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Crossroads Business District

Meeting Minutes

 

 

 

Meeting Date:                            

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meeting Called to Order:

 8:15 A.M.

Meeting Adjourned:

9:30A.M.

Next Meeting Date:

2009

 

 

 

ROLL CALL

 

Name

 

 

Lisa Abeln

Present

 

Patricia Boever

Present

 

 

 

 

Pauli Goetz

 

            Absent

Jeff Sanders

Present

 

John Lark

 

Present

 

 

Jim Onder

Present

 

Kay Ramsey

Present

 

Bob Springer

Present

 

Walt & Jackie Schuster

 

 

 

OTHERS

 

Kathy Hart, Council Liaison

Present

 

David Bookless (for Roger Grow)

 

Mark Abeln

Present

 

Kathy Kinderfather-Residential Liaison

 

Julie Campbell

 

Present

 

Paul Metzler (RR Club-for Ken)

 

 

 

Present

             

Richard Scholl

Mike Standley

Dan Boyce

Jim & Lila Herschfelt

Diane Lamboley-C.O.C.

Steve Clark-Fitness Ctr.

 

 

Present

 

 

1. A “meet & greet” over donuts and coffee was held from 8 am.-9 am.

 

Meeting – (9 am.-9:45 am.)

      Chairperson Jim Onder welcomed everyone. He said that the Crossroads District was formed in 2004. To assist in forming a vision for the District, he encouraged input from all present today. He invited all interested to attend our regular every other month meetings , and to attend as often as they wish.  Vice-Chairperson Lisa Abeln began with a thank-you on behalf of Pauli Goetz who was unable to attend today. Pauli is appreciative of the cooperative efforts between businesses and nearby homes: specifically the recent removal of a tree from the edge of her property. Lisa reiterated the cooperative efforts which keep things positive. She thanked Creative Sandbox for designing our logo and banners free of charge. She also mentioned that Sandbox Creative will be moving into a larger building by the former Crossings Tavern & Grille near the RR tracks. Lisa thanked Kathy Kinderfather for her tireless efforts in assisting the District in meeting its goals (specifically helping Lisa with District-business Christmas 2007 lights). Lisa thanked all who donated land for parks and thanked Webster Groves Rec Plex for the fine meeting room/coffee and Schuncks for the donuts. Also Lisa mentioned how individual Board members have met apart from the regular meetings to discuss District goals/concerns. Lisa then passed out a revenue/expense report covering FY 2004 thru Feb. 4, 2008. As a District we don't bring in as much sales tax revenue as Old Webster and Old Orchard because while they are predominately retail-driven, Crossroads is professional services-driven. Property taxes are refunded back to the city of Webster Groves; the Crossroads tax rate is 40 cents/$100 assessed valuation. Surcharges on business licenses is also a source of revenue. Treasurer John Lark (8739 Big Bend) said that since the District started up in 2004, he feels the District has made small steps in achieving objectives with less money available compared to the other districts. He also mentioned how many businesses don't pay sales tax because of more professional services than retail businesses. John mentioned “small things” like the banners and our maintenance person (Greg Sercl) who maintains flower pots, weeding of sidewalks & watering of plants, which add up to a beautiful district. The benches and trash receptacles have added to the beauty and functionality of the District. There is one bench & trash receptacle left for anyone interested in placing it in the District. John mentioned a “Development Foundation Plan” study conducted approximately 2 years ago by the City for each District.   The study found that Crossroads businesses like the small town atmosphere setting, and do not want major development of razing buildings and replacing them with hotels or other high-rise buildings. This would not be in keeping with a small community district. Because other districts have more money to work with, establishing a TDD has been discussed several times. Parking is a major District issue. Last year a parking survey was distributed to District businesses to find out how many parking spaces they have which would help us decide how much more parking is needed. Expanding parking on Alma Ave. has been met with resistance from residents.  John also explained the District Beautification Grant program which would provide a $2,000 matching grant for any business doing exterior-only (including landscape) on their property. Signage and roofing are excluded. The application is only one page, and the program is one way of recycling money back into the District. Next, John explained how over the next 6 months to 1 year, the District plans to work with architectural students from Washington University and St. Louis Community College-Meramec and get input on how to beautify the District (i.e., landscaping, building facades). Lisa added that given the money available to the District, projects such as burying power lines and replacing sidewalks would be beyond our means. John mentioned a 2-question open-ended survey which would help our District prioritize projects. Question #1: What should the City do to satisfy an important need in the District?, and #2: What would you consider a valuable endeavor for the future of Webster Groves and what would you propose on getting it done? Diane Lamboley-President of Webster Groves/Shrewsbury/Marlborough/Rockhill Chamber Of Commerce offered its services to help Crossroads flourish. Networking opportunities are abundant at various COC events (an upcoming after work event will be held at Sarah Care at Big Bend & Elm). Diane sees tremendous growth possible due to the McKnight Rd/Manchester Rd. development. Diane invited everyone to visit the Chamber website (www.go-webster.com) and/or visit their office at #46 West Lockwood). Diane also mentioned a brochure published every other year which features a map of the area as well as local businesses. She suggested that a brochure about Crossroads could be made available in the Chamber office. This brochure is a permanent, effective advertising/marketing piece. Steve Clark-Rec Plex Fitness Center Manager told us about the brand new fitness center and he offered information brochures about joining to stay fit. Personal trainers are also available.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 am., and guests were invited to ask one-on-one questions with Board members.