Bennington Downtown Alliance
 Board Meeting Minutes

July 12, 2018
 Downtown Visitor Center

The mission of the Bennington Downtown Alliance is to lead and support
 public and private efforts that promote and enhance downtown
 as the vital commercial and cultural heart of the community.

Present: President Eric Peterson, Michael Keane, Edie Sawitsky, Heather Maneely, Laurie Gormley, Linda Foulsham, Susan Plaisance, Ted Bird, Beth Wilwol, Jonathan Cooper, and Ben Oyola. Staff: John Shannahan and Diane Perry.
Absent: Michael McDonough, Jeannie Jenkins, Keith Carey and Shelley Colvin.

Call to Order
                    A quorum was confirmed by President Eric Peterson who then convened the meeting at 7:30am.

                    Welcoming and introductions of new Board members, Jonathan Cooper and Ben Oyola, were made.

Jonathan Cooper works at the Bennington County Regional Commission, in addition, he has worked on community and economic development issues pertaining to workforce training, entrepreneurial activity, and regional cooperation.

Ben Oyola purchased and renovated a building in Bennington, to which he relocated his business.  He is the proprietor of Berkshire Sign Studio which manufacturers custom signage.   With over thirty years of experience in signage and design work, his participation on future projects will be a great benefit to the downtown community. 

                    The June 2018 board minutes were reviewed. Action/Resolution- a motion to accept the June minutes was made by Michael Keane, seconded by Edie Sawitsky. All in favor. Motion carried.

Financial Report            
Director John Shannahan reported on the financials which were reviewed at the Organizational level. All is in order. Action/Resolution – John will reconfigure the layout of the profit and loss report to add a balance column.  Action/Resolution- a motion to approve was made by Michael Keane, seconded by Ted Bird.  
Motion carried.

Committee Reports

  • ·        Economic Vitality Committee – exploring the possibility of a food corporation series at the Greenburg’s parking lot. Researching potential food businesses. A group of committee members had visited Troy Kitchen, which is a type of food restaurant coop, and invited the owner to Bennington for his insight on space, location, conceptions, and possible recruitment. Action/Resolution- committee will update Board as it unfolds.
  • ·        Org Committee- focusing on the annual Directors evaluation. Action/Resolution- continue process.
  • ·        Design – Park at 336 – waiting for the Town to break ground, but they are working with circumstances related to PFOA scheduling.  Action/Resolution – John will check in with Stu for direction moving forward and dynamics of the excavation.

Director’s Report Discussion regarding report:

  • ·        Town Wide tag sale – organized by a private citizen held on Saturday, July 14 to include several houses town wide. The Summertime Marketplace will set up at Greensburg’s area during this time. Allowance made by Bill Colvin, and BDA will cover with insurance rider.  Action/Resolution- check in with Andrea Grimsley to measure success during that time.
  • ·        Grow Bennington -Home Depot has donated all the equipment for the tree up-lighting program. A test tree was completed in front of 215 South. Action/Resolution – lighting installation will begin as soon as possible.
  • ·        Catamount Connections – we are receiving funds allotted for the Merchants Park fountain, an interactive water feature. Action/Resolution – determine financial percentage of joint accounts that are umbrellaed under our 501(3)c status.
  • ·        Battle Day -Battle of Pies contest – Jonah Spivak is spearheading this celebration, expanding this community event. John assisted in finding a location at Star Electric and will continue involvement to help make it successful. Action/Resolution – event on August 18th at 3:30pm, pies sold the next day at parade at 11:00am.
  • ·        VTrans – road construction – Michael Keane and John Shannahan along with Natalie, the VTrans representative, visited downtown merchants and businesses to inform them of the upcoming construction dynamics. They also met with Dan Monks, ensuring we are aligned with the importance of communication through very visible and frequently placed signs for parking. Some strategic procedures may include using a volunteer person to be a liaison between the public and VTrans, encouraging employees to use designated parking, using flaggers, reversing street directions, and opening street accesses that are currently closed. Natalie will be giving up-to-date accounts on how the construction is proceeding and what to expect. Local media stations will be providing updates as well. Action/Resolution – John will provide a link to VTrans on our website. All encouraged to sign up on VTrans webpage also. Michael Keane and John will continue their efforts.

Old Business

  • ·        Action/Resolution- no discussion.

New Business

  • ·        Board Member Annual Paperwork – Board Member Agreements. Action/Resolution –Board members to review, sign and return.

Elections Slate of Officers

Recommended Slate of Officers are Eric Peterson as President, Michael Keane as Vice President, Shelley Colvin as Treasurer, and Beth Wilwol as Secretary. Action/Resolution – Edie Sawitsky moves to accept the recommended Slate of Officers. All in favor. Motion carried.


     Eric Peterson called for the adjournment of the meeting at 8:48am. Action/Resolution - a motion was made to adjourn by Michael Keane, seconded by Laurie Gormley. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Wilwol, Secretary
Bennington Downtown Alliance

Bennington Downtown Alliance
215 South Street
Beautiful Bennington, Vermont 05201

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software