Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Location: online 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Colin Best (CB), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Eric Chabot (EC), Margaret Lara (ML), Sara Bergsma (SB), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Alan Cooke (AC), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Troy Newton (TN), Joe Taglieri (JT)
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. No declarations were made.
Review of previous minutes
- CB moved to accept April minutes. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Expenses to date are $62,000, consistent with expectations, main expenses are rent and salaries.
- April expenses were just under $15k, expecting that to continue for the next few months.
- Will be incurring beautification costs over the summer. On track for a possible surplus of $30k.
- Need to consider whether we will continue with a 3.5% levy increase for next year.
- Consider changes in our operations in a post-pandemic world.
- RS – Objective continues to be to have a third person staff member. Grant funding is helping to cover this resource for this year. Our current office space is the right size for our team and we will be working there more often as restrictions lift. Will ask other BIAs about any post-pandemic operational changes they are making.
- CB moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. SB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Announcement today with MP about expanding rural broadband – Mayor and several councillors have been pushing for rural broadband expansion for a decade.
- Town investing almost $30 million in roads and bridges in 2021, another $4.2 million in public parks.
- Rainbow crosswalks coming at Main & Charles and Main & Brown – visual affirmation of inclusion support for LGBTQ2+ community. Flags will be raised at Town Hall and benches at the libraries.
- Golf Tournament on August 20 for Townsend Smith Foundation.
- Regional Official Plan Review – Online sessions taking place in all the communities, Oakville session happening tomorrow. Explores five growth concepts. Trying to find some middle ground in the concepts. Report coming back to Milton Council June 21.
- May 31 – Mature Neighbourhood Study will be released (relevant for many downtown properties).
- Construction continues on Tremaine Road. Construction in Milton Heights is the work for the interchange. Britannia Road work is moving into the next phase (Trafalgar to 407).
- Some rehabilitation work planned for bridge beside Troy’s.
- MG moved to accept the Council Reports. ML seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Camp Cannabis is open, they are happy to be downtown and interested in getting involved.
- Sophia is our new team member, hired through Canada Summer Jobs, in place for the summer.
- Received two CSJ grants for this round. Planning to use some of this support to help with a back-to-business event later this year. Receiving around $9k in funding.
- Website redesign progressing well. Bright, dynamic, excellent representation of Downtown Milton.
- Beautification – Flowers to be installed early June. Exploring larger signs for garden sponsorship.
- Contacted Town to ask if they would pay for hardware so we can install remaining banners (<$4k).
- Rainbow crosswalk – Positive response on social media when we shared the Town’s news release. Safety was significant consideration in Town selecting the locations. Lifespan is 7-8 years, and Town plans to maintain them indefinitely at this point.
- Market happening at the Fairgrounds from May to October.
- Secured a booth for use for eligible BIA members to use for free. Right now, food/grocery/agriculture vendors can participate in market, hopeful that it will open up to other businesses later in season.
- Great opportunity for businesses to sell items, promote their businesses, drive traffic to their stores.
- Two eligible members confirmed to date – working to secure others.
- Patios delayed due to the lockdown – open date TBD.
- Businesses are eager to get patios opened as soon as they are allowed to.
- Several patio applications still in review with the Town. Ivy Arms requested use of on-street parking spot to expand patio. Barn Door considering it. Casa Americo opted for similar patio to last year.
- No update yet on whether Town will be implementing a traffic calming pilot for the summer.
- Planning a marketing push for the patios once they are open.
Local Love Giveaway
- Three-week, social media contest to help generate interest and followers for local businesses – one business type per week (restaurants, personal services, retailors).
- Three winners per week receive $100 gift card to local business. One business type per week – restaurants, personal services and retailers.
- Exploring possibility of sponsorship in the future.
- Thank you to Alan for bringing this contest idea forward. Great way to support our businesses.
Summer/Canada Day Scavenger Hunt
- Virtual scavenger hunt on GooseChase, 10-day duration in June/July.
- Focusing on summer theme, showcasing downtown attractions, elements, businesses, some Canada Day elements. More in-person missions in Downtown Milton than last scavenger hunt.
- Will be seeking sponsorship, identifying charitable partner.
HolidayFest/Back to Business Event
- Application submitted for Reconnect Festivals & Events grant – requesting $24k (50% of eligible costs).
- Estimated event budget – $50k. Based on HolidayFest 2019 with larger road closure, security, social distancing, stage & paid entertainment, individual activations, staffing, marketing. Support tourism.
- If we don’t receive additional funding, we reduce the size and scope of the event.
- If public health rules prevent us from hosting event in Nov/Dec, will host it in early spring 2022.
- Members seem comfortable with this timeframe – allows them to staff up ahead of time.
Digital Main Street: Future Proof Community Collaboration
- Marketplace Milton launching soon – voice-enabled search tool to help access information about Chamber and BIA businesses in Milton. Works with Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa.
- Partnership between Chamber, BIA, Qwhery, Haltech.
- We are reviewing business descriptions in our database, adding keywords for businesses.
Parkette & Mural (Spice o’ Life)
- Interest from community groups and businesses in mural and parkette redesign. Members have lots of ideas on how to create a more useful, versatile space there.
- Town recently did pruning, planting in the parkette and it looks great. Challenge – only one bench there so there are few ways to use the space. Town is supportive of mural update, but parkette redesign is not a priority. Town supports ‘cheap and cheerful’ tactical urbanism solutions for parkette. Staff suggested we apply for funding for mural and tactical urbanism elements.
- Interest from Arts Milton, Sustainable Milton, Milton Historical Society, possibly FASM, and our members in the area. Received funding opportunities from MPP, MP.
- Point of caution – Consider who pays for what. This project could bring a lot of interest from other property owners on having BIA help with installing artwork.
- Civic precinct will be happening in a few years which will create a big draw around Main & Brown. Parkette improvement helps generate interest at the other end of our district too.
- CB – Parkette needs updating, bench has been in place for 30+ years, not accessible. Staff have authority to do updates, won’t require very large budget or Council approvals. CB and KTD to discuss with Town staff. Mural would be a great way to encourage more art downtown. Project is opportunity to bring more interest and excitement to downtown, especially in the absence of events.
- RS – Review of three design options from Green Propeller – Seating, Outdoor Stage, Activity options.
- AC – Suggest finding local businesses that we can buy tables, benches from, so it supports local businesses and gives them exposure.
- MG – Need clarity on process, confirmation from Town on what we are allowed to change in parkette.
- CB – BIA to create a proposal for staff which includes proposed design(s). Mention stakeholders supporting project, copy Mayor and Council so they are aware. 50th anniversary for creation of parks.
- EC – Highest likelihood of success – Design proposal needs to be well thought out, easy to implement, with support of professional designer.
- KTD – Keep design simple and straightforward. Ensure options are basic, easy to maintain. Chess pieces could get stolen.
- RS – Combination between Seating and Outdoor Stage options likely best. Business just want a place for customers, staff, community to sit and relax. MHS suggested millstone could be moved to Victoria Park, and took pictures of mural so it is recorded in archives and can be redone anytime.
- Mural options
- Mural painted directly on the wall
- Panels installed on the wall (like at Adam Van Koeverden’s office)
- Panels installed on the wall with digital screen inset
- Arts Milton willing to coordinate mural (artist call out, contracts, logistics, etc), completion in time for Culture Days in October. BIA could focus on finding funding, final design approvals.
- Suggestion to keep the mural on lower portion of the wall, mature trees hide upper half of wall. When you look at mural you are often closer to it so it would be easier to look at if it was smaller.
- KTD – Mural is eye-catching for motorists so suggest keeping it visible to them. Like the idea of a digital sign so content can be changed, but vandalism could be an issue. Cost an important consideration. May need to notify existing artists that we want to paint over their artwork.
- EC – Painting mural beige would be a good start, could be a community project with painted panels, and change panels out over time until dollars are available to pay someone to do the whole mural. Manage expectations with all stakeholders (property owners, other members, Arts Milton, etc.)
- Next steps – RS to create parkette proposal for Town. Pursue application for CHCI for the mural. Could do Zoom consultation with interested members. Speak to property owner about mural costs.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. MG seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- EC – Zoom meetings work well for our board, efficient and saves time. Suggest a hybrid with face-to-face and virtual board meetings in future.
- CB moved to adjourn. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:43 pm.