MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
WHICH TOOK PLACE ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2008
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL,
Denise Hufford read Roll Call.
PRESENT: DDA MEMBERS – Bo Brines, Mike Hayes, Marty McGuire, Sue Rabbage, Ranny Riecker, Mark Ruhle, Jim Stamas, Claudia Wallin
ABSENT: Jenny Anderson, Father Fleming, Paula Liveris, Jon Lynch, Jack McCandless
PRESENT: STAFF – Denise Hufford, Keith Baker, Margaret Maday, Stephanie Szostak, Bradd Maki, Daryl Poprave
PRESENT: OTHERS – Patty Aspin (Chamber of Commerce), John Palen (Midland Issues), Cheryl Wade (Midland Daily News), Neil Hershfield (Dow Chemical Company)
Wallin called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.
a) Approval of past meeting minutes
Motion to approve the March 12, 2008 meeting minutes by Riecker. Seconded by Ruhle. Approved unanimously.
b) Financial Reports for March 2008
Maday presented the March 2008 financial statement. Motion to approve financials by Hayes. Seconded by McGuire. Approved unanimously.
a) Budget Committee
Riecker discussed the updated budget. One change involves $30,000 that is no longer in the 08/09 equipment budget as it will be spent in the 07/08 budget.
Riecker read the action item:
The Downtown Development Authority Budget Committee has updated the DDA budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The Downtown Development Authority hearby recommends for approval the 2008-2009 DDA annual budget to the Midland City Council
Seconded by McGuire. Approved unanimously.
Wallin thanked Riecker for her work on the 08/09 Budget.
b) Design Committee
Baker discussed the bids received for the bench replacement project. 5 bids were received. LaVant Landscape was the lowest bidder with Sugar Construction as second lowest bidder. Baker has received positive references for LaVant Landscape and recommends that the DDA Board award the bid to this firm. Wallin noted that we try to do business with local firms when possible. Sugar Construction also has a good reputation according to the City’s Purchasing Agent. City Council will choose a local firm when the bids are within 2% of each other. Stamas asked if the bids were all correct in their information. Baker responded that yes, all bids were returned correctly.
Modern Metalcraft inspected each bench and anticipates that three of the metal stands will need to be replaced. Sugar included repairs to the stands in their bid, while LaVant did not. It would be an additional charge.
Discussion regarding the difference in the bids (3%) and the desire to hire local firms when possible. Brines felt the small difference in the bids made it worth while to use a local firm. Stamas thought the Sugar bid was more complete since it included the repair costs.
McGuire asked for clarification on the bid request and how the firms responded. Ruhle made a motion to accept the Sugar Construction and Hayes seconded.
Rabbage asked if the timing of the project could be completed in time. Baker responded that the material lead time would cause the largest delay, but both firms felt the project could be completed by June.
McGuire asked if this is a purchase or a recommendation to City Council. Wallin responded that it is a purchase and is in the current budget. Baker responded that since it is under $20,000 the city manager would sign off on it.
(Issue tabled while the 2% guideline was researched.)
Poprave discussed the issue with Dave Keenan, Finance Director, who stated that 2% is a guideline created by staff that the City Council uses when choosing bids, but is not a requirement the DDA Board needs to abide by.
Approved unanimously to award the bid to Sugar Construction.
Szostak presented her 2008 annual flower display design. It has a dragon theme to coordinate with the Summer Sculpture series “Summer of the Dragons” and uses hot colors of red, orange, yellow, and purples. Szostak thanked Dow Gardens for their generous donation of 20 flats of annuals.
Szostak reported that seasonal crews have begun cleaning planting beds downtown.
Saturday, March 29th a group of volunteers from the Master Gardeners Club helped prune trees on Main Street and Szostak would like to thank them for their help.
c) Organization Committee
Baker announced that Tony Kullick has been hired as the new DDA Executive Director. Tony will be retiring from the City of Mt. Pleasant as their Planning Director. He has degrees from both Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. He has worked for the City of Mt. Pleasant for 20 years and the City of Flint for 10 years previously. Baker has received many positive references and anecdotal comments about Tony. His official start date is June 3, 2008, but he will also spend a few partial days in Midland prior to that date.
d) Economic Restructuring Committee
Hayes reported 7 downtown vacancies for lease and one property for sale.
Hayes reported that the committee is looking for some help recruit retail into downtown area. The committee is looking at some retail recruiting firms.
Hayes reported that Christine Greve from the Michigan Small Business and Technology Center at Delta College has lots of free help and consultations available for small businesses.
e) Creating Cool Committee
Wallin reported on some upcoming events including Parade Your Pet, Summer of the Dragons, and the MCV Summer Solstice Event.
Parade Your Pet is Saturday, May 10th. Bring your pet and win prizes for best costume, best trick, most like their owner, and more. Registration starts at noon and is free. Sandy Clark from I’ve Been Framed has agreed to chair this committee.
Wallin reported that the Summer of the Dragons sculpture series has 20 dragons for downtown. Five sponsorships are still available for $750 each. Your sponsorship is recognized through October. Please contact the DDA office for more information. Kick off party is Friday, June 6 from 5-7 pm and will feature crafts and activities.
June 21 MCV presents the Summer Solstice with activities from 5-9 pm and a concert featuring Empty Pockets from 9-midnight. Jugglers, musicians, and more! Approximately 5,000-6,000 people attend this event.
f) Midland Downtown Business Association
Patty Aspin reports that the Summer Solstice has a renaissance theme. Plans are moving ahead and the committee is very excited.
Aspin shared that the MDBA has created a Legacy program to recognize businesses that have been downtown for 25+ years. Nominations are requested and the MDBA board will choose three businesses each year to recognize at the MDBA annual meeting in July.
Sidewalk Sales have been renamed Main Street Marketplace and will be held July 10-12.
There was no further business to come before the Board. Riecker moved that the meeting be adjourned. Hayes seconded. Meeting adjourned at 3:37 p.m.