Downtown Muskegon Business Improvement District
Aug. 1, 2016
380 W. Western Ave., Suite 202 Muskegon, MI at 4 PM
1) Call to Order: 4:05 PM
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
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
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
Minutes produced and submitted by Dave Alexander, executive director of Downtown