Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, Febuary 10, 2021
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Colin Best (CB), David O’Connell (DO), Troy Newton (TN), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Eric Chabot (EC), Margaret Lara (ML), Sara Bergsma (SB), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Joe Taglieri (JT), Miguel Gonsalves (MG)
EC called the meeting to order at 6:33 pm.
EC asked the committee if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. No declarations were made.
Treasurer’s Report –
- No treasurer’s report presented. Will be shared by email following meeting.
- Town putting temporary patio program in place.
- Council discussed outdoor ice rinks – some initial conversations about having in a rink at the Civic Precinct (downtown).
- EC suggested looking at getting a chiller to help extend the skating season.
- Concerns coming up related to gatherings within businesses on Main Street. Bylaw Department has said to report incidents and they will send officers out.
- Region moving into next phase of Regional Official Plan review. Reviewing four options for the plan and decision will be made in June/July in terms of which option to move ahead with.
- A large focus on intensification in the plan. Intensification will require changes to be made to the water system. Options are to find additional water sources, reduce the well-water area or switch to lake water.
- Province announcing next Tuesday which colour code we will be in when Halton reopens.
- DO moved to accept the Council Reports. SB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Car accident on Main & Martin – vehicle collided with a building where The Sleep Factory is. Bollards were knocked down. Generated more discussions around safety barriers (possibility to include some Downtown Milton signage within that).
- KTD – Suggestion to consider lowering the speed limit along Main Street.
- EC, DO – Could use rumble strips or speed bumps.
- TN – Traffic report was done years ago, could be some useful recommendations/information there.
- Shahrez (Digital Service Squad member) completing his contract with us at the end of this month.
- Rachael wrapping up with us at the end of February and moving to a new position.
- Application for Canada Summer Jobs Grant underway for two students (different times of the year).
- Delays in receiving sample banner from the printer. Once that is approved, banners will be available within a couple weeks. Wreaths will be removed when banners are installed. Installer ready to go.
- Put flags and markers in to mark receptacles to help limit damage from snowplows.
- Reached out to discuss 2021 flowers with Flower Shed.
Digital Main Street
- Halton Regional Council passed motion calling on provincial and federal governments to provide more funding for Digital Main Street and expand the program to support businesses outside downtown areas. (Resolution attached.)
- Presenting to Milton Economic Development Advisory Committee (MEDAC) next month about the Digital Service Squad program.
Digital Service Squad, Digital Transformation Grants
- OBIAA has processed some additional grant applications and a few more of our businesses got approved for Digital Transformation Grants ($2,500)
- Digital Service Squad program wraps up in February, report due in March.
- Have not been able to have too much face-to-face time with businesses due to COVID. Have done some 360 photos of businesses that they can share on their Google Street View, websites, etc.
- Squad created a Resources section for our website, as well as tutorial videos, to answer some of the common questions businesses have related to digital marketing.
Digital Transformation Team
- Free support and training from a team of digital marketing specialists for four weeks.
- Helping us with a basic redesign our website and a reorganization of information. Providing us with plans and suggestions for other updates to make.
- Providing us with suggestions and best practices for other marketing activities – social media, email marketing, etc.
Future Proof Community Collaboration
- Discussions underway on interactive map/database project to promote local businesses across Milton.
- Would make information about businesses more accessible through voice-enabled devices and a searchable online map.
- Partnership between Chamber, Qwhery and Haltech. DMBIA would be a supporter in the project.
- Around $15k-$20k available to support the project.
- Requested information from the Town on process to name a walkway, awaiting more information.
- Temporary patio applications opened today, fees same as last year. Applications accepted online only, includes a digital mapping tool.
- Town staff currently working on a permanent program for seasonal patios to be rolled out in 2022.
- Several members that had patios last year interested in expanding them into on-street parking spaces this year. We are in discussions with the Town on this.
- We have requested that the Town:
- Allow use of on-street parking spaces for patios for 2021 and beyond
- Keep fees as low as possible now and in the future for restaurants using parking spaces for patios
- Allow patios to remain open for as long as possible
- CB – On-street patios exist in many other communities, they would be great for people and businesses in Milton. Importance of fees being reasonable so businesses can afford to put patios out. Town has 70 parking spaces at the Brown Street lot so there is lot of parking available downtown now.
Events and activities
- Farmer’s Market will take place at the Fairgrounds (allows for more vendors and compliance with Public Health requirements). Has not been announced publicly yet. We have requested booth space for our members but depends on whether Public Health allows for non-food vendor space this year.
- Supporting Chamber in their Incredible Race taking place in the spring. The race will be virtual and may incorporate 360 photography of the inside of businesses.
Easter scavenger hunt
- Opportunity to use GooseChase, a scavenger hunt app. Received free account for 2021 through Digital Main Street. Create ‘missions’ to complete at home and in Downtown Milton.
- Prizing, social media and promotions, exploring ways to incorporate sponsorship into scavenger hunt.
- Pilot the app this time around, see if it is of interest for future events.
Street Festival & event/activity downtown this summer
- Discussions with Town (Lorrie Ferrentes) to discuss alternatives to the Street Festival – smaller, virtual.
- We asked if the Town would work with us towards a larger face-to-face event for the holidays since the Street Festival will not be happening in its usual way and Lorrie looking into this.
- Patios will be our big draw this summer and we will do some marketing around those.
- KTD – Suggestion to explore whether we could close Main Street and promote a socially-distanced, safe ‘patio festival’. Engage more restaurants in patios, patrons would reserve a table.
- DO – Incorporate music if we can, busker style/acoustic, or a DJ, no stages.
- RS – Will inquire with Town and Public Health about that for later in the summer.
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
- New funding opportunity launched yesterday through federal government to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. Will explore options from our ‘potential projects list’.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- KTD – Townsend Smith Foundation is raising money to build the hospice – Catch the Ace. Prize is up to $2,800 now. Get your tickets.
- CB – Bollards at Main & Martin St. are not strong enough to stop vehicles, we need something stronger to ensure the safety of pedestrians and our businesses. Request that the BIA send a letter to Town staff. Address the letter to John Grovy and Heide Schlegl.
- CB motioned that the Downtown Milton BIA request that the Town install safety barriers be at Main and Martin Street. DO seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB – Some significant properties for sale on Main Street, James Street office has been sold.
- RS – There are some units downtown that have businesses coming in soon – either they are working on permits or decided to hold off on opening a bit longer due to COVID-19. Recent closures were Starbucks and The Shoe Stop. Expansions coming from Barn Door, Ohana, etc.
- CB moved to adjourn. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 7:15 pm.