Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Eric Chabot (EC), Sara Bergsma (SB), Margaret Lara (ML), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Alan Cooke (AC), Joe Taglieri (JT), Colin Best (CB)
Guests: Eric Parris, Julie Rock, Ian Campbell, Nancy Cuttle
EC called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.
EC asked the board if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. None were made.
Review of previous minutes
- SB moved to accept April minutes. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report (Delivered by RS)
- Expenses on track, around $17k for this month
- Expenses for SummerFest starting to come in, policing was the biggest expense to date
- New staff member started at the end of April. Were down one staff person for a few weeks in March.
- Sponsorship and vendor revenues coming in for SummerFest. Town has been great with connecting us to past Street Festival sponsors. Will likely have more vendors than originally anticipated.
- Hoping to be able to use Town’s contribution towards SummerFest and HolidayFest.
- ML moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
KTD (Local and Regional)
- In consent agenda, Council approved the mural funding for BIA through the federal funding program.
- May 30th Council Meeting – reviewing proposed regulations around Air B&B, short-term rentals.
- Canada Day will be happening at the Fairgrounds again this year.
- Attended Milton Youth Awards at Arts Centre – Recognized outstanding youth and their fundraising for charitable causes, initiatives to support the community, etc.
- Provincial Election coming next month.
- Municipal Election coming in October, so entering ‘Lame Duck Council Phase’ – Means there won’t be any significant votes that would impact the next council.
- RS – Will any changes to Street Festival be impacted by this council phase?
- KTD – Only large-scale projects would be impacted, Events are within scope for staff to manage so likely won’t be impacted.
- ML moved to accept the Council Report. SB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Approved for two Canada Summer Jobs students. Currently have one student in the office doing marketing, events, administration. Second student will be focused on beautification, smaller activations on the street to promote the downtown, etc.
- OBIAA Conference took place at the end of April.
- KTD – Great conference. Attended a session on best practices from other BIAs (ie big pink building in Barrie, mural alleyway in Beamsville, Welcoming Streets program where a social worker interacts with homeless community and keeps atmosphere friendly. Good vendors and networking,
Downtown Milton SummerFest
- Happening Saturday, June 18, 12-8pm.
- Anticipating approx. 70 vendor & BIA member booths. Some members that had a booth in the past said they want to focus on operations inside and some short staffed.
- Released entertainer line-up for BMO (Main) Stage.
- Newly added – Milton Strong Performance Area supported by Lajy Welding where local businesses and performers will do demos, classes and shows.
- Two car show shifts confirmed. First is Milton Cruisers – 12-4pm, Second is Mustang Club – 4-8pm. Will have Operations, Police and volunteers help manage pedestrians when cars are on the move.
- Call for volunteers went out. Request that board members, guests volunteer on the day if available.
- Town working to secure some staff to help at the event.
- Looking at possible charitable partner, want to find a partner that feels they would benefit from exposure gained through event (less emphasis on fundraising).
- KTD – Manage expectations and look for a partner that is looking to promote their brand, connect with community and raise awareness about a cause.
- Staffing feels very tight for BIA to manage this event. Will be critical that we have a third permanent, trained person in the office going forward if we take on events like this. Too much to take on everything the Town had done in the past and only have two permanent staff doing it. Need to hire a long-term third person following the summer.
Summer Activity Series
- Will have the second student run simple, smaller scale activations in the summer. Goal is to attract some of the market visitors and others to Main Street, keep a lively atmosphere downtown – music, activities, etc. that can be done on the sidewalk, not shutting down the street.
MPP Candidate meeting
- Happening tomorrow evening. Down to two candidates attending the meeting (Liberal & NDP), but all candidates have been invited. Received some question submissions from the public, and some questions we came up with ourselves.
Member statement related to the floodplain
- With election coming, a few landlords have been taking more action on the floodplain.
- Landlords are eager to get access to mapping study (LIDAR) from two years ago that hasn’t been released yet by the Town.
- KTD – With Townsend Smith, Conservation Halton didn’t allow us to acquire a location that we wanted due to the results of the LIDAR study. Apparently study’s models are worse and they show a greater risk of flooding than what we had in the past. Will email staff and ask for an update.
- SB – Lots of bureaucracy around this issue. Concern that the study could uncover more challenges. Would need a lot of scientific research and resources to go up again the Conservation Authorities.
- EC – Best course of action is for landlords to assemble a group of downtown people to advocate for the issue. Conservatives likely best ally on making any changes happen to floodplain regulations (they already took steps to reduce the powers of the Conservation Authorities). Liberals and NPD would not take up the issue. We needed action 30 years ago on the floodplain regulations. BIA can support the efforts of landlords on the issue, and our councillors can reach out to Town staff for updates. In other communities, studies have been done and it often gets worse, not better afterwards. Cost for study by engineering firm to do an initial study could be min. $20k-30k. BIAs don’t have the power to change the rules but we can support those that are trying.
- Received contribution agreement from the government. Funding is for 75% of project costs.
- SB motioned to cover the remaining portion of the mural project costs through the BIA budget. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Strong focus on diversity and inclusion with grant application, ie 50/30 challenge, workplace inclusion plan or other initiatives. STEPS has a strong commitment to diversity and our mural working group identified diversity as an important theme for the artwork.
- About to submit funding application to HHBRTA (regional tourism organization) for seasonal lighting.
- Funding comes from FedDev, through RTOs, and supports tourism events, infrastructure, etc.
- Used previous lighting grant application and adapted it to this opportunity. Grant amounts are smaller so we reduced the scope of the project (grants are between $20k-$100k)
- Removed the colouring contest element of the project. Applying for funding to help cover decorations for around 60% of poles and can use this as a base for this project. Could develop a sponsorship program around this and grown our collection of decorations over time. A small piece of the funding would be used for programming evenings (music on the sidewalk, activities, etc.).
- Would hear by end of June if we are successful.
- KTD motioned to accept ED Report, ML seconded motion. Motion passed.
- RS asked about civic precinct study.
- KTD – Civic precinct study was just recent to a consultant to be reviewed due to the changes stemming from the pandemic. Space needs have evolved so consultant will review and revise recommendations.
- RS – Looks like a lot of staff recommendations have been removed (less office and commercial), the focus will be more on the parking and public square aspect. Want to ensure we don’t lose out opportunities for development downtown. Offices downtown help drive foot traffic downtown for local businesses. Our board should remain involved and ensure we are asking questions.
- EC – Will likely be more rounds of public consultations.
- KTD – BIA and Chamber are important stakeholders and staff should ensure both are consulted.
- SB moved to adjourn. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:18 pm.