Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Colin Best (CB), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Sara Bergsma (SB), Joe Taglieri (JT), Eric Chabot (EC), Alan Cooke (AC), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Margaret Lara (ML)
EC called the meeting to order at 6:34 pm.
EC asked the board if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. None were made.
Review of previous minutes
- JT moved to accept September minutes. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Incurred $161k in expenses by end of August. July & August included much of the beautification costs for the year ($20k in July, approx. $10k in August), and some technology costs.
- Original budget becomes $222k when adjusted for COVID, removal of Town’s $17k for the Street Festival, etc. Spent 73% of the revised budget to date, and on track to remain within budget for this year. Expecting a small surplus.
- RS – Submitted a proposal to the Town to keep the DMSF dollars and use it for other events this year.
- AC moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Fall recreation programs are up and running.
- Transitioning to on-demand service for transit system. Will be some fixed route adjustments that align with GO train routes, specific neighbourhoods, some high schools.
- Bronte Street construction still underway, but it’s moving further away from Main Street, more towards Steeles. Walkways complete under the railway at Main & Bronte – very well lit.
- Some action coming forward to Council related to rules for Air B&B.
- Mature neighbourhood study underway.
- Health Commissioner at the Region issued new COVID regulations. Check Red and Yellow banners on the Halton Region website for details. There has been an uptick in cases due to the variant.
- Region and Town collaborating on construction projects – Bronte St., and Main St E by 5th
- Federal election coming up – see Halton.ca for local details. Advance poles happening all weekend. Go to Elections.ca for voter information card details.
- KTD asked about voter cards and special ballots.
- CB –Need voter registration card or one piece of government issued photo ID or two pieces without a photo. For special ballot, can vote at Returning Office (180 Market Drive), 7 days/week.
- SB moved to accept the Council Reports. JT seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- MG: A ‘return to normal’ budget, planning a return to pre-pandemic activities and programs.
- 2020 budget was $296k and takes into account the effects of COVID. This year’s budget is at $323k, represents a 9% increase which is normal in the context of the pandemic.
- Expenses – Increasing staffing expenses to have an additional person in the office to help manage evens and programs, normal inflationary increases for current staff, two summer students with one being supported by Canada Summer Jobs grant. Additional beautification costs relate to litter clean-up and landscaping. Incurring additional insurance costs. Slightly lower event costs than in 2020 budget (expecting lower sponsorship and vendor revenues as well). Revenues – 3% levy increase (was 3.5% in recent years) which accounts for $7k in revenues. $35k drawdown from reserve.
- RS: Moved some dollars from Contract line item up to staffing to help cover the increase in staffing costs. Incurring new insurance costs. Budgeted slightly lower for events in 2022, but were conservative on revenue projections for events (sponsorship and fees). Beautification includes additional dollars to support litter clean-up. Town has reduced some of the litter clean-up because we haven’t had our large events or the market. We are getting lots of litter complaints. These dollars will help alleviate that (either pay Town Operations staff to provide more support or hire someone ourselves with help of Canada Summer Jobs). Grants unpredictable so didn’t budget for any except Canada Summer Jobs.
- SB – Should reach out to all the downtown insurance providers about Directors & Officers insurance.
- JT – Sometimes receptacles are hard to find, especially in some areas – could have a map. Some downtowns have divided receptacle (recycling, waste, etc.).
- CB – 15 bins downtown, placed based on usage. Some people use them for household waste. Got our current bins because they have a lid/cover which helps keep waste contained.
- RS – Town is great with picking up larger discarded items, putting out additional temporary bins.
- KTD – Additional bins require staff time to empty and maintain – impacts the bottom line.
- CB – Ensure we have a buffer for tax write-offs, charities rebates in case those increase next year.
- EC – Vacancies Rebate program no longer in effect.
- RS – Work by Operations – we pay the Town each year for operational support, still looking for documentation on what that covers (ie litter pick-up, snow removal, etc.)
- EC – In Sauble, hire students to keep clean beach. In Owen Sound, BIA ambassadors help with litter clean-up, watering, etc. Have more control if we manage it ourselves with students. Get them a t-shirt.
- RS – They could help with events, weekend activations, delivering items to members, etc.
- EC – Would be covered under regular WSIB.
- KTD – In newsletter, encourage business owners to keep the area outside their own businesses clean.
- AC – Some businesses owners are better at cleaning up their own waste than others. Parking is also an issue – some businesses use up key spots on Main all day long.
- CB – Some upper floor tenants use receptacles for household waste. Remind landlords to tell their tenants where to put their waste. Will speak to staff re getting some recycling bins out on Main Street. CB will talk to Town about getting Bylaw offers to help with outreach to businesses posting posters.
- AGM happening in two weeks – reminder to register.
- OBIAA Conference in Hamilton Sept 27-29. RS attending and we have an additional ticket. EC attending Wed, could have someone else attend Mon & Tues. KTD could attend one day, AC may be available.
- Shop Local – Receiving funding from Chamber for self-guided historical walking tour that promotes businesses. Program also supporting some advertising for events, photography, general promotions.
- Tiny Tots – Saturday, October 30, 10am-12pm. Working with Public Health and Town to ensure compliance with public health requirements (controlled entry and exit points, traffic flow management, sanitization protocols, etc.) Businesses need to participate outdoors. Providing booth space in the closed off area as needed for members. Currently seeking sponsorship. In Town proposal, requested support to help cover the costs of sanitizer, signage, safety items, some hand-outs.
- HolidayFest – Saturday, November 27. Working with Public Health and Town. Vendor and entertainer applications open soon. Planning and logistics underway. Currently seeking sponsorship for event but wondering how to address a possible event cancellation in the sponsorship agreement.
- KTD – Force majeure usually relates to unforeseeable circumstances. It could be argued a cancellation due to COVID is foreseeable. Could involve suspending the obligation until services can be carried out.
- CB – If Santa Claus Parade is cancelled due to COVID, sponsorship dollars credited for next year. Working with Public Health to finalize details for parade. Farmer’s Market has been working well throughout the summer so hopefully other outdoor events will as well.
- Santa Claus Parade Sponsorship – In the past, we have been a Silver sponsor for $500. Has been an unusual year. Gold ($1k) and Platinum ($2k) include more signage, exposure. Platinum includes radio spots, opportunity to do a float. If we want to do a float, would need board members/volunteers to coordinate and manage the float as staff is busy with HolidayFest the weekend after.
- Garden beds and baskets – Normally we have them removed at the end of September. Last year we paid for an extra week.
- Banner project – Town won’t cover banner hardware costs this year, will need to complete the banner update project ourselves including hardware, additional banners, installation.
- Used light up decorations from another BIA were sold. New decorations range from $620 to $1,100.
- Agreement to continue to use wreaths for now.
- SB – Should leave the flowers in as long as we can without continuing to have them maintained.
- AC & EC – Can volunteer for a parade float. AC has a truck that can be used.
- SB moved to sponsor Santa Claus Parade at the Platinum level and complete the banner project. MG seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB moved to adjourn. JT seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:46 pm.