT – Suggestion to have reserve fund for PPE for events.
- MG – Could consider new events, suggestion to do something to coincide with Pride.
- RS – Could do something that coincides with Street Festival in June (Pride Month).
Spice o’ Life Parkette
- Not planning to apply for Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI) funding for this project.
- Not eligible for CHCI because it is on private property. Property owner supportive of project for community benefit (not able to invest in it at this time).
- BIA will not proceed with updating the mural now. Still seeking pricing.
- Will explore general façade improvement programs in other communities.
- KTD – There are some provincial programs to help maintain historical character of buildings.
- CB – Question of how much municipality would want to put into it. Suggestion for discussion with Town staff (RS, CB, KTD) to see if façade improvement would be feasible for Milton.
- Town (Operations) supportive of redoing the parkette and appears able to take on the project (awaiting final confirmation). We have provided possible design based on stakeholder input. Suggestion includes: more seating and tables, planters, lighting, some resurfacing, small performance area. Town’s urban designers reviewing.
- Possible timing of construction – fall 2021 to spring 2022.
- For summer, Town put two picnic tables in parkette and we are watching how they are used.
- Thank you to Colin and Kristina for their support and helping to move this forward. Members are thrilled and feedback on social media to the picnic tables has been positive.
- Wreaths need to be fluffed and redecorated before next winter, or new seasonal décor needed.
- Wreath costs: materials and labour (every 3-4 years), storage, transportation, installation, removal.
- Other options include:
- Holiday banners: 5-8 year lifespan, costs: printing, installation and removal, no storage
- Other light-up decorations on poles: min. $1k per unit, similar costs to wreaths
- RS – Need to fluff wreaths every few years. Some brackets need to be replaced. Wreaths not visible at night because don’t light up (but we have string lights on poles).
- TN – Looks good to have lights, light-up decorations.
- JT – Could use banners to promote events and activities downtown.
- CB – Could explore other light-up décor options for the ends of the BIA district.
- SB – Suggest keeping wreaths and revisit post-COVID (once we see what events will cost). Suggestion to look at solar light options, flood lights, solar spotlight that can light up wreaths.
Vue Developments on Main Towers
- Developer asking for our support (Board agreed to do a letter of support at a previous board meeting) and local businesses to support project at the June 21st Council meeting.
- Will proceed with letter of support. Scott at Chamber is a delegate and will reference our letter.
- KTD – Any private citizen can delegate at the meeting.
Regional Official Plan Growth Concept
- Town of Milton staff is recommending an expansion to Milton’s urban growth boundaries. Requesting a letter of support from the BIA.
- CB – Last month, Regional Council voted 18-5 to look at other growth concept options. Town staff putting forward ideas on growth option. Will be lots of debate on this. Concerns about how much farmland to use, how much intensification. Province has their own rules, could put in an MZO.
Development Charges –
- Town of Milton is making updates to development charges and new rates would come into effect June 26. Decrease in rates for residential and retail growth, increase for non-retail.
- Suggestion received from a BIA member that we submit a letter to the Town stating importance of keeping rates low for downtown.
- CB – Ongoing issue, reviewed every few years. Comments heard from elsewhere is that the rates penalize downtown because infrastructure already exists there. If you change the use of an existing building, you get charged the same as in a greenfield development. Need to make better use of existing infrastructure. Town has changed development charges changes (still needs to come to Council), Region currently going through their review process.
- RS – Letter will advocate for lower fees for downtown since it’s not net new construction. This will encourage businesses modernize their space.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- JT – Asked if BIA notified when protests are going to happen. Would be beneficial to provide notice to members ahead of time if we know.
- RS – We were notified of one protest ahead of time and notified our members, posted on social media. Other protests have popped up and we find out afterwards.
- CB moved to adjourn. TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:49 pm.