Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Board Meeting

Here are the minutes from the RDC Board Meeting of November 15, 2006. A quorum was not established.

Click here for a scanned, PDF version [758 KB]. Click the complete article link below to read the text in HTML.

Riverfront Development Corporation
Board Minutes
November 15, 2006

The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Riverfront Development Corporation was held on November 15, 2006 at the offices of the Corporation, Falls Building, 22 N. Front Street, Memphis, TN,

Directors Attending: Rick Masson, Pete Aviotti, Rob Carter, John Farris, Lucia Gilliland, William Hudson, Kevin Kane, Terry Lynch, Mary Lynn Perl, John Pontius, and John Stokes,

Directors Absent: Greg Duckett, John Bobango, Charles Carpenter, Kemp Conrad, Sara Hall, Tomeka Hart, James Holt, Barbara Hyde, Derrick Joyce, Pat Kerr-Tigrett, Robert Lipscomb, Bob Lundy, Lecia Martin, Angus McEachran, Keith McGee, Rickey Peete, Jeff Sanford, Bill Taylor, Dan Turley, Burnetta Williams, and Jerry West,

Others Attending: Benny Lendermon, Jay Fuller, Dorchelle Spence, Brenda Adair, Hite Mclean, Karl Schledwitz, and Andy Ashhy.

Call to Order: Chairman Masson called the meeting to order at 8:40 a,m,

Roll Call: The Secretary called the roll. A quorum was not established.

Approval of Board Minutes: Mr, Masson stated that since a quorum was not established, the minutes from the previous board meeting (September 22, 2006) were not presented for approval. An error in the 9/22/07 minutes to be corrected was also made. The correction is Kevin Kane seconded the motion to approve the May 16, 2006 board minutes,

Treasurer's Report: John Pontius reported that Watkins Uiberall, PLLC has completed the RDC financial statements for FY2006. No Discrepancies or irregularities were found, and no changes were made

Mr. Pontius also reported that as a result of a drop in RDC's parks management contract fees by over $480,000 for the year, the approved budget is a break-even budget that could be upset by unusual changes in revenue or expenses, Revenue for the first quarter was below the expectation by $97,940 The primary factor was concert revenue. However, on the expense side, there were enough surplus line items, notably landscaping, advertising, equipment repair, and employee compensation to offset the drop in revenue, As a result, the first quarter budget shows a slight deficit ($10,381), which we expect to recover during the year.

Dorchelle Spence reported that the RDC Annual Report for FY2005 and FY2006 is completed and ready for distribution. This year, the 2005 and 2006 annua1 reports were combined into one report, Ms. Spence stated that the report highlights many of RDC's accomplishments to date, such as Beale Street Landing, RDC's work with the University of Memphis Law School, the Riverwalk connecting Tom Lee Park with Ashburn Coppock and Martyrs Parks, and the Mud Island Traffic Circle The report also includes financial statements for both years.

Carousel Exploratory Committee Report: Mr. Lendermon gave an update on the Grand Carousel in the absence of John Bobango, Chair of the Carousel Exploratory Committee. Since the last board meeting, the City Council has adopted a resolution stating it wants the Grand Carousel relocated to Mud Island River Park. They also requested RDC to present, within 90-days, a proposal of how the relocation could be accomplished. RDC staff and many others are working to accomplish the request within the timeframe.

John Bobango and the committee are also working with the City of Memphis to implement a security system for the carousel. Currently, the Parks Services' staff is providing 24-hour security7 days a week. The City is also looking at providing insurance for the carousel during the storage and renovation stages. In addition, under the leadership of John Bobango there have been several meetings regarding restoration funding for the Grand Carousel from the private sector. Committee members are John Stokes, Kevin Kane, Mary Lynn Perl, and Pat Kerr-Tigrett.

President's Report: Dorchelle Spence gave an overview of the Mud Island River Park Season. She reported that the Island had a great season with the second highest attendance since RDC assumed management. The primary reason for the attendance being slightly down is because there were fewer concerts this year. Museum tickets sales were up, in addition to the percentage of visitors to the Island. Halloween at the Island was very successful with 3,200 visitors. This year, RDC was fortunate to gain the support of a media sponsor, Clear Channel, which brought more publicity for the event. We also had a corporate sponsor, Hope Presbyterian Church provided volunteers for the event.

Mr. Lendermon reported that each year, the Center City Commission (CCC) participates in the International Downtown Association Conference which was held in Portland, Oregon October 7-9. The CCC was recognized during the conference this year, and received The Downtown IDA Achievement Award for Minority Outreach. Jeff Sanford, Rickey Peete, and Barbara SwearengenHolt were attending the conference representing the CCC, and Mr. Lendermon recognized that this was also a great opportunity to visit Portland's waterfront. Mr. Lendermon and RDC board members, Kemp Conrad, John Bobango, City Council members, Tajuan Stout-Mitchell and Scott McCormick also attended conference, and toured the International Carousel Museum in Hood River. Mr. Lendermon stated the visit to the carousel museum was very educational. The Memphis carousel is ranked in the top 10 of carousel in existence.

Mr. Lendermon reported that recently the new Tom Lee Memorial dedication ceremony was held on Thursday, October 19 at 10 a.m. in Tom Lee Park. In addition to the unveiling of the memorial, an original song was performed by the Overton High School Choir. The lyrics written by former Tennessee Poet Laureate Helen Thomas Allison and the score by Elizabeth Rogers, was arranged by Ken Eichholz. Memphis City Council Members, Barbara Swearengen-Holt and Rickey Peete, and a representative from The United States Coast Guard made remarks at the ceremony. Members of the Lee family and David Alan Clark, the artist who design the memorial, also gave remarks.

Lendermon reported that a lighted Christmas Tree will be constructed on the south tip of Mud Island River Park, and the cobblestone walkway lights will be changed to red and green for the holiday season.

Mr. Lendermon also informed the board that Tajuan Stout-Mitchell, Chair of the Memphis City Council contacted RDC about hosting a joint Christmas celebration with City Council. The event will be held at the River Terrace Yacht Club at Mud Island River Park on Saturday, December 16 at 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Lendermon also noted that the cost of the party will be a 50-50 split, and RDC's cost will be paid by private contributions made by board members. No public funds will be used by RDC.

Mr. Lendermon reported the Beale Street Landing permitting process is still moving. To date there has been traffic and noise studies, an environmental assessment, and a review of building in the floodplain and next to a historical site (the cobblestone) completed and all submitted for comments from the State of Tennessee. The State is in the process of writing a contract for funding that is dedicated for the project. The contract will be executed between the State and the City of Memphis to allow the funds to be spent.

South End Presentation: Terry Lynch, managing partner of Southland Development Partners presented an updated master plan for the South End area. His company is leading the effort to transform this area into a new urbanist community. He presented a plan that request the participation of the area stakeholders including CCC, MAT A, RDC, The City of Memphis as well as private developers. The plan envisions the emerging community being better connected to the public open spaces including the riverfront parks, the river walk as well as Central Station and the South Main Arts district. The initial phase of the public realm improvements center around a major upgrade of the ""gateway" entry in the area along Riverside Drive. The area developers have agreed to a master streetscape plan that will allow for a seamless landscape and hardscape between developments along Riverside Drive. The plan also calls for upgraded signage into the RDC managed parks and a new traffic signal at Riverside and Georgia. This will allow for greater pedestrian access to the parks and help calm vehicular traffic along Riverside Drive.

New Business: Mr. Masson presented the 2007 RDC Board Meeting dates, requesting each member to please put the dates on their schedule. The meetings will start at 8 :30 at RDC on February 14,2007; May 16,2007; August 15,2007; and November 14,2007.

Adjournment: There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned 9:47 a.m.

Brenda J. Adair
Acting Secretary

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