Downtown Business Improvement District Minutes 08-01-2016

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      Downtown Muskegon Business Improvement District
                                       Meeting Minutes
                                         Aug. 1, 2016
                                        Special meeting
                    380 W. Western Ave., Suite 202 Muskegon, MI at 4 PM
1) Call to Order: 4:05 PM

2) Attendance:
       Doug Pollock (Chair), Justin Clark (VC), Bob Tarrant (via conference call), Gary Post,
       John Riegler and Mike Hennessy and Frank Peterson, Connie Taylor and Bruce

       Excused Absent(s): none

       Guests: Dave Alexander, Downtown Muskegon Now director; Ed Garner, Muskegon
       Area First; Cathy Brubaker-Clarke, city of Muskegon and Dennis Lohman, Northwestern
       Industrial sales.

3) Public Comment (on an agenda item) – None. The board chose to leave the floor open for
   the whole meeting allowing attendees to participate as they like.

4) Unfinished Business

    a) This is a single-item agenda on a recommendation from the BID board to the Muskegon
       City Commission for renewal of the special assessment district beyond Dec. 31, 2016.
       The BID board spent much of its meeting of July 25 discussing an aggressive five-year
       expansion of the district and increase of its assessments proposed by city officials.
       Discussions from the July 25 meeting indicated that there was not board support for
       such a lengthy and aggressive expansion. The board decided to think through the
       issues for a week and have this special meeting.

        Board member Bob Tarrant summed up his objections and argument for a one-year,
        status quo renewal in an email to BID members. Staffer Dave Alexander produced a
        memo suggesting how a one-year, status quo BID renewal would look. Tarrant
        suggested the BID Board, Downtown Muskegon Now and the city use 2017 to come up
        with potentially a new assessing methodology, review the boundaries of the BID and
        suggest a longer term of the special assessment district that would be presented to the
        Muskegon City Commission later in 2017.

        In discussing the issue at the meeting, Tarrant argued that the BID has been operating
        just about six months and needs to have more time to show how it works and what it
        will do for downtown Muskegon. He said he is not opposed to the BID just expanding
        and extending for five-years at this time. Gary Post agreed but still wanted the DMDC
        Site Condo No. 1 expenses addressed in the BID in 2017.

       Doug Pollock said the BID was set for three things: Snow removal, landscaping and
       marketing-promotion-events within the district. It was designed to get city commission
       approval for the initial year. Gary Post said the BID was to provide a stable, reliable
       basis of funding for downtown.

       John Riegler said that an issue remains as to direct and indirect benefits derived by
       district property owners and the need to find fairness in the assessments going forward.
       However, for a strong downtown, the BID is necessary, Riegler said.

       Justin Clark said he supports the one-year suggestion, giving all time to revise longer
       proposals in 2017. Connie Taylor also agreed that more time is needed to get the BID
       district and assessments right. The same was voiced by Mike Hennessy.

       City Manager Frank Peterson said the proposed expansion of the bid in boundaries and
       assessments was due for needed resources for an improving downtown. There are
       obstacles to raising funds in other ways. The downtown improvements and added
       services should have been made several years ago. The downtown is a step behind
       and needs to catch up to development that is occurring. That said, Frank Peterson said
       he understands the BID board position on a one-year extension to get it right for 2018
       and beyond.

       Gary Post again raised the condo expenses and the direction of the board was to add
       $1,500 into the proposed 2017 work plan/budget to cover the costs of electricity,
       insurance and similar costs.

       Bruce Lindstrom made a motion to recommend to the Muskegon City Commission
       extending the current BID for one year through Dec. 31, 2017, pretty much status quo.
       It was supported by Justin Clark. The district boundaries would not change, the
       assessments would not change and the budget would be similar to 2016 except 2016
       fund balance would carry forward, an administrative fee of $25,000 would be paid DMN,
       and $1,500 out of “streetscape” would pay for the DMDC condo costs. The
       assessments would be added to property owners’ winter 2017 property tax bills.

       A roll call vote was requested:

       Justin Clark: Yes
       Frank Peterson: Yes
       Bruce Lindstrom: Yes
       Connie Taylor: Yes
       Mike Hennessy: Yes
       John Rielger: Yes
       Doug Pollock: Yes
       Gary Post: Yes
       Bob Tarrant (via conference call): Yes

5) Adjournment
   5:10 PM
   No Objection

Minutes produced and submitted by Dave Alexander, executive director of Downtown
Muskegon Now.


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