Approved Meeting Minutes
February 6, 2017
Ridgefield Economic & Community Development Commission
Library Board Room
Present: Arnold Light (Chair), Robert DeFalco, John Devine, Paul Levine, Gus Ryer
Guests: Dick Larson, Schulberger Committee Chair
Nelson Merchan, CT SBDC
Jennifer Zinzi, Executive Director Chamber of Commerce
Jason Peck, Jonathan Winn: Thrown Stone
Louisa Percundani, RIFF
Dr. Andrew Frishman
Chairman Arnold Light called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
A motion was requested to approve the January 9, 2017 minutes. Motion was made by John Devine and seconded by Gus Ryer.
Mr. Light reviewed the joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission and the constructive dialogue. It was agreed that it was an opportunity for both commissions to work together to facilitate business applications and approvals.
Mr. Light informed the commission of upcoming events. The Chamber of Commerce Business Expo on 3/16 from 5-8 p.m. at the Rec Center. He said that the Chamber charges $100 for a full table and $50 for a half table. It was decided that the ECDC would not purchase a table but that all members should try to attend and represent the commission. The commission was also informed of the Chamber’s Annual Breakfast Meeting on 3/10 at Silver Spring Country Club. First Selectman Rudy Marconi will deliver the State of the Town address and awards will be presented to volunteers in the community.
Mr. Light reviewed the FY 16/17 budget and noted that all funds have been committed and that there are no additional funds available for the balance of the FY.
Mr. DeFalco provided an update on the shared town resource that works the afternoon shift as the Town Hall receptionist, Linda Andrews. He has spent training time with her regarding town Calendar entries and noted that she is also eager to learn and be trained on administrative support on the ECDC website. However, she is also unable to dedicate uninterrupted time for the training and has also been asked by the town to work on the Blighted Property file. Without an opportunity to train her on a computer outside of her dedicated space, her on boarding is being hindered. Bob will also meet with Alison Greely of the Arts Council to discuss her direct access to Linda Andrews.
Mr. Larson presented an update in the Schlumberger property. Two buildings have leases negotiated. The Phillips Johnson building lease is with Bassam Fellows a custom furniture company. The auditorium is with ACT a non-profit theater group. The first public hearing is on 2/8 and the Town Meeting for the leases is on 2/22.
Jonathan Winter and Jason Peck presented the Thrown Stone theater company plans for the USA premier staging of MILK at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, with performances scheduled from 7/14 – 7/31. The company stages black box theater of original productions. The organization is a non-profit and is in the fundraising stages for the production. The group will need several permits to use the space within the Conservatory and the ECDC offered to advise and facilitate.
Nelson Merchan from the CT Small Business Development Center presented programs that the group offers for small business development. The CT SBDC offers FREE business development plans and counsel for small businesses and helps merchants secure financing and grants. The information on the SBDC is available on the ECDC web site.
Dr. Andrew Frishman presented a report on the opportunities for fostering business development with entrepreneurs. The commission agreed that it was an opportunity that had been discussed. The challenge is finding the seed money to establish a location that allows entrepreneurs to work in a common environment and collaborate. It was noted that many are using the library facilities and the free small private office spaces for meetings.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.