Central Business District Advisory Committee

Minutes

March 2, 2017

Attendees: Councilman Ramon Hache, Michael Velicu, Philip Davis, Bill Gilsenan, Gary Kolesaire, Amy Borque, Jane Shinozuka,  Kathryn Schmidt

Absent: Lorraine Reynolds, Chief Luthke, Chris Rutishauser, Gail McCarthy

Councilman Hache called the meeting to order and the minutes from the February 2 meeting were accepted.

Councilman Hache indicated that the RFP for Central Valet Service has been completed. He also shared ideas and solicited reactions for a “Ridgewood Loyalty Card Program” which would reward shoppers for shopping in Ridgewood. 

Financial Support for CBD

There was a discussion regarding whether any taxes are allocated to support the CBD. It is the CBDAC’s understanding that activities and events in the CBD, such as the holiday tree lighting and the 4th of July festivities, are all funded through private donations and fundraising by organizations such as the 4th of July Committee, Chamber of Commerce, etc. No tax money is contributed.

In its role as adviser to the Village Council, the CBDAC recommended that Councilman Hache recommend that the Village Council, as part of their upcoming budget meetings, allocate some portion of their budget to support the CBD given how vital it is to the character of the Village and the importance of supporting our merchants. Examples of projects that could be funded include spring plantings (currently done at the discretion of nearby storefront owners), better and more consistent landscape maintenance, and building a winter holiday aesthetic.  The CBD needs to be a line item in the budget. 

Website

Amy Borque presented the overall outline for the new website and secured volunteers to lead each major component as follows:

    • Phil: Shopping
    • Michael: Food/Dining
    • Kathryn: Professional/Personal Services
    • Amy: Events
    • Kathryn: About Us
    • TBD (Lorraine?): Getting Here
    • Another category, “Kids,” was recommended and can be compiled with information from all of the above

Leads are free to put together their own committees to complete their work.

Parking Update

Ramon indicated that the scaled down version of the Hudson Street Parking Garage is still underway.

Garry indicated that he and Chamber Executive Director, Joan Groom, are personally visiting with each downtown merchant, going door to door, to explain the advantages of the Cottage Street parking lot for local employees and to encourage owners to support having their employees use the lot.

The meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by,

Kathryn Schmidt

April 1, 2017

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CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

AGENDA

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Village Hall (Garden Room – First floor) – 9:00am

  1. Public comment

  2. Approval of minutes – March 2017

  3. 2017 Municipal Budget

  4. CBD Website update

  5. Hudson Street Parking Garage update

  6. Additional train station parking

  7. Westfield Night Out

  8. Performing Arts Center

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Central Business District Advisory Committee

Minutes

February 2, 2017

Attendees: Councilman Ramon Hache, Jane Shinozuka, Lorraine Reynolds, Kathryn Schmidt, Gary Kolesaire, Michael Velicu, Gail McCarthy, Philip Davis, Amy Borque

Absent: Chris Rutishauser, Bill Gilsensan, Chief Luthcke

Councilman Hache called the meeting to order and the minutes of January 5, 2017 were accepted.

Website Update:

    • The Website team needs more members, especially business leaders who can comment form the merchant perspective. Michael, Gary, and Philip volunteered to be part of the group.
      • This team needs to finalize the toolbar categories by the end of February.
      • Then teams need to decide the drop- downs within the categories.
      • Possible toolbar categories include: Events, Shopping, Food and Dining, Professional and Personal Services, About, and Getting Here.
    • A timeline was distributed with actions that need to happen in order to launch the site by July.
    • A prototype of the site was presented as a starting point.
    • The Village has purchased the domain name “indowntowridgewood.com”
    • It was suggested we expand the tag-line to “A Boutique Town [Village?] Where Classic is Cool.
    • Recommended that each entity (business, restaurant, service, etc.) be represented simply with their name, logo or picture, address, phone number, and website. The website would link to the business’ site and map location. Business would self-populate their information.
    • The site needs to be mobile friendly.

The group had an informal discussion regarding Valley Hospital’s move.

Parking:

    • Employees are still not using designated parking to the best extent. This might require yet another round of communication. At the same time businesses needs to cooperate with the new process and enforcement needs to occur.
    • A new parking design that fits on the current footprint is underway.       It is anticipated at 3 levels with the fourth open, accommodating about 230 spaces. Hudson Street traffic patterns will not change. Retail will be added on the ground level to accelerate payback.

The group discussed the challenges of communicating to the entire village, including residents and business owners (who often may not be residents).  Currently the main channels of communication are email blasts to residents, Chamber communications to businesses and the Mayor’s new FaceBook page.

Concerns were raised regarding the aesthetics of the Village CBD.  

    • Examples include tree lighting that was never turned on for the holidays, storefront appearances, and landscaping including basic weeding.
    • All enhancements, and even some basic maintenance such as weeding or planting flowers in the flowerbeds, are either funded by the business themselves or the Chamber with no contribution from the Village.      
    • Suggested that perhaps the Village needed to have a line item in the budget for CBD enhancements that could accrue and be used every few years.
    • Ramon will ask Chris Rutishauser, Village engineer, to come back to the team with recommendations on the overall look of the CBD including how basic landscaping and ground maintenance is currently handled.

Holiday Committee

    • A committee needs to be formed to begin working now to fulfill the Committee’s interest in creating significant momentum for the winter holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Years.
    • It was agreed that, though the idea of creating similar momentum around the 4th of July is a good long-term goal, for 2017 we should focus on the winter season and then apply lessons-learned to next summer.  
    • Volunteers should let Ramon know of their interest in serving on the Holiday Committee.

Submitted by Kathryn Schmidt

February 16, 2017

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