Downtown Brandon Alliance

24 Center Street D/B/A Downtown Brandon Alliance

12 January 2012 

Brandon Public Library – 9:00 AM


Attending:  Jim Leary, Lorraine Kimble, Warren Kimble, Frank Spezzano, Devon Fuller, Jeff Stewart, Judy Bundy, Becky Zelis, Bob Clark

Administrative:  Steve Beck


1.   The meeting was opened by Jim Leary at 9:05 AM.  The minutes from the October and November Board Meeting minutes were approved.  DBA was unable to approve the December minutes.  Steve indicated he would circulate the minutes later that day.


2.  Steve informed the group that the renewal application for Downtown Designation status was submitted to the state by the required deadline.  The official meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2011 in Montpelier at approximately 1:00 PM.


3.  The Design Committee indicated they have not met since the last time when the final Work Plan was prepared for submission for approval in December.  It was felt that the DBA, particularly the Design Committee would be a major force in directing efforts at redevelopment within the downtown regarding the river and Irene and the Segment 6 project.  It was felt the sooner we get proposals to the SB for consideration the smoother things will flow regarding construction.  It was felt that DBA has to have a presence at all SB meetings and to prepare a strong and forceful statement at the annual Town Meeting addressing the time-line and the Scope of Work.  Becky Zelis indicated she would spearhead the business community to formulate an approach regarding the Segment 6 update.


4.  Economic Restructuring met to discuss and develop a procedure to proceed with the Market Analysis for Brandon.  A big stumbling block is the development of a suitable questionnaire, for both consumers and for businesses.  There will be a need to recruit volunteers to work on specific tasks with projects.  Norm Milot is working on developing an approach for satellite businesses and how something like that could be developed for the town.  The committee will work on developing a business roundtable program to improve communication between and among the various business owners.


5.  It was suggested and there was discussion about how to improve increase lines of communication between committees, the Board of Directors and volunteers.  It was decided the Organization Committee would develop procedures.  Becky Zelis volunteered her Mark Zelis to meet and discuss ideas about how to proceed


6.  The Promotion Committee has not met.  Jeff Stewart is preparing a newsletter for distribution around town.  We will not be mailing to Brandon addresses, but distributing through various locations around the town. Jeff is asking for “news” to be provided to him.  It should be ready for distribution in two-weeks.


7.  The Organization Committee has not met as a committee. The DBA Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday Jan. 25.2012 @ 7:00 PM. Location to be determined; either the Stephen A Douglas House or the Brandon Library. Jim will circulate the organization By-laws for review.  Leanne Tingay will be consulted as far as the requirements of “warning” the annual meeting.


8.  It was decided that the Brandon Area Economic Development Committee will request $2000.00 from the Town of Brandon to serve as seed money for the organization.  The question was asked “What will we do with the money?”  Viable funding mechanisms will be a topic for the Organization Committee.  They will begin discussing this process and develop a viable plan to move forward.


9.  It was also felt that it is premature for the DBA to get on the ballot for the 2012 Annual Town Meeting.  It was felt that DBA needs to build a sense of community and establish an identity: by actions, articles in the Reporter, the quarterly newsletter.  Jim attended a grants seminar and will scan the list he was given of organization in Vermont that may support these types of community-based efforts. It as also suggested that the Board of Directors and committee members make a monetary contribution to the organization prior to approaching the Select Board;  this way we can say, we have already raised “X” dollars.  It was also suggested that we have discussion with some other “Designated Downtowns” towns to discuss their funding approaches, both successes and failures.


10.  The 2nd Public Forum was discussed including both topics and dates.  It was felt in early spring, prior to the start of the summer season.  May 10, 2012 was suggested.  It was felt the topics should include Irene recovery and Segment 6.  It was requested that we actually have a VTrans official speak to the group with an exact timeline for the project.


11.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 2, 2012, 9:00 AM @ Brandon Library.


12.  The meeting was adjourned at 10.35 AM.