Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, March 10, 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), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Joe Taglieri (JT)
EC called the meeting to order at 6:32 pm.
EC asked the committee if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. No declarations were made.
Review of previous minutes
- Motion to accept February minutes by SB, seconded by ML. Motion passed.
- Motion to accept January minutes by CB, seconded by KTD. Motion passed.
Motion to nominate new Vice-Chair
- CB nominated Sara Bergsma for the position, seconded by MG. Motion passed.
SB chaired the rest of the meeting.
- In January, spent $17,000 (mostly operating costs), received first half of levy.
- In February, spent $9,000 but second pay cycle had not gone through at the time the report was received. Assumption that spending will be similar to the previous month.
- These months are likely a preview of what we will see most of the year.
- CB moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Received a video about the new condo proposal at Bronte & Main which will be shared on the Town’s website. Anticipating questions will come in from residents once it goes public.
- Vaccinations starting on March 15 in Halton with people over 80, then moves down. COVID-19 updates posted on halton.ca (yellow banner).
- Due to widening of 401, infrastructure construction on Tremaine Road delayed, scheduled to open in fall of 2024.
- Town and Region working on some upgrades to Bronte Street. May be some closures this summer. Expect more traffic downtown as a result.
- Deadline for Official Plans is July 1, 2022. Some regions are requesting that the province delay the deadline – no extension given at this point.
- Region getting lots of pressure to intensify in existing urban areas instead of building in greenfield areas. Council received one application already for a condo building, three others coming.
- ML moved to accept the Council Reports. MG seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Complaint received from member – concern that community was not properly notified about a cannabis store coming. Concerns brought to the AGCO, MPP, MP, BIA and Chamber.
- CB – This is approved at the provincial level. Nine applications received for cannabis stores in Milton and one for a research facility. From what is seen in other jurisdictions, it appears these stores are well-organized, follow strict rules and put security in place.
- EC – Like a liquor license, they had to provide public notice in various locations. Consultation period is closed now so no more we can do. Some recourse possible through Public Health if any rules are broken in terms of distancing from patios, etc.
- Health inspections happened recently at several restaurants. We were contacted by some members asking why AGCO was asking about COVID protocols. We explored this and found that both the Minister of Labour and AGCO can reinforce the Ontario Reopening Act (AGCO designed for this in Nov. 2020). We have communicated to restaurants to ensure they have safety plans in place.
- We received the banners. Delay in installing is due to challenges sourcing the correct hardware to replace broken/missing pieces. Exploring option to get custom hardware made. Trying to do the whole installation at once, but if it takes to long to get the hardware done, we will install what we can now and complete the rest later. Wreaths will come down soon.
Digital Main Street
- Program wrapped up at the end of February. Early March, new funding became available to extend program until June. Since Rachael (our last DSS member) left already, we are not pursuing extension.
- Have spoken to the Chamber and Milton Economic Development about the way forward for DMS in Milton. With eligibility for grants and other facets of program available for non-downtown businesses, this program could fit well with a group that targets businesses across Town.
- Work underway with Chamber on a voice-enabled interactive map and search tool to find local businesses. Project funded through DMS by Haltech. Tech company Qwhery is a partner.
- Currently two positions vacant with the BIA Board – planning call-out to members in newsletter.
- TN – Alan Cooke would be a great addition to the board. Wife owns a business on Main Street, he is a VP of a cannabis company, attended our meetings in the past and said he’d be willing to come back.
- EC – Ask him to attend next meeting and just need a motion to have him join board. Rachel to reach out to Alan, and confirm with Town what forms are needed.
- Through Digital Main Street’s Transformation Team program, we made updates to the content and organization of our site, but look and functionality are not where we want them.
- Have collected three quotes and need a motion to proceed with a website redesign.
- CB moved to engage a local agency to do a website redesign. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Seasonal patios can be open from April 15 to Dec 31 (for private property, and a month earlier for private property).
- Town working on a traffic calming pilot project for Main Street within the BIA this summer. Awaiting further updates on this.
- Four of our members have submitted temporary patio applications to date.
- Some other members interested in on-street patios. BIA asking Town to allow some on-street parking patios this year, before a permanent program for temporary patios is put in place for next year.
- CB – Town to take out two parking spots on either side of the crosswalk at Hugh Lane to allow more visibility in terms of parking, patios, etc. Guelph has a whole downtown dining area, Burlington does a great job with on-street patios. Positions the downtowns as a destination, not a drive-through area.
Easter Scavenger Hunt
- Scavenger hunt running from March 26 to April 5, using GooseChase app (free in 2021 through Digital Main Street).
- The Darling Home for Kids is our charitable partner.
- Participants will complete missions at home and in Downtown Milton to earn points.
- Sponsor outreach underway. To date gold sponsor confirmed. Several businesses donating prizes.
- Pilot the app this time around, see if it is of interest for future events.
- Providing some egg decorating kits to interested members (donated to us before last year’s event).
Participation requested in Main Street resilience study
- Researchers at McMaster seeking BIAs for a study on how retail and restaurant entrepreneurs are dealing with ‘new normals’ and changes to underlying customer, supplier, employee and investor systems. Want to learn how businesses are dealing with the crisis, provide guidance to others.
- Need 5-6 retailers, 2-3 restaurants and some BIA executives from BIA to interview – 45-60 minutes. interviews in April, two short follow-up interviews later in the pandemic, compensation $20/interview.
- Involvement of OBIAA, several other BIAs in the research.
- Benefits – position ourselves as thought leaders, showing we have a lot of offer beyond our own borders, relationship building with other BIAs, other OBIAA, research bodies.
- SB, TN, CB willing to participate.
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
- Grants available through federal government investment ($5k-$250k) to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19 for projects that create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options and/or provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health.
- Round 1 applications now closed. Round 2 opens in May.
- Project concepts:
- Speakers: Explored outdoor speaker system for use at events and to enhance the ambiance downtown at specific times. Programming partnership opportunities. Town said it could contravene Noise and Road Occupancy Bylaws, but open to allowing the project if certain conditions are met (ie extensive consultation with the community, mechanism to handle complaints, etc.) Estimated cost is $50k-70k.
- Improvements to the Spice o’ Life parkette infrastructure and mural
- Enhancements to wifi
- KTD – Last year Cheryl got more flowers for the parkette which was much appreciated. Great to explore other improvements to parkette & mural as this is a gateway to the Charles St. businesses.
- JT – Talk to the property owner of the parkette wall to see if they want to have the mural changed.
- EC – Suggestion to look at doing a light projection with a programmable projector so it could be changed seasonally, artwork wouldn’t get dated. Example from Distillery District.
- KTD – Could make a green wall with plants, vines, etc. Good from a sustainability perspective.
- JT – I like the idea of being able to change the image regularly to keep it relevant and fresh. What’s popular today may not be relevant down the road. Include promotions for events, retail, etc.
- EC – Suggestion to pay a landscape designer to do a plan. It is municipal land, but we could get the ball rolling by working out about design proposal, then try to collaborate with the Town to make it happen.
- KTD – Like the speaker idea. Some businesses play music outdoors already, need to determine how to manage that.
- EC – Speakers and the parkette projects fit together as a multimedia strategy. Speakers can be used for music, stories, events, promote businesses, etc. Helps to brand & delineate BIA as more experiential. Have proposals from vendors ready to go so we can be ready when opportunities come up.
- EC moved to have an exploratory fund to develop design proposal for the parkette (wall, benches, landscaping, etc.). TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Safety barriers: Letter for Town coming soon requesting safety barriers at Main & Martin.
- Closing Main Street a day for patios: Town was hesitant on that since it resembles an event and are not expecting too many events this summer this summer. Next we will be talking to Public Health. More to report on this next month.
- Maintenance staffing: Want to get a better understanding from Town on what staff do in terms of maintenance downtown. Could consider engaging a part-time maintenance person if needed.
- Durante condo – They want delegates to support their proposal to Council. KTD – Could put it out to members and they can delegate. Sharing video for board members to see. EC – Could put a letter out to say we support development in downtown and anything that enhances the livability and number of people visiting downtown.
- Walkway dedication – Concerns from the Town about safety (possible confusion for Fire & Emergency Services), fairness and inclusivity (not aligned with the Town’s existing naming and recognition program). Suggested installing a bench ($2,500) or tree ($900). Cost unknown to put a plaque on an existing bench. We could consider something related to the Civic precinct or in the parkette. CB to connect further with Town Clerk.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- New businesses – Icelyn Aesthetics, Nurse Yara coming soon, new accountant, Ohana moving to new location.
- SB – One building for sale (2,400 sqft) and currently moving everything out, Muse moving to a new downtown location.
- CB moved to adjourn. TN seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:50 pm.