Central Business District Advisory Committee
June 25, 2020
In attendance: Councilman Ramon Hache, Paul Vagianos, Bill Gilsenan , Jordan Kaufman, Pam Perron, MJ Shinozuka, Chief Luthcke, Lorraine Reynolds, Michael Pickholz, Gary Kolesaire, Philip Davis, Kathryn Schmidt, Michael Velicu
Jordan Kaufman called the meeting to order and highlighted items on the agenda including curbside delivery and the newly created weekend outdoor pedestrian mall .
Ramon Hache shared a parting message given his move off the Village Council and the CBDAC, thanking the committee for their work and highlighting some of the history and lessons learned throughout his 4 years chairing the group. He cited the importance of funding to implement ideas, and recommended that the current focus should be on engaging residents to support the downtown businesses. One of the avenues for this is to highlight the importance of the downtown businesses to funding and underwriting events in the village, whether youth sporting events or the 4th of July fireworks. Likewise, in these tough economic times, how can the village find ways to make it easier for businesses to operate. He recommended that the CBDAC become even more focused and targeted.
Pam Perron, recently elected to the Village Council, introduced herself as the new Council Liaison to the CBDAC. Pam gave a brief introduction of herself , thanked Ramon for his leadership, and outlined a number of ways she hoped to work with the CBDAC including strengthening relationships through one-on-one meetings, helping with outreach to businesses, and being a conduit to the Village Council to represent the CBDAC’s ideas.
CBD Curbside Pick-up. There was significant discussion regarding curbside pick-up. Key points included:
- A new business model has emerged through and post-pandemic which has allowed many ideas that were posited in the past, such as closing the streets for a pedestrian mall and curbside pick-up, to be implemented quickly.
- Residents and other customers like curbside pick-up and would not want to see it go away as the town reopens.
- Until there is a vaccine, and regardless of whether businesses begin to open for in-person sales, many customers will not feel safe and will continue to look for contactless service.
- Loading zones could be used as pick up points,
- Curbside pick can create traffic back-ups with double parking ,and be logistically difficult for the police to manage.
- Curbside pick-up, in a more open environment, can have safety ramifications.
- Curbside pickup has gone up significantly and has been important to businesses. It may be difficult for businesses to give this up.
- More 15- and 30-minute parking meters may be an alternative or parallel solution.
- Curbside pick-ups reduce parking revenue.
- Fewer commuters may open up other parking solutions.
A small sub-group will put a proposal together for review by the CBDAC and then to present to the Village Council. Members who would like to be part of that sub-group should submit their names to Jordan Kaufman or Kathryn Schmidt.
Structure of the CBDAC. A number of recommendations were made to improve the operation of the CBDAC including the following:
- Designate a chair/co-chair who are not members of the Village Council.
- Ensure a process for “formal” and regular communication between the VC and the CBDAC.
- Allow members to nominate other individuals for membership in the CBDAC and/or for leadership roles. Nominations should be sent to Pam Perron. (Ramon clarified that the current selection process is that the Council Liaison and the Mayor recommend committee members to the full Council. The names are then presented to the public at a Council meeting and if there are objections they can be voiced at that time.)
- Meet more frequently.
- Establish sub-groups as needed to take a deeper dive into topics outside of the regular CBDAC meeting.
- Ensure that residents, not just business owners, attend Chamber meetings to represent the customer perspective.
- Ensure that all current members are still willing and interested in continuing on the committee.
Next Steps. The committee will focus on curbside pick-up and CBDAC structural issue in preparation for the next meeting.
No other business was presented.
The meeting was adjourned.
June 25, 2020
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