Minutes Old Webster
Special Business District
Advisory Commission Meeting – Special
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Members Present: Ron Clipp, Phil Lindwedel, Mara Perry,
Jackie Postiglione, Joe Rath, Kathy Reimelt, and Kerry Thornton.
Others Present: Mayor Gerry Welch; and Ellen Light, Secretary.
Presiding: Don Baumstark
Meeting began at 8:00 a.m.
Purpose of Special Budget Meeting
• Goal today to discuss answers to questions that were
• Don thanked everyone for participating.
• Mara described how they did it in Old Orchard,
suggested we should go through list first, and based on list pinpoint some
goals and then what some key actions are to get to those goals.
• We can then identify where we want the money to
Questions answered from last time:
• Do we audit business licenses?
We do, random
audit is done to see if there is consistency.
• What if we want to increase tax levy?
required that property owners and residents have to vote, must be done by
mail. Each LLC e.g., have one vote, ballots then determine new assessment
limit. It is owners, not the tenants that get to vote. Tax is only imposed on
businesses and residences in district. We collect as much as we can out of what
is already authorized.
When you go
to County’s website you can see breakdown of all this.
• Property tax revenue from Provision Living is
• Church lot now renewed until 2015, can’t make
changes—now $966 per month; increasing by $25/month each succeeding year.
• The new street lights actually cost less than
budgeted, about $6,348?
• We can look at options for voting and raising
some things, but can’t change contract on Church lot.
• Ron asked about Provision Living, do we get
revenue from business license as well?
• There is a difference between property tax rate
for residence vs. commercial.
• Kathy asked about letter that goes out to owners
regarding potential tax increase, is it about both types of taxes?
• Mara asked general question about what is
procedure to change—not completely clear on whether that encompasses both
only for ballot property tax to owners and residential owners.
above all other taxes that people pay, only within these boundaries.
• Kerry asked, since we are asking about changing
revenues, is there any way to get apartments or businesses that own them to be
• Joe said it was discouraged because it would
require individuals who rent there to participate.
Top 3 Major Responsibilities
Plan & implement goals
Monitor budget to achieve goals
Promoting events - Beautifying
district - Working w/city to help beautify district
for growth…small-town feel
Location, physical elements
Small stores, good restaurants,
We can promote diversity of
Difficulty expanding north of
Issues of parking
Lack of funding for major
Create a park along Elm at
Branding the City (better PR and
Jazz fest etc.
Loss of business space to
Absentee landlords lack of
concern for area
Losing the mix of stores that
will draw people on daily or weekly basis
VISION FOR DISTRICT
What do you see for next 5 years?
Discussion of Promoting Growth
• Where… what do you see as growth? Is it to be in
• Kerry: Vision should be having more events to
bring people to area to promote growth and increase awareness; how about a
• Mara mentioned that last Saturday morning at
8:20 a.m. her family was outside Serendipity in Old Orchard for “Ice Cream
for Breakfast Day”…with lines completely out the door.
• Mara asked about infrastructure? Pedestrian?
• Ron: Beautification is one of the things that
make district pleasant to visit.
• Don: We need to figure out ways to continue look
with less income.
• Kerry: Or try to get public more involved; we
need more coordination between volunteers and ours. Maybe needs to be more
• Mara: Would it be “maintain” the pedestrian
• Ron: We would like to enhance if we had the
• Ron: We’ve brought about a dramatic change,
don’t want it to go backwards, but new lights for example…have enhanced it.
• Phil: What do we mean by promoting growth?
• Mara: We determined that we’re talking about
promoting growth within existing buildings.
• If we figure out what our vision is then we can
determine what a couple of key goals are.
Ways we can bring a couple of them together
• Mayor: Would like to add a vision about other
side of the tracks…love to see it be wonderful in five years; power lines down,
make that side viable and lively…with sculpture park at the end.
potentially expand and connect to sculpture park.
• Don: noted that people who eat and shop here
walk a small distance and then drive to his place.
Discussion: What would be a goal that we would like to
build on to promote growth?
• Kathy: More events to promote district.
• Kerry: What about just retail events?
• Kathy: Maybe restaurants should have promotions.
• Kerry: Try to get the restaurants more involved.
• Phil: We need to improve the communication.
• Mara: Yucandu was on Facebook talking about
voting… Farmers Market, Robust is having annual Mardi Gras event.
• Mayor: Business Development Commission has been
doing something about making sure to get communications out to all the
• Don: That’s always been the problem trying to
get the word out.
• Mara: If you have put together the message then
we can work on delivery.
• Phil likes idea of “adopt a …” block, corner,
• Ron: Maybe we could approach business owners
like if they want plant container in front of place they could pay half, or
“adopt” with our “matching fund?”
Discussion: Parking Improvements
• Mara: There are a series of spaces that have PNC
Bank signs which will be removed.
• We always had a percentage of yellow and
orange…this year provision in ordinance allows additional 18 spaces for yellow
permit, and, we won’t sell any more orange permits.
• Some people don’t know about free lot.
• Kerry: A lot of customers were getting ticketed…
asked if we could provide for some kind of “free pass” to reward customers.
• Ron: Maybe we could help fund a way to work a
deal with city …”Parking Ticket Program?”
• Ron: We can go back to reference the parking
survey that cost us a lot.
• Mara: Perhaps we could put a little fund
together in our “Advertising” to cover customer parking complaints.
Discussion: Expansion for Sculpture Park
• Don: It would have to be pedestrian, tied into
development… some property with no potential, and then you have major issue of
Pacific being parked on by employees in other parts of district.
• Mara: Might be able to use “adopt” program to
stretch further down that way.
• Mara: Do we need to replace banners in this
• Joe: If we add any locations…we have no banners.
• Don: We’ve asked Ameren for permission to put
banners on certain poles in district.
• Mayor: Beautification Grant, need to get idea
about burying lines near sculpture park.
• Mara: If someone does come in you can put in a
requirement that they bury lines.
• Ron: one of things we need to do maybe put a
bridge over tracks? Unfortunately impractical, too expensive to consider.
• Ron: If RR could take old greenhouse facility
and turn it into a parking lot?
• Mara: Someone is already interested in
redeveloping entire area…with combination of some commercial with some
Discussion of actions we would like to take
• Mara: One of goals we didn’t put on there…do we
want to add that we would like to research increasing income. (tax, etc.)?
Several members said yes.
• Ron: Property taxes are already too high.
• Don: Therein lies the problem in saying we’ll
• Joe: It depends on how people’s leases are
Retail Events to Promote District
• Phil: A lot of that has to do with individual
businesses, through communications.
• Don: Do we need to provide filter? Monitor sites
to get word out?
• Mara: Do you want to set aside more of
Advertising budget for communications?
Need to restructure Advertising and Promotion Budget
• Don: Fund balance has been decreasing because of
new needs—doubled our district beautification with Parks from our previous
Discussion of Parks spending on decorations
• Mara: If we want to keep numbers at same level
as they are, that will be the budgeted limit.
• Right now the other accounts for materials—Parks
Dept. prefers that we give lump sum for exact for materials and labor, so that
would be what they have to work with.
• Mara: We need to make our budget decisions, and
discuss themes (citywide)
• For future we just need to plan out when we need
Shawnell to come to meetings for input.
Budget items to consider?
• Banners/building lights/pedestrian signs (not
budgeted for this year?)
• Parking ticket options.
• Adopt a pedestrian amenity—e.g. benches.
add to Webster website about adopting benches for example.
• We have to have election of officers in March;
Don will sit in chair for February and March meetings; wants to go back to
co-chair or just Committee member.
• Ron: Is there anyone who is willing to chair?
• Mara: There are people wanting to come on board;
she is willing to help with meeting items and communication, we should know
more by next meeting.
• Phil: What about absenteeism policy? Mara noted
policy is you’re not supposed to be absent for more than two or three meetings.
• Joe: Regarding increase of orange spots along
Bristol parking lot; we don’t have them, has to be done by ordinance…he had
call from Novus, some business looking for 22 spots.
• Mara: Reliable Life did buy the lot across the
way (so they could build their building).
• Kerry: What about handicapped parking spots?
Mara noted there is a map.
• Joe: We are lacking in spots as far as
requirements, but we have not had a request for people wanting more handicapped
• Kathy inquired about ownership of spaces behind
buildings on Gore.
Meeting ended 9:35 a.m.
Next meeting: Tuesday, February 26, 2013