Downtown Business Improvement District Minutes 05-23-2017

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      Downtown Muskegon Business Improvement District
                                      Meeting Minutes
                                       May 23, 2017
                          380 Western Ave., Suite 202 Muskegon, MI at 4 PM


1) Call to Order: 4:05 PM
   Attendance:
       Doug Pollock (Chairman), Gary Post (VC), John Riegler, Bob Tarrant and Clyde
       Whitehouse.

       Excused Absent(s): Mike Hennessy, Frank Peterson, Bruce Lindstrom and Phyllis
       Watson-Laudermill

       Guests: Dave Alexander, Downtown Muskegon Now director; Megan Jones, DMN
       events and promotion; Muskegon City Commissioner Ken Johnson and Dennis Lohman,
       Northwest Industrial Supply.

2) Consent Agenda

     a) Approval of Agenda, minutes from special meeting of April 25, and acceptance of the
        financial statements as of April 30, 2017,

       Motion: Gary Post
       Support: Bob Tarrant
       Vote: All voted in favor


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) A final vote on a recommendation to the Muskegon City Commission on a renewal of
        the Business Improvement District: The BID is a needed funding base for the common
        maintenance and promotion of Downtown Muskegon.

        The points of the recommendation include: a three-year renewal 2018-2020, BID
        district boundaries slightly increased east and south as per attached map, the word
        “automotive” removed from Category B in the BID Bylaws (accomplished with a vote
        April 25, 2017), Category A lands assessed at $0.08 per square foot and capped at
        $4,000 and B lands $0.04 per square foot and capped at $2,000 and assessments
        being paid as part of the winter property tax bills.



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       City Commissioner Ken Johnson had reservations on the rates for Category B as it
       relates to direct benefits for those properties. He suggested a division of categories
       based upon direct snow removal or no direct snow removal. He also suggested a 3-to-
       1 assessment ratio A-B might be better than 2-to-1 ratio as recommended.

       It was asked about residential, educational, non-profits and government properties
       being included. Commissioner Johnson clarified that City Attorney John Schrier had
       indicated that the exclusion of residential real property and government-owned
       property is pursuant to statute, but that churches and non-profits were excluded by
       decision of the City. He further indicated that he would not be keen on including
       religious institutions in the assessment, but that a case could be made that non-profits
       within the BID boundary enjoy a benefit and should contribute, such as paying $0.01 or
       $0.02 per square foot up to $500 or $1000 maximum annually, respectively. He
       encouraged the Board to consider such, and that even if they did not want to add non-
       profits as an assessed property class, they could request non-profits make voluntary
       financial contributions each year to the BID, akin to what the Uptown BID in Grand
       Rapids does.

       Bob Tarrant said that he has never been comfortable with 2 cents and 8 cents with the
       B properties being too low. He said assigning benefit is difficult. John Riegler said that
       his opposition to the BID when first proposed has reversed as he sees the BID as
       good for downtown and the overall city. Gary Post said the BID is doing what it does to
       attract everyone to downtown. Doug Pollock said the BID does well for the Holiday Inn
       Muskegon Harbor. Commissioner Johnson said the BID needs to have a more
       equitable distribution of services going forward


      Motion: Gary Post
      Support: John Riegler
      Vote: Post, Riegler Tarrant and Pollock voted “yes”; Whitehouse abstained.
      Passed 4-0-1.

5) New Business

    a) An annual BID budget based upon approximately $170,000 was considered for 2018-
       2020. With potentially additional funds from the past two BID budget years of 2016 and
       2017, the board discussed expanding the landscaping services to include areas off of
       Western Avenue and Third Street. The priorities would be Clay Avenue, Terrace Street
       and Pine Street. The goal is to get district to look better further out from Western and
       Third. Members suggested a budget with $75,000 for snow removal, $30,000 for
       landscaping, $24,000 for marketing and events, $13,000 for streetscape, $25,000 for
       administration and the remainder in contingency.

      Motion: Gary Post
      Support: John Riegler
      Vote: All voted in favor


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     b) BID expenditures reviewed out of the $24,000 2017 marketing-events-promotion line
        item to include $5,000 to support a sponsored content community journalism project of
        Issues Media Group on Imagine Muskegon Lake, a $48,000 effort supported by other
        groups and organizations and a $5,000 expenditure on cooperative advertising with
        Watch Muskegon to promote downtown Muskegon in the Kent and Ottawa county
        markets. Finally, a $5,200 expenditure for downtown signs with $3,000 of that coming
        from Community Foundation for Muskegon County grants and the remainder from the
        BID streetscape line item for 2017. Items were for information only and will be sent on
        to the Downtown Muskegon Now board for discussion and authorization. No vote
        needed.

6) Adjournment
   5:35 PM
   No Objection


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




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