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June 17, 2014

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Members Present:          Gaffin, Clements, Gabrielse, VanderHeide, Zwarensteyn, DeLuccia, Coughlin

Members Absent:           Brandt, DeBruyn

Others Present:                Lisa Golder, Economic Development Planner, Tom Chase, Kentwood Finance Director, Mayor Kepley

Finance Report:

The Financial Report from April was reviewed.  Tom indicated that the loans were current.  All other expenditures are as expected.   

A motion was made by Zwarensteyn with support from Coughlin to receive and file the April financial report.

                                                                                                                --Motion Carried—

4.  Strategic Planning Session – recap

Lisa introduced the information provided by Lynee Wells of Williams and Works regarding the recent EDC Strategic Planning session.  There is still a few hours of work that needs to be done with the Strategic Plan.  Lisa reviewed potential dated, and June 30th from 8-10AM was selected.  There was discussion about ongoing administration of the recommendations, but no resolution regarding this. There was also discussion about hosting a gathering of other EDC organizations to discuss commons issues and share ideas for promoting economic growth in the region.  Right Place would take part in the discussion.

5.   Liquor License application – Al-Bos

Lisa said that this item has been moved off the EDC agenda for consideration for a quota license because during the Special Land Use review relating to the on-premise consumption license, several issues were raised that have not all been resolved, including:

·         Fire Department requirement for a sprinkled building when there is capacity for 100 seats within the restaurant

·         Issue regarding parking—applicant has indicated a need for parking but has not been able to secure an easement.  Parking actually meets city requirements, but the parking state is in the Special Land Use statement of operation

·         Sidewalk was not installed on the north side of the building

·         Sign permit issue not addressed

·         Trucking business operating out of the same building- to be relocated in September

The City Attorney has recommended that the city commission make a decision on the on-premise license, then the EDC can address and make a recommendation on the quota license.  There was additional discussion regarding the merits of the application, but the concern that the issues are addressed prior to the approval of a quota license.  The quota license issue could be taken up again at the EDC meeting on June 30th, with a recommendation going to the City Commission July 1st.


6.   Farmers Market Feasibility Study

Lisa introduced the topic of the Farmers Market Feasibility Study.  She and Commissioners Coughlin have met with representatives from the Department of Agriculture, as well as the Michigan Farmers Market Association.  All suggested that the city look at undertaking a feasibility study to determine whether there is a demand for a market in the community, whether there is adequate supply of farmers willing to sell at the market, and determine the best site for the market in the city. Bob Coughlin has been working with the Jaycees, who are interested in participating in same way.  Mayor Kepley said that he has contacted some of the farmers at area markets and there seems to be an interest.   We had thought about tying the market to the five concert series that the city offers, but it is important to have a regular time each week that people can rely on.  The study should help determine the best course of action.  There may be some trials of a market this year, but otherwise the earliest time a weekly market would be in place is 2015.  There was discussion about location; including Woodland Mall, City Hall/Library area, 52nd and Eastern, the former Kentwood Village Mall and other locations were discussed.  After additional discussion,


A motion was made by Zwarensteyn, with support from Clements, to approve the expenditure of up to $5,000 for a Farmers Market Feasibility Study through the Michigan Farmers Market Association


                                                                                                                                --Motion Carried—


Other business:  Mayor Kepley said that he met with Meijer Inc. to discuss the possibility of a smaller size Meijer store that could be constructed at %2nd Street and Eastern Avenue,  the area vacated by Family Fare.    The model that is being introduced is about 50,000 square feet, but is targeted for very urban areas in larger cities.  Earl said there are only to grocers looking in the area and they are looking for higher income areas. There is a 9000 square foot grocery store called Daily deals that is going in the Division and 54th Street area, but this is a small model.  Walmart Expresses are starting in other area of the country but not here yet.  This about 11,000-15,000 square feet with a grocery and gas island.  Mayor Kepley said he would continue to try and get a retail grocery to this area. If you know of a store that might be a good fit, let him know.


A motion was made with support to adjourn.

The next meeting of the Kentwood EDC will June 30, 2014.