Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board members Friday gave the green light to begin the search process for a new CEO, approved a contract for a new composting program, reviewed updates on other projects, and New marketing and communications plans were discussed. People downtown during Grandview Parkway reconstruction.
DDA board members on Friday approved plans to begin a search for a new CEO, after DDA CEO Jean Derenzi (pictured) announced she would step down when her contract expires at the end of February.
The board's governance committee met Friday and made the recommendation to hire Amy Sell Talent to lead the search process. The firm was recently hired by the City of Traverse City to lead the search for a new city manager and is also assisting in the search for a new fire chief for the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department. DDA's contract cost is estimated at $19,500, the same amount the city paid Amy Sell Talent to find a manager.
While some members of the DDA board supported this recommendation and felt that the company's familiarity with the city would help expedite the CEO search, other board members felt that at least one other The company wanted to consider proposals from several companies. Mayor Amy Shamro said that while other firms may have more experience finding leaders for the DDA “specifically,” she has been happy to work with Amy Sell Talent and is happy to work with other companies. He added that he would have no objection if the company was selected after considering the proposal. Shamro said the city typically uses a request for proposal (RFP) process for the purpose of transparency and obtaining competitive bids, but DDA attorney Scott Howard said the city's policies allow for things like “hiring professional services.” He stated that there are exceptions.
Board members ultimately settled on a compromise that would consider other companies as the process progressed. The Board of Directors authorized the Governance Committee to issue a Request for Information (RFI). This is a faster process than an RFP, allowing the committee to consider general proposals and quotes from other companies, and allowing the company to select and hire a company at a lower cost. To exceed $30,000. Board members agreed that the governance committee could meet more frequently than the DDA board, which only meets once a month, to keep the process moving forward. The city's human resources department will also assist in the process, according to the approved motion.
After discussions at several previous meetings, DDA board members on Friday announced that SEEDS and its partners will be launching a six-month pilot composting program targeting approximately 10 to 20 downtown restaurants. approved a contract for $21,674. “As a fundamental principle, services that connect businesses with climate-friendly solutions such as composting are DDA’s unique mechanism to engage both the business community and downtown visitors in a meaningful way, and engage both parties. SEEDS will transport the compost material and process it at its location in Historic Burns Park, according to project documents. However, if the program is successful and extended, and/or the material collected is too much for SEEDS, it will eventually be utilized by subcontractors to collect and process at the city's new composting facility. There is a possibility of moving to. The facility will soon be installed as part of another of the city's pilot programs to reduce waste.
DDA board members discussed other project updates Friday. Derenzi said reconstruction of the 8th Avenue and Union Street intersection will likely begin in late April or early May. The goal is to have the intersection completed this fiscal year (by June 30), but the intersection will likely be shut down for at least three weeks while Grandview Parkway is reconstructed. Derenzi said the DDA will coordinate with the city's technical staff and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) on how the detour will work during this project.
DDA hopes to hold a joint study session with the City Commission on Feb. 12 to consider new cost estimates for a mixed parking development planned near the corner of State Street and Pine Street. ing. The city received a $900,000 state grant for demolition and cleanup work to prepare the site for new construction. The new retail incubator on the corner of Cass and Front streets hosted a successful pop-up event in December, and another pop-up event will be held in February ahead of a planned grand opening in April. . Finally, the DDA is preparing to discuss potential parking rate increases between the Mobility/Parking Committee and the Finance Committee after receiving condition reports on the Hardy and Old Town parking decks. The report indicates nearly $2.5 million in repairs are needed between both decks over the next five years. Year. Any rate increase recommendations or repair contracts will ultimately be submitted to the DDA Board for review and approval.
Finally, DDA board members heard an update Friday from Greenlight Marketing, one of two companies hired to assist with downtown communications and marketing. Greenlight was selected for general DDA communications work and branding efforts, and Bright Spark Strategies was selected to develop his TIF 97 educational tools, which will be presented to the board in February.
Greenlight representatives briefed board members on several new brand concepts for downtown, with an emphasis on bold colors, playful imagery and a new logo for events such as Traverse City Restaurant Week and Shop Your Community Day. did. The company is currently focused on creating detour signs and campaign messages to direct downtown traffic during Grandview Parkway reconstruction work, which begins in March and continues through the fall. That message includes directional signs along detours (phrases like “We are worth the detour” and “Construction is temporary, but memories are forever”) and at downtown businesses. This includes contests and prize giveaways.
DDA partnered with BATA to wrap buses (with messages such as “Connected to Downtown” and “We'll take you downtown to work, play, shop or dine”) and provide transportation options during construction. We are planning to convey the following, and BATA will appear. Further discussion is expected at the February board meeting. DDA is not responsible for rebuilding the parkway, but this is his MDOT project. Given the significant impact on downtown, board members agreed that DDA needs to take an active role, including sending out weekly construction updates and detour news.