Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Location: Online, 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Eric Chabot (EC), Sara Bergsma (SB), Margaret Lara (ML), Eric Parris (EP), Ian Campbell (IC), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Colin Best (CB), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Joe Taglieri (JT), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Julie Rock (JR)
EC called the meeting to order at 6:31 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 August minutes. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report (MG)
- Operating expenses all at normal levels. Key drivers this month were salaries, and some beautification and event costs.
- Estimating some surplus this year. Regular expenses from now until end of month are around $19k per month. Added back in all the expected expenses for beautification and events between now and end of the year. If it plays out as projected, would spend around $448k. Town has committed to make a contribution of $30k to support our events.
- RS – If we spend less than budgeted on our grant-supported projects, we would receive less grant funding (would be a wash – less revenues & less expenses).
- CB moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
2023 budget (MG)
- Assumptions driving 2023 budget:
- It would be a regular operating year in 2023;
- We would take on running the big events, and this comes with a natural cost and revenue increase;
- There is a spike in inflation so many costs will increase;
- Will need significant new expenses for employee costs to take on the events.
- Events – Increase in costs for winter and summer event expenses, increased salary costs involved in taking on events.
- Levy – 5% increase due to the rising costs from inflation.
- Sponsorship – Expect revenue to remain higher than what we budgeted for previously.
- RS: Expenses we had for wreaths would be replaced with expenses for LED lights. Also, we had put in $5k in beautification for litter clean-up, moved that from beautification account to salaries since we are had part-time staff doing this instead of contracting it out.
- RS: Town contribution – Previously Town had contributed estimated around $120k (2018 dollar value) to Street Festival. This year, they are making a $30k financial contribution and some in-kind Town is less willing to contribute staff time to support event planning and pulled back on covering expenses. This puts a tremendous strain on our office if we want to continue to support the events. In discussions with Economic Development about making the case for a larger dollar contribution so we can continue to run the events ourselves. Requesting $100k from Town for us to take on the summer and winter events. There are more risks associated with us taking it on. We can’t ask our members for a levy increase to cover the difference, would be up to Council to determine whether to make the contribution.
- CB: This comes under Economic Development. Halton Agriculture Society making a similar ask about Town supporting Canada Day.
- RS: This year we got $30k, asking for total of $100k next year to help cover the needs of the event in a sustainable way. This year was not sustainable. No one quit the office yet but we won’t keep our staff it we continue to expect them to organize such large events without more support.
- KTD: Need to make the case to Council and members about how this benefits the businesses, needs to be a value associated with spending the dollars on the events. At Town, rationale would be that they have the financial means but not the staff availability to host the events so the BIA is willing to take the planning off their plates if the property support is in place. Some members have requested help from the Town for patios, etc.
- MG: We’re asking for them to contribute hard dollars vs in-kind dollars. Will need to outline our rationale at AGM. These festivals have a lot of value for the community as a whole.
- CB: Go in with the budget for the full amount, and include the request. There will be other requests that Council needs to consider as well.
- SB: With the absence of the Farmers’ Market especially, businesses and the downtown have needed events and festivals for the exposure they bring. We need good staff so we can attract investment in the downtown and keep it vibrant. We aren’t here to run other people’s businesses, we are here to keep the downtown active, interesting, top of mind for visitors. If we stress out the office again we’ll have no one left to run the office. Important to run both a summer and winter event and I’d like to see us plan to grow both the events.
- JT: We are asking for dollars instead of in-kind contribution and it’ll result in a net savings for the Town.
- RS: Town used to contribute $120-130k in the event in hard costs and in-kind for SummerFest. We’re asking for them to contribute a little less and we’d use it to run a summer and winter event.
- KTD: HolidayFest is shopping season so that event is critical as well – supports retailers. SummerFest brings bigger benefit to restaurants.
- CB moved to accept the proposed 2023 budget. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Had last council meeting of the term on Monday night. Staff presented a new digital strategy which will make it easier for residents and others to interact with the Town (pay taxes, apply for permits, etc.) Will still be able to do those things by phone, mail and in-person too but this will streamline data management across all departments.
- Municipal election happening October 24. Campaigning underway. Will be advance polling dates.
- Currently in Edmonton at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) board meeting.
- Sympathies to families effected by shooting incidents in Milton and Mississauga on Monday.
- Region looking at 3-4% tax increase overall.
- Construction: Bronte St. N. bridge deck is down and staff hoping to have it open by December. Tremaine work on overpass will be starting soon.
- Residents on Mill & Mary are complaining about traffic due to the construction around Bronte St. I’ve asked Town for good signage and detour routes ahead of winter events.
- Region announced this week that they are appealing the Ontario Supreme Court decision about CN.
- Federal government recently announced new infrastructure funding to support downtowns – will be exploring this further with respect to the civic square project.
- Saturday’s car show organized by local volunteers (including KTD, Alan Cooke, etc.) was a success, great turn-out.
- Three Farmers’ Markets left this year. Lots of people asking when the market will return downtown.
- MG moved to accept the Council reports. EP seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report (RS)
- Summer students wrapped up their contracts before Labour Day and were fantastic. Lauren will help with events going forward, Zach will help with litter clean-up. Filled the position for Marketing Coordinator.
- AGM and public meeting with provincial candidates happening next week. Registrations now open. Some candidates have confirmed participation, online form is open for people to submit questions.
- Chamber and BIA were contacted to do some advertising in digital directories in hotel rooms. Our members will receive special price and additional exposure for ads from downtown businesses.
- Music on Main wrapped up, great way to show that things are always happening in Downtown Milton. Not huge number of attendees but adds some additional interest downtown.
- Approved for Reconnect grant for HolidayFest – 50% matching grant. Promotions coming out for HolidayFest soon.
- Flower gardens on Main St. have been great this summer. Will be removed in the coming weeks.
- Graffiti – Have been in discussions with police about rise in downtown graffiti. Constable will be coming to the AGM to share tips for businesses and property owners on how to deter graffiti and tagging on their buildings and property. Had a situation where some young perpetrators were identified because of some evidence we received from someone downtown. The person who filmed the evidence didn’t want to be identified so police couldn’t formally charge the perpetrators, but they received a warning. Police suggested that any evidence submitted anonymously be submitted through Crime Stoppers next time.
- JT: There is lots of graffiti downtown and property owners/businesses are not taking fast enough action to remove graffiti so more graffiti appears. Bylaw needs to be more involved in enforcing having property owners get rid of tags/graffiti as soon as possible. There are lots of dark corners. Need more police presence.
- CB: Raised it at council on Monday night – lots of graffiti on underpasses, town signs, downtown buildings, etc. Asked bylaw staff to reach out to property owners to get them to clean up graffiti as soon as possible. Town is also looking into anti-graffiti coating for some key spots.
- Mural: Power washing underway and artist is gathering supplies and getting set. When work started on the wall there were a few negative posts on social media. We issued a statement saying that much-needed repairs were needed to this wall on private property so most people understand why it’s happening.
- Seasonal lighting: New LED lights have been ordered, will be installed in November. There will be some programming happening as part of that as well (similar to Music on Main).
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. JT seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB: Mary Street between Charles Brown to be closed for half an hour on Monday for a wreath-laying on Mary Street. Rolling closure from 10:30-11am.
- EP moved to adjourn. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:32 pm.