City of Dekalb Economic Development Commission met April 5
City of Dekalb Economic Development Commission met April 5.
Here is the minutes provided by the commission:
The meeting was called to order at 8:32 a.m.
A. ROLL CALL
Roll was recorded by Executive Assistant Ruth Scott, and the following members of the Economic Development Commission were present: Vernese Edghill-Walden, Trixy O’Flaherty, Jeff Richardson, Mark Sawyer, and Sam Walt. Alderman Pat Fagan and Mohammed Labadi were absent.
Also present were: City Manager Bill Nicklas, Transit Manager Marcus Cox, Executive Assistant Ruth Scott, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Paul Borek, and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Duffy.
B. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Mr. Walt moved to approve the agenda; seconded by Ms. Edghill-Walden.
Motion carried by a majority voice vote of those members present.
C. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. Minutes of the Economic Development Commission Meeting of March 1, 2019.
Mr. Richardson moved to approve the minutes of March 1, 2019; seconded by Ms. Edghill-Walden.
Motion carried by a voice vote of the majority of members present.
D. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
There was none.
E. NEW BUSINESS
There was none.
F. OLD BUSINESS
1. DeKalb Economic Development Issues.
City Manager Nicklas introduced Transit Manager Cox, who provided history to the EDC about the proposed bus route to Park 88.
Following discussion, it was suggested that a meeting be set up with businesses in Park 88, Mr. Cox and an EDC member to discuss the pilot project.
2. EDC Strategic Plan
Discussion regarding this item included the Cornerstone building on Lincoln Highway. City Manager Nicklas noted that 39 of the 51 units have been leased and a bar/restaurant will be opening in the building within a few weeks. Discussion also included incoming businesses into the downtown area, as well as potential businesses.
City Manager Nicklas noted there are funds available for marketing the downtown area that will be used for new patriotic banners. He also noted that efforts are being made to help “spruce up” the downtown area, including more frequent street cleaning and working with the waste hauler to be a bit more meticulous when picking up trash.
Mike Embrey spoke of the “Hometown Heros” project, which will feature photos of local veterans on banners on Locust Street and two parking spaces in the downtown area dedicated to veterans.
City Manager Nicklas also stated that changes in downtown parking will be taking place.
3. Annie Glidden North Revitalization
City Manager Nicklas noted that some members of the former Annie Glidden North (AGN) Revitalization Task Force are still meeting in order to keep the plan moving forward. Brief discussion ensued regarding opportunity zones and potential investments in the AGN area.
City Manager Nicklas provided information regarding ongoing Hunter Properties issues and noted a meeting organized by the tenants. Brief discussion ensued.
4. Meetings of the Economic Development Commission.
Following brief discussion, members agreed that EDC meetings would continue to be held on the first Friday of every month beginning at 8:30 a.m.
5. Economic Development Commission Vacancies.
There was brief discussion regarding EDC vacancies and who may fill them.
6. Marketing Grant – Vernese Edghill-Walden.
It was noted that Melanie Magara of Northern Illinois University (NIU) would be contacted regarding this item, with discussion to be continued to the next EDC meeting.
Ms. Edghill-Walden spoke of NIU’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan (2019- 2023). Brief discussion ensued.
Bessie Chronopoulos asked if there are issues with Hunter Properties regarding overoccupancy and if there are plans in place to provide safe housing for tenants who may be displaced.
Ms. Chronopoulos also addressed NIU’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan and asked what’s being done to maintain current enrollment, as well as bringing out of state students to NIU.
Next month’s meeting will include continued discussion regarding EDC issues and focus efforts, EDC vacancies, and marketing, as well as a follow-up on the Park 88 bus route project.
Mr. Richardson moved to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Ms. Edghill-Walden.
Motion carried by a voice vote of the majority of members present. Chair O’Flaherty declared the motion passed and adjourned the meeting at 9:46 a.m.