8:30 AM – In person: Courtyard Marriott Hotel; 175 Railroad Street/Zoom per COVID requirements
Attendees: Hugh Futrell, Dayna Irvine, Noelle Hermann, Marianne Neufeld, Jim McCallligan, Rafael Rivero, Theresa Tommasi, Curt Nichols, Kris Wilson
Per ZOOM: Paul Quattrocchi
Absent: Mike Montague, Dee Richardson, Florine Ellingson, Hardeep Gill
Guests: Mary Gwen Neisingh; Jill Moyer
1. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL: Executive Director Kris Wilson called the meeting to order at 8:40 AM.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS – (limited to 2 minutes each) None
3. CONSENT ITEMS – Approval of March Board Meeting minutes by Marianne and Hugh
4. PRESIDENT’S REPORT– Kris Wilson
4.1 District updates: Kris presented a funding opportunity with the Floridian Group, a company expanding to the West Coast who works with non-profit organizations to secure state and federal funding for their needed projects such as the lighting and sidewalks in RRSQ. After much discussion, it was decided to create an ad hoc committee to meet with the company and decide best steps to move forward with a more formal RFP process. A motion was made and approved to create an ad hoc committee.
4.2 Joint proposal to Downtown Sub Committee -Hugh Futrell discussed a planned special meeting with RRSQ, DAO and the Downtown Subcommittee to focus on key issues that have been slow in progressing and need to be addressed to be moved forward:
1. Enhanced infrastructure funding to prioritize.
2. City Park fees are currently paid by development projects and must be spent downtown. This requirement is due to expire in 2023. This deadline needs to be extended. Currently we are competing for money that could be used in RRSQ for Depot Park and sidewalks.
3. Steps to encourage: retention and expansion of employment in downtown corridor: Changes are needed to promote implementation such as cost for signage, tenant improvements, and business license fees. Business license fees could be structured to give new businesses time to get their business started before taxes kick in.
A Joint decision with DAO/RRSQ is ultimately council decision. Curt motioned to support proposal for RRSQ to join with DAO & Downtown Subcommittee and Jim seconded that motion. Rafael commented that the: Downtown Sub Committee structure is being changed. Mayor Rogers, Eddie Alvarez and John Sawyer are all currently on the downtown sub-committee. Action – memorandum pending.
5. FINANCIAL REPORT – Marianne Neufeld, treasurer
Marianne reported that the Yoga studio still owes back taxes as do a few other property owners. It was decided to make one more attempt of contacting those properties still due as we do not know for sure if those owners have actually received our notifications. Next step will be to send letters of demand.
6. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT– Kris Wilson
6.1 ED Activity update/Events. Kris reported some upcoming events: Spring Cleaning in Depot Park on April 27th and the Classic Car Display is happening in Depot Park on May 1st. We’re looking forward to the Visitors’ Center will be open in a month where Kris will have office space. We’re working on a Survey Monkey to merchants to get their input on issues in RRSQ such about blocking streets for large events and improving the vitality to the area. Kris, Rafael and Dee met with Tara Thompson to discuss event permitting and possible changes for next year that could include support for our holiday carriage rides. The City is working on simplifying the event permitting process. A meeting is pending with Jen Santos to revisit plans for Depot Park and what steps need to be taken to move forward.
Kris announced that the Permanent Parklet Program will be presented to City Council on June 7th. Notices have gone out to all restaurant owners in our district. There was discussion regarding the impact of parklets on the parking in RRSQ. Issues of concern are: parklets not being used during the day, drainage issues during winter months, and how other businesses are being impacted. Hugh suggested the possibility of by excluding from this parklet program and treating RRSQ separately to give us time to assess the impact on the district. Kris is to reach out to all RRSQ restaurants to assess interest and number of potential parklets as it may be minimal. Rafael is to reach out to Gabe Osborn for follow up.
7. AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS/GOALS
7.1 Security – Kris reported a recent increase of back doors and back gates being left open. There’s also been an uptick of graffiti and vagrants sleeping in the street. Overall, our Security company is doing a good job.
7.2 Wayfinding signs – Noelle Hermann
We are getting ready to launch the Wayfinding signage program on Wednesday, May 11th at Chevy’s Cantina. Dayna Irvine has offered to assist in creating a system to track those merchants’ purchasing signage, identifying locations of signage, etc.
7.3 Tree Report – Jim McCalligan will be arranging a final walk through with Bright to identify any areas that may need additional tree trimming.
7.4 Sidewalk Repair – Jim McCalligan reported that areas have been identified where sidewalks, curbs, gutters & tree wells need to be addressed. Curt will assist in creating a map with photos of each area and then proceed to get bids and proposals.
7.5 Project Review Committee – Curt Nichols – no update.
7.6 Lighting – Rafael Rivero: Meeting pending for bids on installing lighting on 4th street and possibly making it solar.
7.7 Street Cleaning / Trash receptacles – Paul Quattrocchi: no update
7.8 Street Banner update – No update. Paul has 3 banners that came down during the last windstorm.
8. ANNOUNCEMENTS – Welcome back mixer will be held on May 11th from 6-7:30pm. James Castro (City Parks & Public Utilities) will be installing a “doggie station” in Depot Park.
9. ADJOURNMENT – Kris adjourned the meeting at 10:20am.
Next meeting: Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 8:30AM – Courtyard Marriott