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Minutes Old Webster Special Business District

Advisory Commission Meeting

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

 

Members Present: Don Baumstark, Ron Clipp, Phil Lindwedel, Bill Newhouse, Mara Perry, Jackie Postiglione, Joe Rath, Kathy Reimelt, and Kerry Thornton.

 

Others Present: Mayor Gerry Welch; Shawnell Faber, Parks and Recreation Dept.; Dan Warner and Ellen Light, Secretary.

 

Presiding: Polly Brackman

 

Meeting began at 8:07 a.m.

 

Approval of Minutes

• Don moved to approve, Jackie seconded, minutes for Nov. 27, 2012, were approved.

 

KTRS Funding Request

• Matching funds of $2,250 for radio ads; Mayor will discuss with Business Development Commission, need was expressed to come back to it, since it is not the time of year to do it.

• Polly also brought up this request at Trade Association Meeting, general idea was thought good, but she will tell them timing will be moved up for later discussion.

 

City Report - Mara

•  Nothing new happening with Auto Beauty Specialists.

•  Had request for Cinco de Mayo event.

•  Described plans to put together new event permit which will pull together all needs;
and make it so we will be given alert when these come in.

Sculpture Park at Kirkham & Gore

Ø Private funding has been reached for new Catharine Magel piece.

Ø Laumeier is loaning two of Ernest Trova’s creations.

Ø City is paying for the park—it will become part of the park system.

 

Streetscape/Maintenance - Shawnell – Parks & Recreation Dept. Updates

• Shawnell said her Dept. worked about 160 extra man-hours because of drought.

• Also left containers in place longer than normal, so there was watering going on longer than usual.

• The reindeer construction was time consuming and labor intensive, but costwise was also lowest amount of any holiday decorations.

• For new budget, we might need to allow for extra labor costs.  She thought we did well with what was done last year.

• Shawnell said we cannot predict weather again, but there was less done on City parks—which could be the case one year, but not always possible.

• Polly noted this meeting was just to get idea what budget should look like for future.

• Shawnell reminded group that they also do leaf blowing, which is very time consuming.

• Holiday decorations went well, no reindeer stolen, plan to use next year too.

• Making plans for spring planting—banana plants will be used.

• Tree care inventory was done and some tree replacements are under way.

Dan Warner Presentation - representing Joe Schwab

• Joe Schwab is taking over Euclid Records (new location at 19 N. Gore).

• He is suggesting a new music festival—“A Retro Soul Festival—Webster Grooves;” May 18, 2013.

• It will be in conjunction with Webster U. Film Series.

• He has been very successful in promoting music.

• Joe Rath and Dan Warner will work with  him.

• Could become annual event, following in footsteps of Jazz Fest.

• He is asking for $3K from district; he is contributing $1K himself.

• He is moving to Old Webster because he wants to feel part of the district.

 

Budget Discussion - Planning for the Future

• Polly noted we need to figure out where our money will be going in the future.

• We don’t want to keep eating away at our reserves.

Pedestrian Signage

• Polly said we need to fix our four pedestrian signs; to redo each one is $630.

• Need to make effort to get people to list themselves on the signs.

• Cheaper to redo whole sign instead of single panels, one at a time.

• Charge $100-$200 at most…don’t charge those who already are on listed.

District/City Responsibilities

• Don asked about sidewalks. Is business district partly responsible for sidewalk repair? Property owners were charged for a portion of repair.

• Don asked about responsibility for parking deck? Joe said City is supposed to be responsible for that.

Revenue Concerns

• Don’s concern as a Board member is that we’ve gone from budgeting in the $60K range to the $80K range, now with only revenues in the $60Ks.

• He mentioned that originally holiday lighting was coming out of Advertising, then it went to maintenance—which is appropriate—but then we never adjusted Advertising.

• Although Parks Dept. is doing great job, cost has about doubled. Look of district is essentially advertising, though we are not putting it under that category.

• Mayor suggested we discuss what actually brings people to the district.

• We could also look at ways of increasing revenue.

• Don said we (Business Districts) don’t have authority…it goes to property owners, not business owners.

• Kathy asked about questions businesses like Provision Living, across the street—are they property owners but not business?

• Ron asked if anyone had ever been audited by City for business license?

• Mayor mentioned bringing Joann in to discuss how revenues come about.

• Mara mentioned business licenses, sales tax; and Joe mentioned real estate property tax.

Ø State-licensed professionals don’t pay, but Jackie said architects do.

Ø Engineers do though they are also state-licensed professionals.

Ø Polly asked if it is state mandated that you don’t tax them?

Ø Mayor said there is a state law because there have been attempts to change that .

• Ron asked about money business pays, how much comes to our district?

• Don didn’t think the rate has changed in the 25 years this Commission has been around.

• We might do well to check with other side of tracks.

• Polly asked if Moody tax rates are different?

• Phil asked about how city spends regarding districts?

• Mara said a representative of each district sits on decision body—Business Development Commission.

• Jackie asked about trees and Parks Dept. 

• Joe said Paul got added tree money to his budget because many trees needed to be replaced.

• Mara suggested we look at strategy—what we want to emphasize, more than specific issues on where dollars come from and thoughts about details of what we need done.

• Mayor asked about Trade Association budget.

Ø Phil noted they wait until after our budget is done to come forward with their requests.

Ø Regarding Open House—they would like that event to be more funded by district than just the businesses that take part. Mayor suggested they bring funding requests.

Ø Phil asked Jackie for budget information…Polly noted we used to give $5K for Open House; Street Dance $3,300 is already approved. (Last year for street dance, Trade Ass’n. paid police officer $140 because that was in cash, and administrative expense was $150/mo.).

Ø Bill inquired about future decisions with Trade Ass’n.; Don said sponsorships started because Trade would fund basics, trolleys, but additional advertising was funded by and greater “buy-in” brought more people.

Ø Trade Association meeting is before ours, they can perhaps give idea of what they need ahead of our budget decisions.

• Mara said next month’s meeting we need to finalize budget requests for her deadline.

   Mara emphasized that the board should decide on focus, e.g. building lighting? etc.

• Decision to hold extra “Budget” meeting on Thursday, 7th of February, 8-9:30 a.m.

• Mara can print out some past years’ backup.

• In response to Bill’s question asking if there is someone that coordinates our contributions with other business districts, we were told PR Committee is part of Business Development Commission… Mayor, Joann and Mara are on that. Also have marketing consultants on board.

• Bill emphasized pooling with other districts in advertising to increase City-wide advertising.

• Ron noted there are things we cannot change, and the ones we can change are Advertising and Street Maintenance.

• Can we go to the church and ask since our revenue is decreasing, can we pay you less?

• Don said if we continue to spend what we are spending, in three years the fund balance will be gone. Gave example of street trees having 25-year life… time running out on those. Other trees also need to be replaced…talking $500/tree.

• Polly noted we need to find out if City will be paying for those.

• Jackie said to look 3-5 years out instead of looking ahead just one year.

• Mara will get information on Parking Lot contract, look at Advertising breakdown, and recycling contract. She will also check on sidewalks from Public Works, business licenses and if they’ve been audited, taxing percentages of other districts, and street trees.

• Mara said actual amount that comes out from ours $11,690; City puts in another dollar amount.

• Joe said Futura Properties owns bank parking lot.

• Bill said he didn’t hear complaints this year about parking during holidays.

• Bill and Ron noted there seems to be better use of employee parking lot.

• Mara urged focus so we can accomplish a lot at special meeting.

•  Interest was expressed to find out amount other districts pay for Parks Dept. work.

 

Lighting

Buildings—Phil

• Nothing because it’s too cold.

• We have a nice list which will use all the budget for coming year.

 

Old Business

Recycling Container

• Now single stream? Need to let district know, Mara will tell us.

• Bill asked when we renegotiate again?  Mara will check and let us know.

Interstate Sign

• Paul repaired! Looks so much better.

 

New Business

• Dr. Jazz closed, but there is definite interest in location.

• Taste of Webster? Restaurant?

• Laser hair removal in Reliable Life.

• Gelato place possibly coming in.

• Jets Pizza in old Starbucks, part of a national chain.

 

Meeting ended 9:30 a.m.

 

Next meeting: Tuesday, February 26, 2013