Roll Call - Members present: Gene Lewis, Christina Slaback, Brandon Rutz, Sue Berg, Sarah Bauer, Gene Bass, James Otterstein and Jim Brooks. Members absent: Blase Strobl Others Present: Mayor Sandy Decker, Community Development Director Jason Sergeant and City Administrator Ian Rigg.
Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the August 17, 2015 regular meeting and approve them as printed – Berg/Lewis, edit to item 6c, passed unanimously
Citizen Appearances, other than listed agenda items – Brooks mentioned the hard work and dedication to Evansville, as well as economic development by Richard Modaff. Brooks noted his recent passing is a lose to Evansville.
September 16th, new FIRM maps adopted, refining the floodplain for Evansville.
September 22nd, EDC budget was preliminarily presented to Common Council.
September 23rd, I&E Planning Meeting discussed programming for the next few I&E Meetings. An idea formulated for the December meeting was a roaming case study visit to a few recent start-ups downtown to hear each business owner’s story and see what they are up to.
Sept 28th, Entrepreneurship Subcommittee met. Discussion included the new EDC charge and next steps towards a community meeting and survey process.
October 5th Plan commission approved a new light industrial garage
October 14th I&E Great program featuring the inventor of Lolly Zip Travel Kit.
October 16th, Ribbon cuttings for the Vintage Workshop. This expansion is a great example of an Evansville business growing and expanding on its own success, right in the downtown!
October 16th, Ribbon Cutting at Hurley Real Estate. This existing home business has found a new home in a rehabbed commercial building.
Two rentable store fronts available in Evansville! (one downtown, one in Brown School Plaza)
October 5th Plan Commission and October 13th Common Council approved an annexation re-zone and preliminary land division, bringing three buildable lots into Evansville
An existing business is looking to expand, trying to find ways to best work with a floodplain designation.
Updates on potential start-up businesses: Debroux’s is open, has a Revolving Loan Fund in process and a Building Improvement Grant request in process. Blu’s FroYo Shoppe has signed a lease for a downtown storefront and will be applying for a CUP soon, expected opening in early November.
Oppidan, Inc. has discussed re-starting a retail proposal for a large-format retail store. The project continues to be in a holding pattern, with city staff encouraging the proposal to move forward in the next year. A concern was expressed with the number of folks that commute away from Evansville every day.
A real estate developer for a national retailer has approached the city with some basic demographic information and site availability questions. Staff is working closely with developer to assist.
Chamber of Commerce Report – Slaback noted the Business Improvement Group met again to continue to strategized ways to help the City with Economic Development. Subjects of discussion included rail connections. Olde Fashioned Christmas even is upcoming. The Vintage Workshop had well attended ribbon cutting soon. They will be featuring products from other retailers in town as well. Next Lunch and Learn is November 17th where Sergeant provide a summary of the Smart Growth Plan.
Tourism Subcommittee Report – Berg Sarah Bocher was working on brochure distribution. Evansville will have a one page advertisement with the Rock County Tourism Guide and a preliminary flyer of 2016 events has been created. Oktoberfest and Olde Fashioned Christmas are upcoming events. I&E will feature the story of Evansville’s 150th commemorative beer and how it came to be.
Entrepreneurship sub-committee update – Sergeant summarized the recent meeting and noted the sub-committee was given some more guidance. Members are looking forward to community meeting to focus on the topic.
Revolving Loan Fund
Procedural discussion – Sergeant indicated a policy and procedures manual had just been located and was available to members this evening. Brooks noted it would be best to review the manual and discuss at a later meeting.
Application update– Sergeant provided a brief overview of the RLF process and summarized last month’s discussion. Committee discussed taking the current applicant through the process as it stands to expedite getting an answer to the individual. Further discussion would like to see the application reflect a process that is tied to known success factors for small businesses and new start-ups. Sergeant noted he will be meeting with the applicant to get more info about the request.