March 1, 2021

7:00 PM

This CRA Board Meeting was conducted utilizing Communications Media Technology. Some Board and Staff members were present in the Commission Chambers while others were present via the Zoom application to respect the social distancing guidelines.


CRA Board Members Present in Chambers:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Presiding Officer

Harold Smith, Chair

Tambra Varnadore, Vice Chair

Tamara Cornwell

Sheldon Jones

Brian Williams


Staff Present in chambers:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Jim Freeman, City Clerk

Jeff Burton, CRA Director

Mohammed Rayan, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Penny Johnston, Executive Administrative Assistant

Vanessa Cochran, Assistant City Clerk


Staff Present Electronically:

Phil Southwick, Information Technology (IT) Consultant


Presiding Officer Bryant called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.





                 Motion:  Mrs. Cornwell moved, Mr. Williams seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to                                  approve the March 1, 2021 CRA Board Agenda






a.     Minutes: January 4, 2021

b.     Legal Bills


   Motion:  Mrs. Cornwell moved, Mrs. Varnadore seconded, and the motion carried                   5-0 to approve the Consent Agenda as presented by staff with the removal                     of 3.B Legal Bills for discussion.



CRA Board Meeting

March 1, 2021

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In regards to the West Tomato invoice, Attorney Barnebey responded that the invoice pertains to a contract negotiation, which the company has not signed yet. Mr. Burton, CRA Director, added that the property has a large brownfield spot next to a ditch that is polluted next to the City’s property.  And, West Coast Tomato wants to make sure that when they sign the contract, they will not be liable for anything.    


Motion:  Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Jones seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to                                         approve item 3.B as presented by staff.


4.          CONNOR PARK (J. Burton)

Mr. Burton, CRA Director, explained the Palmetto Trails connection to the Connor Park Project and provided a presentation, which is a part of the minutes.  And, Attorney Barnebey informed the Board that there were 2 motions for this item and clarified the motions.     


     Motion:  Mr. Williams moved, Mrs. Varnadore seconded, and the motion carried                    5-0 to approve the site plan for Connor Park and authorize the                                        negotiation of a contract with Stellar Development for the                                                    improvements at Connor Park.



Mr. Burton advised the Board that this item was only for information purposes until it is presented to the Board within a month.  He stated that the property is the old Fertilizer Plant at 917 11th Avenue West with 8.62 acres and is a brownfield site. Mr. Burton proposed a public private partnership with the developer and will join into a Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreement.  The CRA will assist with the remediation and in return will receive the tax credit.  He emphasized that it will be a housing complex at market rate.  Then, Mr. Burton answered the Commissioners’ questions regarding the development. 



6.          RENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM - Discussion (J. Burton)

Mr. Burton stated that the item is an addition to the CRA economic incentives and provided a draft of the proposed rent incentives for the downtown future land use district.  The proposed draft is a part of the minutes.  He discussed the program and answered the Board’s questions.


Mrs. Cornwell complimented Mr. Burton on presenting the program to the Board because it gives the people a great opportunity to start a business, and it will generate businesses to the City. 


Mrs. Varnadore suggested to have an added incentive for the existing businesses because the pandemic has caused them financial hardship, and she requested a budget amount for the program.  Mr. Burton replied that when the item is brought back to the Board, he will have the requested information.    





CRA Board Meeting

March 1, 2021

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7.           DOWNTOWN PARKING (J. Burton)

Mr. Burton expressed that the City Comprehensive Plan and the CRA Plan is not written to include garage parking but street parking. He summarized the requirements for the process, and the Commissioners addressed their concerns regarding the garage parking and the location. After the discussion, the Board requested that the CRA Director collect information on mix-use parking and bring back for discussion.



Mr. Burton informed the Board that the position, Assistant CRA Director, will be advertised.  Also, he expressed that the Commissioners have a choice to be linked to a program called Linkedin Learning and training is available. The Commissioners decided not to subscribe, and Presiding Officer Bryant accepted the training link.  






Mr. Jones reported that the standardized color pallet for the exterior paint on the old Kentucky Fried Chicken Building received did not match.  Mr. Burton replied that the business did not sign up for the storefront grant, so they do not have to use the color.  Presiding Officer Bryant declared that she will speak with the owners.  Mr. Jones questioned why a CRA employee is not listed on the City’s website.  Mr. Burton replied that he will have it added. 


 Mr. Williams inquired about the color pallet and storefront grant when businesses paint the building themselves with a color not on the list and apply for a storefront grant that does not include painting if they would be approved or denied. Mr. Burton said that he believes they would be approved, but responded that Attorney Barnebey will check on it. 


Presiding Officer Bryant adjourned the meeting at 9:28 p.m.



Minutes approved: June 7, 2021





James R. Freeman

City Clerk





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