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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Economic Development Commission Draft Minutes of 7/26

Meeting Type:               Regular Meeting
Date:                            Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Time:                            4:00 p.m.-5:00pm
Location:                      Town Manager’s Office Conference Room
Address:                       43 Bombardier Road | Milton, VT 05468
Contact:                       (802) 893-1186 or jhemmerick@town.milton.vt.us
Website:                      www.miltonvt.org

1. Call to Order & Welcome                      
The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:01 p.m.

2. Attendance
Members Present: Dustin Keelty (acting chair) Jaime Parent, Lou Mossey, Rich DeSouza, Ann Bradshaw, Michael Joseph.
Members Absent:  Bob Lombard, Tony Micklus, Don Turner, Michael Neary.
Staff Present: Jacob Hemmerick, Kym Duchesneau, John Bartlett.
Public Present: Mike McCormick, Deborah Dolby (Resident & Business), Jeff Thompson , Peter Martin.

3. Public Forum

4. Agenda Review
The Chair reviewed the agenda items.  Hemmerick requested that election of officers be added as first item of business.  This is an annual requirement after appointments.  Added by UNANIMOUS CONSENT.

5. Staff Update
Hemmerick highlighted recent staff changes: including a new Finance Director, Jessica Morris, and new Admin/HR Director, John Bartlett.  A new Planning Assistant starts on August 7, following of Kristen Treanor, and Jeff Castle, Town Planner, is leaving Aug 25th.  Hemmerick explained that the Department’s Summer Natural Resource Planning Intern, Gina Clithero, is leaving Aug 11 and working on finalizing her her report on stormwater.  Her report will cover choices the Town can make surrounding stormwater governance – goals, policies, capital improvement projects, etc.  She has also compiled information for the Plan’s vision survey, which will be discussed later in the meeting.

Hemmerick shared that the New England Sustainable Energy Association did a tour of the Elm Place/Cathedral Square senior housing development on Bombardier Rd. In attendance was Henry Bonges, Planning Commissioner and DRB Member. The Association explained that the building received Passive house designation with a rating on par with single family homes.  This achievement required 2% more in construction and consulting costs.  They are expecting to get a return on investment within the first 5 years of operation. This is the first multi-family Passive building in Vermont. The building was filled (32 units) within 3 weeks of opening, demonstrating the need for senior housing in our area.

The Development Review Board (DRB) has been busy with mostly subdivisions and one site plan for McCormick’s new auto repair business on his Sears lot. Hemmerick explained a few professional development opportunities and where the information can be found.

Duchesneau reported that Recreation is in the midst of summer camps and starting to think about fall programming. The Annual Touch a Truck event is happening in September 16. Many business with large trucks and equipment allow kids to climb in them and explain how the company and equipment work. The Annual Activities Fair held at the school partnering with the school and the VT Health Coalition will be held Thursday September 21. This will be serving adults and youth in the community. Recreation will be holding the Pumpkins in the Park event adding a Trunk or Treat element asking business and community members to come with decorated vehicles to give out treats from the trunk to trick-or-treaters.

The Recreation Department will be renovating/reconstructing the Bombardier Park West bathrooms after the soccer season ends. They expect to have the project completed by spring. The RFP responses are due Monday for the revitalization of the ice rink and the basketball court in the park. A discussion was had regarding advertising for these events.

Public works will be doing shim and overlay paving on Lake Rd. and West Milton Rd. and developing some smaller roads. They are working on a gravel pathway in front of Transparent Computer and a new sidewalk is going in on Brandy Lane. Hemmerick mentioned that the new Town website contract has been approved, and work will begin soon.  

Bartlett gave an overview of other staff vacancies.

6. Business
A.     Election of Officers
Mossey MOVED to continue with current officers for the coming year. SECOND by Parent.  Bradshaw offered to step down if someone else wanted the position. Unanimously APPROVED.

B.      Comprehensive Plan Economic Development Chapter Review
Hemmerick gave an overview of the Comprehensive Plan, the Economic Development Chapter, and recent public outreach survey results.  The Commission reviewed the Economic Development Chapter for possible changes.  Joseph expressed that Milton had been burned in the past by the Regional Planning Commission for not having a lot of goals and not being granted permission to proceed because the objective was not in the Plan. Hence the overwhelming number of goals in place. Mossey explained for this reason many goals were put in with no intent of getting them done but the Plan needs to be more precise to tie it to the capital improvement plan and the budget process. It takes a little more work but worth it – still dream but be practical and realistic. Some items (e.g. growth charts) and language needs to be updated.  McCormick commented on the business/building vacancies and looking to lots for possible development.   Bartlett inquired what was available for improvements on Husky land. Mossey provided several suggestions based on his review, which the Commission discussed. This addressed:
·         Town Core development
·         Retail Space
·         Professional and Other Services
·         Brownfields
·         Having an Industrial Section
·         Tourism
·         Agribusiness
·         TIF Districts
·         I-89 Milton Interchange
·         Sewer Service Restrictions

Mossey expressed the lack of time at this meeting to address goals. Parent mentioned many goals were met and some that need to be reworded. Needs to tie into the capital improvement plan. There is a 3-5 year capital improvement plan that is adopted yearly. It was suggested to incorporate school district in the economic development.

Mossey suggested that a downtown designation is missing from the Plan and it is stunting the growth of the Town. An official map is needed for the designation and TIF district doesn’t count. The Town gets a lower ranking on projects because of this. Hemmerick stated a designation could exempt the need for Act 250 review, which is a plus for developers.  In informally speaking with state planners they feel that some of the new zoning plans could help meet the downtown planning goals. Parent asked for an official definition of what is needed for a downtown designation for next meeting.

John asked about a goal of having annual events to bring in tourists (e.g. fair). Parent suggested the Rec. Dept be part of the tools section. Bradshaw mentioned that a local restaurant owner said the Nordic Soccer Tournament was the best day of that week that they ever had for business.

Hemmerick reviewed next steps based on feedback from this meeting and the PC. This project is in flux with staffing changes and the existing Plan will probably be brought to the Board for re-adoption while changes are being made for a more substantial revision.

Hemmerick encouraged the EDC to look at the survey results. There is a lot of good data put together by Gina.

7. Minutes
A. June 28, 2017
Joseph MOVED to approve the minutes above as presented.  SECOND by Mossey.  Bradshaw ABSTAINED because she was not in attendance. APPROVED.

8. Adjournment
The Commission adjourned by unanimous consent around 5:02 p.m.

Minutes approved by the Commission this ___________ day of _____________, 2017.

Don Turner Jr., Chair                                                                                                                   /wendy

Draft filed with the Town Clerk this ___________ day of _____________, 2017.

Filed with the Town Clerk this ___________ day of _____________, 2017.