Central Business District Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
July 9, 2020
In attendance: Councilwoman Pamela Perron, Jordan Kaufman, Bill Gilsenan, Kathryn Schmidt, Michael Pickholz, Chief Jacqueline Luthcke, Philip Davis, Michael Velicu, Gary Kolesaire.
Members of the public attending: Paul Vagianos
Not attending: Max Viola, MJ Shinozuka, Chris Rutishauser
The minutes from the June 25, 2020 meeting were accepted.
Councilwoman Perron gave an update on the curbside pickup discussion at the July 8 Village Council meeting. Kathryn Schmidt presented the CBDAC’s position statement and the Chamber also made comments in support of continuing the process.
The proposed “Grab & Go” ordinance is being amended to include only full day underwriting., a concern to the CBDAC since many interested businesses do not need/want full day spots, and the cost is high. The council also seemed to lean towards not listing the businesses that would be underwriting on the signage designating the spots, and the CBDAC feels that is a missed opportunity. The Village Manager made it clear that there would not be a significant number of such reserved spots allotted.
The curbside sub-committee of the CBDAC will meet to decide next steps to make further suggestions to the council. CBDAC members are asked to submit their ideas and reactions to each other via email.
Pedestrian Mall: The mall concept is working as best as it can. CBDAC members are asked to submit ideas, comments to Paul Vagianos, or Jacqueline Luthcke who both participate in weekly Chamber meetings on how to best implement the Mall. Michael Velicu noted that it is important to remain flexible when introducing new ideas like this and be willing to adjust if needed. He cited examples in the past of good ideas with less than perfect implementation, such as village-wide valet parking, that could have been tweaked to make them even more workable.
Cardboard Pick-up: Businesses generate a significant amount of cardboard waste. In the early days of the pandemic the village suspended cardboard pick-up from businesses due to reduced staffing, though the recycling center will accept cardboard if merchants deliver it themselves. As businesses reopen, this is becoming an issue in the CBD since businesses are also operating with reduced staff and more cardboard is piling up that a car can regularly deliver. As a result, cardboard is piling up making the CB D unsightly and increasing concerns about vermin.
Councilwoman Perron and Chief Luthcke will discuss this further with the Village Manager and report back, the CBDAC may decide on next steps to recommend.
The current Bylaws have been sent to each CBDAC member from Jordan Kaufman for review and comment. We will discuss recommendations at the next meeting especially focusing on our mission and goals. Once we confirm that we can rereview whether there are any skills and knowledge gaps in our members and recruit accordingly. Immediate gaps might be in marketing and web-site design. This will be the focus of discussion at our next meeting.
Councilwoman Perron is leading the membership decisions. Current members are asked to recommend others for the Committee, either on a permanent or ad hoc basis, particularly those with skills we might need for specific projects, for example, the website.
Marketing the CBD: Bill Gilsenan noted that the opening of the multifamily housing units, planned for October, present a significant opportunity to market the village both to prospective tenants and then to the new residents who move in. Both an on-line and physical “Welcome Package” could be created in concert with The Guild and the Chamber. Bill indicated that the developers are open to working with us on distributing these items.
Website: There was discussion as to whether we could create and manage the website through an independent philanthropic organization in support of the town in order to drive completion more quickly.
Pedestrian Mall Ambassadors Needed: Pam mentioned that Jeanne Johnson is in need of ambassadors to direct foot traffic and assist visitors to the downtown pedestrian mall.
CBDAC Meetings: The CBDAC will continue to meet on a bi-weekly basis. In general people felt that the sub-committee process ,where a small group works on a topic off-line and then brings back recommendations to the CBDAC worked as it allows more topics to be covered and detailed and moves the process faster.
It was recommended that we bring in outside guests and speakers as appropriate. Leaders of local BIDs (Hackensack, Westfield) as well as members of other towns who implement Pedestrian Malls, were suggested.
Follow-up items include:
- Cardboard research and recommendations
- Bylaw, mission, and goal review and recommendations for next meeting
- Recommended names for CBDAC nomination
- Pedestrian Mall questions or suggestions with Chief Luthcke and Paul Vagianos
- Guest speakers
- Web-site next steps
- Curbside Committee to reconvene. CBDAC members send curbside ideas via email
The next CBDAC meeting is on July 23, 2020.
Respectfully submitted, Kathryn Schmidt
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