February 2019 DDA Update
The Soup-er Bowl Walk was a big hit!
The ice rink is back and bigger than before!
Next event is the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
Thank you to our Soup-er Bowl Walk sponsors: Engine Creative, Ludington Yacht Sales, Victoria’s Jewelry, Jamesport Brewing Company, HumaniTea, Timbers Bar & Grill, Luciano’s and North Pointe Legal.
Thank you to ice rink assembly volunteers: Pioneer Church
Met February 4, 2019
Jackie Steckel (acting City Manager) and Joe Stickney (Ludington DPW) were on hand to discuss snow on DDA streets and sidewalks. There have been several reports of people slipping on downtown sidewalks due to snow and ice. Questions were raised about who was liable for the falls. Jackie stated that according to MERMA, a change in surface height of 2″ or less is considered safe for pedestrians (this applies to snow, raised sidewalks, etc). In order for the city to be liable, it must be shown that the city was grossly negligent. Acts of God and weather are not typically the fault of the city. The businesses are responsible to clear the portions of the sidewalk on their property.
There is an ordinance stating that the city will clear the sidewalks on Ludington Ave and South James St (state trunk lines). They will clear the rest of the sidewalks in the DDA as weather permits. Clearing the streets is priority. State trunk lines are cleared first, then major city streets, then secondary. Once streets are cleared, sidewalk clearing begins. Once roads and sidewalks are cleared, snow hauling begins. This year, DPW hauled away sections of the snow banks on each road in the DDA instead of clearing the banks street by street. This has helped pedestrians get from cars parked on the street onto the sidewalks without having to walk to the intersections.
Deb Luskin, City Clerk, handled the swearing in of four new board members: Alisha Christensen (downtown employee), Jason Adam (downtown property owner), Brian Josefowicz (downtown property and business owner), and Tracy Shied (downtown business owner and resident).
Election of officers for 2019:
Chair: Steve Miller
Vice Chair: Wayne Brown
Secretary: Mike Lenich
Treasurer: Christine Lamb+
Topics at the February DDA meeting included:
- Ice Rink Update
- Downtown Ludington Business Development
- Street Pianos/Insurance Claim
- Event Updates
View the full minutes here:
Met: February 7
The marketing committee reviewed the 2019 marketing plan. They reviewed data from how event participants heard about events in 2018 and made adjustments in budget accordingly. This year, the committee plans to invest in video footage to use for commercials and social media posts. They also plan to boost more social media post for events.
Meets: April (quarterly)
Met February 21st
- DDA Street Tree Plan: The committee has been working with the Tree Advisory Board to make a plan for trees on the street in the DDA. The committee plans to recommend the purchase of large pots for plantings on two blocks of Ludington Avenue (the same two blocks that the Tree Advisory Board plans to replace a few trees this year).
- Bike Racks: The committee recommended we move forward with purchasing two bike racks for the James Street Plaza area, as the public is using Spindrifts rental bike rack. They may cut four bike racks out of the budget to help pay for the planter pots.
- Parking Lot Security: The committee reviewed a few incidents that have happened in the downtown area in city parking lots. They plan to move forward with discussions about how to make the public parking lots safe at all hours.
- Crosswalk Issues: The committee is looking into the safety of pedestrians at crosswalks on Ludington Avenue without stop lights. They are currently asking questions and reviewing how other cities are handling these types of situations.
New. Has not met.