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Economic Development Committee Meeting Minutes 2021

Meeting Minutes

01-27-2021 Economic Development Committee

January 27, 2021 Economic Development Committee Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. DeYoung called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on January 27, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., with its members attending on-site and remotely, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members present: Joseph Barry, Robert Godoy, Erica Hill, Karl Madsen, Kelly Stoming, and John DeYoung. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison.

Absent: None.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

President: Mr. Godoy nominated John DeYoung; Mr. Barry seconded the nomination. Hearing no further nominations, Mr. DeYoung called a roll-call vote:

Mr. Barry Aye
Mr. Godoy Aye
Ms. Hill Aye
Mr. Madsen Aye
Ms. Stoming Aye
Mr. DeYoung Aye

The nomination vote carried unanimously and John DeYoung was elected President.

Vice-President: Mr. Barry nominated Rob Godoy; Mr. Madsen seconded the nomination. Hearing no further nominations, Mr. DeYoung called a roll-call vote:

Mr. Barry Aye
Mr. Godoy Aye
Ms. Hill Aye
Mr. Madsen Aye
Ms. Stoming Aye
Mr. DeYoung Aye

The nomination vote carried unanimously and Rob Godoy was elected Vice-President.

Recording Secretary: Ms. Hill nominated herself; Ms. Stoming seconded the motion. Hearing no further nominations, Mr. DeYoung called a roll-call vote.

Mr. Barry Aye
Mr. Godoy Aye
Ms. Hill Aye
Mr. Madsen Aye
Ms. Stoming Aye
Mr. DeYoung Aye

The nomination vote carried unanimously and Erica Hill was elected Recording Secretary.

Mr. DeYoung advised that the Town Council will be appointing another member to the EDC at their meeting later that evening.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. DeYoung advised that they have no minutes to approve.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Façade Beautification
Mr. DeYoung stated that he has provided the Members with a packet of what other communities are doing and requested that they review the same for discussion at their next meeting.

Mr. Blazak advised that the Town Council will be naming a new Building and Planning Director at their meeting later that night, and with his experience, he may be able to help with this endeavor.

Mr. DeYoung advised that they are keeping that in the TIF District starting at Wall Street and U.S. 41 to the southern end of the TIF District and added that two more licenses should be available after the U.S. Census data is completed.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Godoy asked if there were any updates on obtaining the waterfront liquor licenses. Mr. DeYoung responded that all progress is stalled for the time being. Mr. Dravet advised that he was working with Mr. Phillips on the waterfront liquor licensing and stated that it didn’t look promising due to the majority of the land where the water is located is privately owned.

Discussion ensued.

Mr. Blazak stated that he would make some telephone calls and see if he can make some progress.

Mr. DeYoung stated that he would like to delve into the façade grant beautification project at the next meeting in a study session manner and work on something that they could take to the Town Council for consideration.

Mr. Madsen inquired about having a monthly study session. Mr. DeYoung responded that they would discuss it at the next meeting and formulate the direction for the year.

The Members discussed the impact that COVID-19 has taken on the Committee and the community and the logistics of being able to have all members present at the meeting in person.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Madsen made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Godoy seconded the motion. Mr. DeYoung adjourned the meeting at 5:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

02-24-2021 Economic Development Committee

February 24, 2021 Economic Development Committee Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. DeYoung called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on February 24, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., with its Members attending on-site and remotely, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members present: Joseph Barry: Robert Godoy, Vice President; Karl Madsen; Kelly Stoming; and John DeYoung. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director; Jennifer Matyas, Administrative Assistant; Joey Lax-Salinas, prior EDC Member; and Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison.

Absent: Erica Hill, Recording Secretary.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. DeYoung advised that there were no minutes to be approved.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Façade Beautification
Mr. DeYoung stated that he would like to focus on the programs from other municipalities that the Members have before them in their packets and ultimately fine tune a program for St. John.

Mr. DeYoung asked for input. The consensus was to use the form almost verbatim but change “project cost” to “estimated project cost”.

The Members discussed the percentage formulations in the packet and the areas in which to allocate funds. Mr. Blazak advised that the budget is already set with funds earmarked for this year, so the fund parameters for this year would be minimal.

Discussion ensued regarding who would decide if funds are awarded. Mr. Blazak advised that the EDC would likely make a recommendation to the Town Council, who would then make the final decision.

Mr. Mendoza advised that most façade grants usually have a checklist of what needs to be provided that is checked by Building and Planning, then it would go to the appropriate board or commission for a decision.

Mr. Mendoza explained how the façade grant process in Hobart was a rebate program where the applicant does all the work upfront and gets reimbursed.

The Committee discussed the funding and the use of TIF Funds for the grant program. Mr. Mendoza advised that TIF Funds can only be used inside the TIF Districts.

Mr. Dravet, IT Director, displayed the TIF map on the media screen. Discussion ensued.

Mr. Mendoza stated that criteria would be set to determine which projects would be eligible to receive grant fund consideration. He advised that the Board of Appeals does not need to participate unless the petitioner would need a variance of some sort.

It was suggested that perhaps the Code Enforcement Officer could chime in about properties needing a façade improvement.

When asked if a redevelopment agreement would be needed, Mr. Mendoza responded that there should be a façade grant agreement in place that would also carry over to any new owner(s) to maintain those façade improvement for a specified length of time to protect the investment made by the grant funds.

Mr. DeYoung requested to have a subcommittee meet with him to go over the ins and outs of a façade grant program. Mr. Mendoza agreed to do so but asked for time to get familiarized with the Town’s TIF guidelines.

Mr. Godoy recommended thinking about the additional funding source for “one-offs”. Mr. Blazak noted that the funding would be impacted by the Town Council’s input.

Mr. Mendoza advised that it would be a good idea to add language where if an application is submitted by a contractor who will do the work, that the contractor must submit two quotes or estimates from other contractors to validate the costs.

Discussion ensued regarding when they can meet with Mr. Mendoza again.

Mr. DeYoung laid out a projected timeline for preparing the application and façade grant program packet for final review. He stated that Mr. Fred Terpstra is going to be attending the next meeting as a guest speaker to discuss the processes he followed to bring Culver’s to St. John.

Discussion ensued about money and the timeframe it would take to get this program started, and Mr. Blazak responded that he will look into the funding available.

Mr. Lax-Salinas recommended keeping photographic documentation of the work done for marketing purposes.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barry made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Godoy seconded the motion. Mr. DeYoung adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

04-28-2021 Economic Development Committee

April 28, 2021 Economic Development Committee Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. DeYoung called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on April 28, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members present: Joseph Barry; Dave Beezhold; Robert Godoy, Vice-President; Kelly Stoming; and John DeYoung, president. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Michael Aurelio, Town Council Liaison, and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Erica Hill, Recording Secretary, and Karl Madsen.

COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY AWARD:

Mr. DeYoung announced that the first recipient of the Making a Difference Commitment to Community Award is Ed Welch, Welch’s Stop and Shop. Mr. DeYoung thanked them for everything they’ve done for the community.

Ms. Hernandez gave a summary of the inception of this award and thanked the EDC for taking on this project. The nomination form was read:

“Welch’s does so much for the community. They give back to first responders, veterans. They take care of the elderly. They are involved with behind-the-scenes improvements. They have been a community fixture for nearly 70 years.”

Ms. Hernandez presented Ed Welch with the award.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. DeYoung advised that there were no minutes to approve.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Façade Rebate Program
Mr. DeYoung advised that everyone has a packet and that they will go through it on a line-by-line basis. He read the opening and remarked that there is limited funding and that they hope to have future funding once some of the current obligations are retired.

The Members reviewed the program guideline bullet points. Mr. DeYoung stopped reading and entertained any remarks or suggested changes. It was recommended that signage be added to bullet point 4 along with the ordinance for signage.

The members discussed the verbiage concerning the reimbursement amount and it was recommended that “up to” be added to the maximum percentage in bullet point 11.

A discussion was had about the application wherein it was decided to add language that applicants may be asked to make a presentation to the EDC. Where it says “attend all EDC meetings” should be changed to “attend initial EDC meeting”.

Mr. DeYoung advised that they will do this award once a year to start. If other funds become available, the Committee possibly could add additional calls for applications.

The wording for the reimbursement was clarified to show that reimbursement requests will be reviewed by the Committee and approve the reimbursement after all the rebate documents are approved.

Adding verbiage that a petitioner may reapply for another grant or additional funding after maintaining the property that has received the grant prior for the required three years.

The addition of a clause that the program is subject to change in the preamble was recommended.

The Chamber of Commerce was mentioned as a possible contributor to assist with the program.

The Members decided to use a yes or no check box to ask if there is a tenant.

Discussion ensued regarding liens and mortgages and decided to remove “date of mortgage, original amount, and current balance” and leave the rest.

For leases, the Committee felt that there needs to be a provision for lessees to apply for the program.

After the members agreed they were comfortable with the revisions, Mr. DeYoung stated that he will make those additions and corrections and have the same printed for the next meeting as well as send it via email beforehand. If the EDC approves the documentation, it will be sent to the Town Council for their approval.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Beezhold asked why St. John and Dyer share a Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Stoming said that Dyer had a very small Chamber, so it merged.

Mr. Godoy stated that it might be advantageous to discuss changing the ordinance prohibiting the use of alcohol in parks to allow it for special events, it could mean more events and bringing more exposure and business into town.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barry made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Godoy seconded the motion. Mr. DeYoung adjourned the meeting at 6:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

05-26-2021 Economic Development Committee

May 26, 2021 Economic Development Committee Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. DeYoung called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on May 26, 2021, at 5:03 p.m. and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members present: Joseph Barry, Member; Dave Beezhold, Member; Robert Godoy, Vice President; Karl Madsen, Member; Kelly Stoming, Member; and John DeYoung, President. A quorum was attained with no members attending remotely. Also present: Michael Aurelio, Town Council Liaison, and Jason Dravet, IT Director. Absent: Erica Hill, Recording Secretary.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. DeYoung advised that they have minutes to approve for the following meetings: January 27, 2021; February 24, 2021; and April 28, 2021, noting that they did not have a quorum for the March meeting.

Mr. Godoy made a motion to approve the meeting minutes of January 27, 2021; Ms. Stoming seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Barry made a motion to approve the meeting minutes of February 24, 2021; Mr. Beezhold seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Beezhold made a motion to approve the meeting minutes of April 28, 2021; Mr. Godoy seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Façade Beautification – Final Draft Approval
Mr. DeYoung passed out the final draft of the Façade Beautification program. The Committee reviewed the document on a page-by-page basis, correcting typos and finessing language where needed.

It was noted that a notary would be required to be at the meetings to witness the agreement when signed.

Mr. Godoy made a motion to accept and approve the Façade Beautification Program document as amended during this meeting; Mr. Barry seconded the motion.

Ms. Stoming stated that she has spoken with a member of the Chamber of Commerce and asked if it would be all right if she were to share the draft document with that member. Mr. DeYoung requested that she wait until it is approved by the Town Council and the final draft is ready.

B. Commitment to Community Award – Discussion
Mr. DeYoung asked the Members how they would feel about going through all the applications as they come in to determine the recipients or if that should be left to department heads of the Town to determine. Discussion ensued. It ultimately was decided to wait until the new Town Manager started to make that decision.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Godoy reported that he has been writing letters to businesses to make them aware of the expansion in St. John and attempting to get them to consider expanding to St. John. He has sent correspondence to Ruth’s Chris, South Bend Chocolate Factory, an ice cream shop located in Michigan, and Wahlburgers. He added that he spoke with a gentleman earlier in the week who is opening an ice cream and coffee shop in the old Centier Bank building.

Mr. Beezhold asked if Franciscan is going into Shops 96. Others said they have heard that as well. Mr. Beezhold stated that it is a non-tax-paying entity. Discussion ensued regarding Shops 96 and the change from the inception till now. He also asked if Wendy’s is going to be in the front lot in that development, other members affirmed the same.

Mr. DeYoung thanked the Town for the lighted signs on U.S. 41 noting that the upgrades may bring more businesses into St. John.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barry made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Godoy seconded the motion. Mr. DeYoung adjourned the meeting at 5:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

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