Meeting Minutes / October 28, 2014

RADBA  Meeting Minutes/October 28, 2014

Meeting called to order by Darren Green at 4:05pm

All those present introduced themselves and signed-in to be eligible for the next “member of the month” drawing.   President Green and Treasurer Jenny Lumb explained the new invoice procedure for collecting annual dues.  Of last year’s 37 members, only 24 are current with membership dues.   Sending out invoices as a reminder and re-recruiting” tool is hoped to bring some of last year’s members back.

Motion to approve the September minutes was made and seconded.  Minutes were approved.

Claire Reeder of RADA was selected as “Member of the Month” from last month’s sign-in sheet and received a $25 gift certificate for the Clingman Café. Claire used her 5 minute promotional time slot in the meeting to talk about the up coming changes in the Studio Stroll.   The fall stroll will be November 8 and 9th, and ends at 5pm, an hour earlier than in the past, for safety reasons, primarily darkness.  New this year will be 24 High School student volunteers stationed at trolley stops to greet visitors. Students will also be on the trolleys to provide information.  Also new this year is an umbrella insurance liability policy for RADA, and this will be the first Stroll that is permitted as a special event by the City.  The Spring Stroll will be the second weekend in May. The new poster for the Stroll, which has received much positive attention, has been distributed, but more have been ordered. If you need one, please contact Claire.  In addition to her RADA duties, Claire also informed the group that she does social media consulting for businesses and individual artists, and that she is accepting new clients. She can be reached at   clairereeder7@gmail.com

Adding to the announcement about the Fall Studio Stroll, Robert Gardner of AVL Glass noted that along with 25 other glassblowing studios across the country, Veterans may drop in on November 8th, and make a paperweight free of charge to experience glass-blowing.

AAARC Update:  Steph Monson of City of AVL/economic development office was present to talk about the recently granted $1.8 million from the  TDA (tourism and development authority).  The TDA is a quasi-governmental agency, funded by taxes paid from hotels and lodging facilities.  The taxes collected are to be spent in the form of grants made to individuals and organizations who are building tourism.  A grant in the amount of  $3 million was requested to fund capital and non-capital improvements for 11 different locations within the RAD, from the Arts and Culture Dispensary to the East and West bank Greenway and numerous other projects of varying scale.  Steph passed out a map showing the locations of all these Grant Application Project Locations.   The projected cost of locations is $40 milllion.  No details have yet been released as far as timing, etc.  Less money received than was requested means the scope of the projects will be reduced.  It will take 2-3 months of planning to assess all the funding pieces needed to complete the puzzle.  A plan is expected by 2/15/15 that will include an explaination of how the various projects will be developed.  The “strength and authenticity” vision, the “Postcards” is already real, and although there will be less “splash” or impact than would have been possible with  the requested $3 million, it will move forward.  The Riverside Drive project piece will happen in its entirety because the TDA grant is its only source of funding, with construction underway in 2015.  The TDA grant cycle is now annual, from June to June, so a new application can be made at that time.  Steph did caution that the City’s priorities may not bring TDA money back to the RAD again next year.  She also reported there was a Charette last week to assess the idea of additional boat access points along the RADtip’s 2.2 mile spine to link with bike share and parking.  This might add 2 additional boat ramps to disperse traffic to more points along the river.

RADPAC update/Tim Schaller:  A reminder to compile a “punch list” of those items already agreed to by the City for various repairs, crosswalks, etc.   Send your items to Tim at:  timschaller60@gmailcom.    Members are also invited to participate in the #AIMforMobility survey.  https://ashevilleinmotion.metroquest.com

RADMAD update/  Sarah Pelchat: A mock-up of a new website was presented showing a more colorful and user-friendly format.  Comments and suggestions were welcomed.  Pattiy suggested posting meeting times and dates, and Claire suggested a method of email collection to keep building the site, and to look more closely at  free sites rather than paying $10/month or more.

New Belgium Brewery update:/ Susanne Hackett was not available, but Pattiy reported that all is on schedule, with tanks arriving from Germany in February and March 2015.

City of Asheville Update:/ Marsha Stickford   The currently closed section of Craven St. is not expected to reopen until 11/5/14.  Then the next section of road between Waynesville and Hazel Mill will close in late November.  Updates are posted on the City’s website under “projects”.  Marsha also reported that Greenworks will mow the Clingman Streetscape prior to the Studio Stroll and she is optimistic that a permanent solution will be found. She will keep the Membership informed.

Riverlink Update: / Darren Green for Karen Cragnolin     Parking for 60 bikes is now available at the Performance Park.  A grant of $25k created a river access at Asheville Adventure Rentals. The Riverlink sponsored art show sold 30 paintings of the river, by local artists.

Officer Lovelace/Neighborhood Update:    Graffiti in progress was called in on Sunday, but to the wrong address, so the offender was not apprehended.  Asheville Waste Paper had a break-in, partly captured on security camera video.  There is ongoing cleanup of river campsites which tend to disperse in colder weather.

New Business:  Pattiy Torno, AAARC Chair, reported that all Municipal Service Districts were passed by City Council, and although there is no immediate effect, the City can now borrow money at low rates.  Taxes can be raised by having created these districts, but this is not the current plan.  Some RAD projects could happen sooner as a result of the MSDs.  Pattiy also said that 7 spaces are available on the Billboard for 12/1 thru 2/28. $250/each. Contact Pattiy if interested. She does not plan to continue the billboard after May 2015, and encouraged RADBA or RADA to take it over. Julia Fosson reported that the Studio Guide has a new improved design and a pull-out map. Associate Members may advertise for $100. Deadline 11/15. Please see Julia for more info. Joe Ransmeier reported that he has been in business at his current location for 20 years next month…he plans a party! Wendy Whitson, who is a director for the Chamber of Commerce reported she had the opportunity to ask the question; “What about the upkeep on all the re-development when it’s done…how will it be paid for?” The answer according to Mr. Jackson: “Taxes”. Steph Monson joined in and added this is a topic worth discussing. There will definitely be tax increases, because of values now, and as they continue to rise. Values in the RAD have easily tripled, and some properties are now being taxed higher, some lower. But more importantly there really is NO plan for ongoing maintenance of these new projects in the future. Tim Schaller agreed and commented that the RADBA needs to stay involved to make sure we don’t inherit another Clingman Ave. Streetscape problem. And finally, Steph added that although the TDA projects are required to include a mtc plan, RADtip is not.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05pm

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