MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2008

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

Denise Hufford read Roll Call.

 

PRESENT:     DDA MEMBERS – Jenny Anderson, Mike Hayes, Jon Lynch, Jack McCandless, Sue Rabbage, Mark Ruhle, Claudia Wallin

 

ABSENT:       Bo Brines, Doug Chapman, Father Fleming, Paula Liveris, Ranny Riecker, Jim Stamas

 

PRESENT:     STAFF – Denise Hufford, Keith Baker, Margaret Maday, Bradd Maki

 

PRESENT:     OTHERS – John Palen (Midland Issues), Rich Fosgitt (Wilcox and Associates)

 

Wallin called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

No quorum to begin. Jon Lynch came in after financial presentation.

 

1.      Financial Reports for January 2008

Maday presented the January 2008 financial statement. Cannot approve without quorum.

 

2.      Reports

a)      Design Committee

Anderson introduced Neil Hershfield, the Director of Regional Projects from Dow Chemical to present the Riverfront Design Proposal from Hamilton Anderson Associates. Anderson read the Action Item. Motion to approve by Hayes. Seconded by McCandless. Baker mentioned that once the DDA approves the proposal the City Council will need to approve. Approved unanimously.

 

Jon Lynch arrived during Riverfront Proposal. Board now has quorum.

 

3.      Financial Reports for January 2008

Motion to approve statements by Hayes. Seconded by Ruhle. Approved unanimously.

 

4.      Approval of past meeting minutes

Motion to approve the January 9, 2008 meeting minutes by McCandless. Seconded by Ruhle. Approved unanimously.

 

Wallin discussed the Design Committee meeting minutes. Anderson liked the idea of showing meeting minutes at Board meeting.

 

a)      Organization Committee

Wallin thanked Hufford for work as Interim Director.

 

Baker reported that the application process has closed for the Executive Director search. 10 qualified candidate applications have been circulated to the interview committee who will submit their top 5 candidates. Interviews will begin to be scheduled in the next few weeks.

 

Wallin discussed the recent Strategic Planning session held on January 30th. Lee Rouse was the facilitator and did a great job. 25-30 people attended. There was excellent discussion throughout the session. The DDA’s mission statement was re-worked.

 

The Mission of the DDA is to enable a dynamic downtown environment that fosters economic growth.

 

Each committee will discuss and provide recommended changes to the board. The vision statement will remain the same.

 

Small City Charm with Big City Choices.

 

Projects and priorities were identified and voted on. Committees were given the top 4 priorities for their committee. They will look at them and report back to the board regarding their priorities.

 

Wallin thanked everyone who participated in Strategic Planning.

 

b)      Economic Restructuring Committee

Hayes reported that Tri-City Nutrition, 305 E. Main St., is now open and plans a ribbon cutting on March 21 at 11:30 am that is open to the public. Artful Dodgers Brewing Company should open in 2008 on Main Street. Rehman James Financial will be moving into the old Midland Area Community Foundation.

 

Hayes reported 7 downtown vacancies for lease and one property for sale.

 

Baker discussed two rezoning Action Items regarding property located on Buttles across from the County Building. While the property is outside our district the DDA can vote to provide support for rezoning, which will then go to the Planning Commission and the Midland City Council.

 

Action Item Zoning Petition No. 548 by Wilcox Professional Services. Change from office service to downtown which would allow for mixed use function. Recommendation from staff is to allow approval. Hayes reported that the Economic Restructuring committee had discussed and would like to support the request.

 

Motion by Hayes. Seconded by Ruhle. Baker mentioned that there is representative attending from Wilcox if there are any questions. Supported Unanimously

 

Action Item Zoning Text Amendment No. 146A. Change from maximum height of 28 feet to none in the Downtown Zoning District in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance. Baker explained the history of the height restriction. Economic Restructuring Committee has reviewed and supported the petition. The Planning Commission is looking for a specific height instead of none. 

 

Motion by Hayes. Seconded by Rabbage. Supported Unanimously.

 

Hayes asked for questions from the Economic Restructuring minutes from January meeting. No questions.

 

c)      Creating Cool Committee

Wallin discussed the issue of withdrawing membership in the Michigan Main Street Program. Issue has been discussed at Organization meetings, Strategic Planning, and Creating Cool meetings. Reasons to withdraw include the costs associated with the program, staff time to administer, inflexibility of some of the services, and the advancement of our DDA program.

 

Lynch included some information regarding the history of the program and the way the program has changed and become less suited to Midland’s needs.

 

A motion to approve the Action Item to withdraw from the program was made by Wallin. Seconded by Rabbage. Approved Unanimously. This motion will now go to Midland City Council for final approval.

 

Wallin reported that the 2008 Summer Sculpture Series theme will be Summer of the Dragons. 18 artists have submitted designs, including 3 from local high schools. Dragon sponsorships for $750 are now available. Please contact the DDA office for more information.

 

Creating Cool minutes were shown. No questions.

 

d)      Midland Downtown Business Association

Hufford reported that the MDBA’s indoor sidewalk sale, Deals at the Diamond, was a great success. With 42 retailers and over 1,500 shoppers both the businesses and the stadium were very pleased with the turnout for the day. Discussion has already begun about holding the event again next year.

 

The MDBA Board would like to extend an open invitation to all DDA Board members to attend any of their meetings. The next meeting is February19th at 8:30 am in the DDA Board room. Following meetings will be held on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 9 am at Pizza Sam’s.

 

Public Comments

None.

 

Old Business

None.

 

New Business

Baker reported that the tree lighting downtown has been removed for tree trimming, but it will return soon. The Mark Putnam Bridge Lighting has been completed for security reasons, safety, and to illuminate the mural. The project came in under budget. Some graffiti has occurred so hopefully the new lighting will deter other damage.

Staff is proceeding with the purchase of the kiosks which should be installed this Spring. The one placed at the Farmers Market will be temporarily relocated during any upcoming Riverfront development.

 

Wallin asked about the walkabout to decide on placement of the kiosks. Baker responded that the weather didn’t cooperate so staff will plan to re-schedule during better weather.

 

Wallin asked about a flower presentation. Baker reported that Stephanie will present her 2008 flower design at the March board meeting. 

 

Adjourn

There was no further business to come before the Board. Hayes moved that the meeting be adjourned. Rabbage seconded. Meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m.