Central Business District Advisory Committee
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.
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.
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.
April 1, 2017
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