Sunday, August 20, 2017

Economic Development Committee Meetings

Economic Development Committee Meeting
October 9, 2013

Attendance: Howard Stein, Becky Wrubel, Bob Hand, Pat Kilbourne, Don Chidester, Ed Gratz, Sandy Loy, Dan Casey (St Clair County EDA), Rob Usakowski

DDA

Howard brought copies of the legislation for everyone to review. Would like to receive copies or resolutions or ordinances from other municipalities to see how they are set up. Dan Casey to see what he can get.

Dan mentioned benefits of doing now: Taxable value of property will never be lower. The established baseline is good.

Unfavorable news: state education tax, school operating mileages, ISD funding, and school indebtedness can not be used for DDA

Don asked about using DDA funds for a new Fire Department building. Dan thought this may be questionable as expenditures are primarily for the DDA area. The new buildings benefit would be well outside the area of the DDA, He recommended consulting with an attorney.

Rob asked what would benefit the Wadhams / Lapeer are most. Don and Howard said that a large anchor type store would help the area. Dan stated that most “box” stores would need to see residential development in the area before they make the commitment.

Infrastructure

Safe walks to School grants were mentioned for sidewalk development along Lapeer Road. Would need to work with Landmark Academy to apply for the funding.


Zoning

Need to get more feedback from residents on their desired shopping and retail needs. Feedback should be included in future zoning.

Discussion on educating all stakeholders. Dan recommended a Facebook page for any hot topic type issue. Township should share as much information on that topic as possible.

Need to look at future zoning in Wadhams/Lapeer area. If we need an anchor store in that area, future zoning must accommodate for that and it currently does not, making it difficult for the planning commission to allow for that type of development. Rob let everyone know that he is reviewing the proposed Future Land Use Map and will get a copy to everyone for their review.

Discussion was held regarding Dr. Afr;s property on Range. Future land use is currently a park. Dan recommended a PUD (Planned Unit Development). The PUD sits on top of the zoning. It gives the planning commission the ability to allow exceptions to the zoning and add conditions to the development that would protect neighboring areas. Criteria could include greenbelts, construction materials, modified setbacks, etc.

Some discussion was held regarding the possibility of light industrial or warehousing on Dr. Afr’s property. Pat raised questions about the air industrial park and with vacancies there would be no need for additional industrial in our area.

Dan discussed height issues at the air industrial park. Because of the airport, building height caps out around 25’ which is a problem for most industrial businesses. However, the buildings cannot be any higher because of the airport. Dan also mentioned that the county has not done much to market the air industrial park, but have since made the park a priority for marketing.

Dan generated a brief discussion on tax dollars. Residential development will generate a net loss in tax dollars. The services provided to those residential homes will cost more than will be collected in taxes. Commercial development will be a net gain in tax. We need to have a balance to create sustainability.

Agribusiness

Pat would like to see us supply assistance to farmers. Specifically she mentioned cattle farmers. She said that MSUE is a great help to them. Did not feel that farmers markets or farm to the table was necessarily the answer.

Dan spoke about soybean process which either goes to Windsor or Mexico. The soybeans are processed and then sent back to this area. Sanilac county has a processor coming in and much of the soybeans will now be able to go there for processing.

Marketing

Facebook has been very successful in getting the word on a few items. Over 10,000 people saw our post on the Country Fair. Workshops have stated that marketing on Facebook can have a longer impact than purchasing advertising such as Google Ads.

Ed recommended that we pay to have someone redesign our website. It is difficult for current staff to keep the site up to date. Costs would be around $4500 but would give a better representation of the township.

Discussed the video proposed by Iron Core Media. Dan worked in the industry and gave us some recommendations. Videos should be between 1-2 minutes. They should be placed on our website. Discussion was held on what to include in the video. Sites such as Sawmill City / KOA and the Green Barn Winery could be included. Dan also recommended that we take advantage of items such as the Blue Water bridge which is not in Kimball but its proximity would be beneficial to include. Short 5-6 second testimonials are also effective.

Discussion was also held regarding some of the untapped resource in the township. Locations such as the bird sanctuary and nature center, and the State Game Land could be promoted to bring more people to Kimball.


Next Meeting Dates will be proposed via email.