Our mission is to collaborate with the community to plan, protect and advance Milton's quality of life.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Economic Development Commission 6/7 Draft Minutes

Meeting Type: Special Meeting
Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 
Time: 8:00 a.m. 
Location: Town Manager’s Office Conference Room 
Address: 43 Bombardier Road | Milton, VT 05468 
Contact: (802) 893-1186 or jhemmerick@town.milton.vt.us 
1. Call to Order & Welcome                      
The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:15.

2. Attendance
See attached sign-in sheet.

3. Roundtable Introductions
Attendees made introductions and gave a brief overview of their business, including how long they have been in Milton.

4. Municipal Update
Adams, Hemmerick, Turner and Duchesneau provided an overview of municipal projects and programs, principally covering planning, infrastructure and recreational events.

5. Questions and Discussion
Attendees discussed ways we can improve business and develop Milton’s economy.    These included:
·         Seeing a major employer reinvent the Town similar to what has happened on the South End.
·         Filling service and retail gaps that prompt area residents to spend their money outside of Milton.
·         Focus on making more business space accessible to new entrepreneurs.
·         Exploring opportunities to reduce the cost of doing business in Milton, from utilities to taxes.
·         Using arts and culture as a means to draw more people to Milton and support business.
·         Grow Milton to the point where you don’t have to leave to find what you want.
·         Develop partnerships to have more community events.
·         Remove barriers to grow Vermont workforce: it’s harder to hire for an open position.
·         Alleviate the permitting hurdles associated with physically expanding a business.
·         Support the Milton Business Association as advocates for business interests.
·         Grow the broadband fiber network; improving network connectivity to support business.
·         Have space designated for commercial-only uses.
·         Expand the sewer network to existing development that is underserved.
·         The Town has to invest in itself, don’t wait for developers to do everything.
·         Grow event sponsorship and public/private partnership.
·         Make sure workers can find affordable childcare.
·         Have gathering venues such as a pool, hockey rink and brewery.

In addition to the discussion Joseph prompted those present how often they would like to have meetings with this format.  Of the six responses, five favored quarterly meetings.

Attendees also completed a Milton Today, Milton Tomorrow visioning card as a test run for the Town’s Comprehensive Plan outreach.   

Responses included:
Milton Today
Transforming from a bedroom community of the Burlington area to a dynamic community.
Continuing to improve the Town's image.
Stuck between two economic regions: Burlington & St. Albans.
Great community!
Lots of resources, but these resources may not be as well connected as they could be.

Milton Tomorrow
Town gov. put together plan for additions/renovations on paper based on suggestions from local businesses.
More collaborations and open discussions
To bring businesses to Milton that helps me stay in Milton and not drive to other towns to get what a need or want.
Bring the resources together physically.
To have Milton on the VT ART MAP.  Facilitate Outdoor exhibits: i.e. sculpture (yearly).  Art will attract new businesses.
Less automotive businesses on Route 7 or get them cleaned up.
Fix Act 250 in this State.  Cut out all the red tape.
Find a way to keep people from moving out of this state.
Lower taxes.
State is not small-business friendly.
Subcontractor and working for businesses as a sub (workers comp exemption).
To prevent Milton from staying as a bedroom community.
Large industry to keep people in town.
Clothing stores etc. to keep money and people in Milton.
Hockey rink, microbrewery, and pool.
We need to invest in ourselves and not wait for developers to foot the bill.
Zoning regulations need to be enforced to encourage and lead development and remove blight.
Need to "brand" Milton and sell our assets.

8. Adjournment
The Chair adjourned the meeting at approximately 9:30 a.m.