Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Colin Best (CB), Troy Newton (TN), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Eric Chabot (EC), Margaret Lara (ML), Sara Bergsma (SB), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Joe Taglieri (JT), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
SB called the meeting to order at 6:33 pm.
SB asked the committee if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. No declarations were made.
Review of previous minutes
- CB moved to accept March minutes. JT seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Expenses to date $43,000, consistent with expectations, main expenses are rent and salaries
- March had $11,000 in expenses
- January, there was an extra pay period so monthly expenses were slightly higher
- 85% of expenditures to date are operating costs
- RS – Third staff member in place in Jan and Feb so those months a bit higher, beautification and some advertising expenses coming through in April
- CB moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- At most recent council report, staff brought forward report on development policies for mobility hubs (ie around the GO station) – addresses height, urban development, parking
- Province is encouraging high density development around transit areas
- Working with staff on doing rainbow crosswalk downtown for Pride Month, and banning plastic water bottles from Town facilities (this had been put on hold due to COVID-19)
- Mobility Hub extends to Court St, planning for 22,000 people to be in the triangle between Thompson, Main, Nippissing, Child’s Drive.
- Motion coming to add a no-growth scenario to Regional Official Plan (staying within existing urban and employment areas), at Council Meeting on April 21
- Staff holding online info session/public consultation for possible widening of Steeles Avenue between Industrial Drive and new Tremaine Road
- Preparing for more consultation on the Official Plan, coming to Milton Council May 3
- EC moved to accept the Council Reports. TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Nomination of new board member – Alan Cooke
- AC – Vested interest in downtown, wife owns Barn Door Studio and she is in the process of expanding, finished reno work and waiting on permits. Work as Senior Vice President of Operations for Auxly, cannabis provider. Want to support downtown as much as we can.
- CB moved to accept the Council Reports. TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- RS – Will put a call-out in member newsletter soon to recruit for the remaining board position.
Street pole banners:
- Amount spent to date on banners (31 poles completed): approx. $8,500
- 10 poles have missing or broken hardware that needs to be replaced. Town staff helped track down original hardware supplier. We’ve asked the Town whether they would cover cost of hardware (banner hardware is not covered in any of our current MOUs with the Town).
- cost to complete the 10 remaining poles that had banners in the past: $2,300 (hardware, install)
- cost to add hardware and banners on up to 12 poles between bridge and 310 Main St: $3,400
- SB – Banners look fantastic, colourful, clear images. I support including banners on all the poles within our boundaries. Note some trees are larger and partially block banners along Main.
- KTD – Good way to include more members into our beatification efforts.
- RS – Will ask Town if they will cover cost of hardware. We cover banner design, printing and installation. Will seek to have it added into Town MOU. Possible insurance implications.
- EC moved to get banners up on the additional poles along Main St E (eastern side of BIA district). CB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Discussion about changes to Spice o’ Life parkette: mural at 258 Main (private property) and parkette layout/design (public property).
- Total Skin and Body property owner in full support of project.
- Town Parks & Recreation Department representative said they get lots of requests for updates to public spaces, have an extensive consultation process they follow, parkette redesign is not currently a priority, supports us moving ahead with mural update, and supportive of tactical urbanism initiatives.
- Green Propeller & Sustainable Milton contact – interested in the project, experienced in park designs.
- Canada Health Community Initiatives grant applications period May/June. Explore other funding too.
- MG – Who pays for parkette improvements, how it benefits members.
- KTD – Parkette is gateway to businesses on Charles, highly visible area. Suggestion to include a sign in parkette to draw attention to Charles St businesses. Received complaints last year from constituents saying the parkette looks neglected. Cheryl got extra flowers put in – temporary fix.
- CB – Have received comments about making it more accessible to seniors in walkers and wheelchairs. Recommend pointing the Town in the right direction, suggest theme and ensure planting, signage, lighting, etc is consistent with other spaces in downtown district. Good timing as Town staff are coming back with a Civic Square study later this year. Would help downtown compete with other retail areas.
- JT – Town has done some pruning and trimming this week, opens up the space.
- EC – Town or others own all the assets the BIA works on (streets, sidewalks, buildings, etc.) so this is similar. Execute on existing motion to engage consultant for parkette redesign ideas.
- RS to reach out to design consultant and arts community to engage them in the project.
Easter Scavenger Hunt
- Virtual event using the GooseChase app, ran from March 26 to April 5.
- Lots of engagement in the event and interest on social media. 120+ teams signed up, 88 played, 3,530 missions completed. Lots of love for downtown businesses on display throughout the game.
- Sponsors were The French Study and Forest Hill Keystone, charitable partner was The Darling Home for Kids, five businesses donated prizes.
- Lots of learnings we can carry forward into future games.
Road closure for extended patio ‘event’
- Town and Public Health did not have information, unaware at this time if this will be permitted.
- Next step is to gauge interest from restaurant businesses.
- JT – Could explore ways to help restaurants with patio costs if needed. Patios are a good downtown attraction and help to bring attention to all of downtown, other businesses benefit.
- TN – Town has waived the fees for patios. Costs of fence rental is the primary cost for patios.
- RS – Applications open for Reconnect Festival & Events program. Applications due soon, but could submit for a ‘back-to-business’ type event around the holidays. Funding can be used between now and March 2022, can be for virtual or face-to-face event.
- KTD, CB – Consider partnership with Farmers’ Market or Fall Fair, driving people to Main St afterwards.
- EC – Early winter could be reasonable timeframe for events. Base it off past Holidayfest plan.
- RS – Could submit Holidayfest plans with enhancements. Target end of November, as last push for outdoor patios before some of them shut down. Contingency plan – run it in spring or virtual.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. EC seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB – Orange safety barriers at Main & Martin are a temporary measure while Town staff finds permanent option. Asked them to seek out something welcoming looking. / Several sales of buildings and conditional offers on downtown buildings. / Deal closed on 34-acre area of land off Steeles, backing onto Martin – mixed use development of retail, employment and residential.
- AC – Our building was sold, new owner bought four commercial units and apartments upstairs.
- RS – Icelyn Aesthetics is a new business in Carriage Square, renovated the space and it looks fantastic.
- MG – Advertising expenses low so far, consider how we can further promote our businesses.
- RS – Planned advertising spending includes: spring and summer contests and activities, patio promotions, Halloween activity, website redesign, dollars for Holiday event promotions.
- EC – BIAs can spend on items providing a collective benefit, can’t spend money for specific businesses.
- JT – Some businesses and landlords don’t use social media, want brick and mortar support. Personal touch is important. Many businesses and property owners downtown don’t know about the BIA or what we do. Need to communicate with them so they know they can reach out to us for support.
- RS – Different businesses want different types of support – social media exposure, flowers, information & updates, accessing to funding. BIAs need to support in a variety of areas so we meet different needs.
- EC – Important to communicate what we are doing so everyone knows what we do for them already.
- AC – Businesses need help right now. Suggestion to get gift cards to support the businesses. Could look at getting businesses to get their customers to shop at other downtown businesses too. AC & RS to connect afterwards to discuss gift card initiative.
- TN – Barn Door ran a contest to encourage people to like Troy’s Diner, generated a lot of attention.
- CB – Board members need to be ambassadors for BIA and talk to contacts and neighbours.
- EC motioned to use $1,000 from Advertising budget for a gift card initiative. CB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB moved to adjourn. MG seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:52 pm.