Meeting called to order at 6:02pm.
Bulk of construction will be during the winter months, ideally. Potentially, could have final approvals and permits in September, start construction in October, bulk of disruptive work completed by April, minor work to complete the project in the summer of 2014. The final schedule is still to be determined, however.
The idea would be to complete linear sections, whatever length can be done in one day at a time.
Always a possibility, but depends on the nature of the work. Cost is at a premium for night work, but might be an option, and will check into that.
Yes, people have already been submitting feedback, and once they sit down with BC Hydro they will try to incorporate it.
Township staff will push hard for the corridor to be within the street to lessen the impacts, but BC Hydro was quite adamant that the undergrounding occur in the boulevard. The design consultant and BC Hydro are starting to look at the possibility, and the consultant is optimistic that this might be possible. It is something the Township will follow up on.
Hopefully, but cannot promise anything. Can tender the construction with blackout dates, but will have to aggregate feedback and discuss further.
An optional spending item to improve the sidewalk after the completion of the project, since BC Hydro up to now has been saying they wanted to use the boulevard. It is an entirely optional item.
There are no foreseen full road closures, but possibly some single lane, alternating closures.
Lights on BC Hydro poles will be replaced, and the consultant will come up with a lighting plan that will specify restoration up to the new standard for high-conflict pedestrian movement, which will be far beyond the lighting that is currently in place.
Discussions with Shaw are ongoing.
Eric Woodward confirmed that only eight (8) people submitted nomination forms for eight (8) seats on the Board of Directors, and therefore no election was necessary. By acclimation the following eight (8) people were thereby appointed to the Board of Directors for 2013:
Eric Woodward opened a general question and answer period for anyone present to ask questions.
Eric Woodward confirmed that calling "the BIA" would no longer be an option, but people could email the BIA if they did not know who to contact, specifically. The Board would consider options, and see how this could potentially be improved.
Eric Woodward confirmed that that is correct, that he and the Board just wanted to communicate actual budget numbers, and the financial reality of the festival, to clear up any misperceptions that may exist.
Eric Woodward suggested that it would be nice to start measuring anything at all, and that the short answer was, therefore, that there is not. He added that he thought that other small towns would love to have for a festival as large and successful as the Cranberry Festival, and that in his opinion it should be nurtured and improved as much as possible.
Eric Woodward answered that once the BIA has a proposed construction schedule to react to, the Board would work hard to ensure the Cranberry Festival is not affected.
Non-members pay more than members for a street presence during Cranberry Festival.
Eric Woodward outlined it will be a challenge for the BIA to always inform each member directly, in person, and that, in his opinion, the website really is the most practical tool for communication and information. In the case of the utilities conversion, specifically, Eric outlined that it is his perception that almost everyone knew about it because it was in the newspaper when it first went to Township Council in July 2012, it was in Township Council agendas, and that during the official petition period many were debating its merits. He apologized that his response seemed "brusque" but explained that he was responding to personal attacks and deliberate misinformation by Kate Hagstrom who was attempting to prevent the project from proceeding.
Eric further outlined that the process to complete the LAS is dictated by provincial legislation, and only involves the property owners, formally. He confirmed that nobody chose or preferred that process.
Misty Vanpopta reminded everyone that Board members are volunteers, and all try very hard, but that it is time consuming and basically impossible to reach each and every person on every issue, personally. She added that it is great that everyone can now check in once in a while and see what the BIA is planning and considering, since all the minutes are now available online, whereas before they were basically not available. She confirmed that the Board will try to improve its communication going forward.
Jim Dyck outlined that the BIA will be as transparent as possible with the new website.
Casey Smith confirmed that the Board may change its position, but that it resolved in 2012 to support it financially with $500, but not participate formally in its planning or implementation.
Eric Woodward outlined that the vending attempts with May Day this year lost money, and that the Board decided that it would not be attempted again in 2013.
Casey Smith outlined that May Day gets a very mixed reaction from many merchants, and many are not even open because people just want to use the washroom, and few spend any money while attending the parade, and leave immediately afterwards. This has generated more negative than positive opinions of the May Day parade from merchants.
Kurt Alberts mentioned that, historically, May Day has never been a business initiative, but is a community event, but has struggled to maintain community involvement. He commented that he did not see May Day as a BIA responsibility.
Eric Woodward outlined that he wanted the BIA to consider pursuing a limited "South of The Fraser" strategy, focused initially on Surrey and Abbotsford, given their proximity to Fort Langley compared to other areas.
He suggested that the website should become the primary promotional vehicle, with online advertising such as Facebook (as an example), as the primary expenditure since it can be measured (at least somewhat) for effectiveness.
He confirmed that he would like the Board to continue to attempt to find some way to measure return, at least anecdotally, since the BIA cannot afford expensive marketing strategies or measurement systems.
There is money set aside for Christmas this year, but specifics of what that might look like are unknown at this point.
Meeting adjourned at 7:52pm.