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March 5, 2010

Agenda

  1. Call to Order and Minutes;
  2. Consider Time Zone Change Request;
  3. Revisit Feb. 24 Parking Planning Meeting discussion;
  4. Discuss 2009 Revenues and Expenses with Allocated General Expenses;
  5. Update on NP and 1st Avenue North Corridor Study;
  6. Operator’s Report; and
  7. Other Issues.

Minutes

Chairperson Commissioner Williams called the meeting to order. Mr. Engen moved to approve the minutes of the January 8, 2010 meeting and Ms. Walvatne seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Consider Time Zone Change Request
Mr. Stein stated that he had received a request from the Howard Johnson hotel on Third Avenue North. He noted that the spaces in front of the hotel had been marked as 90-minute spots and that the staff had asked that they be changed to a two-hour zone. He stated that there had been discussion about installing bike lanes and parallel parking on Fourth Avenue North behind the hotel. Ms. Stoker asked how many spots would be included and Mr. Stein estimated that there were approximately twenty-five. Mr. Engen asked if changing the zone for one hotel would require changes for all of the downtown
hotels.

Ms. Anderson explained her concerns to the commission. The Commission discussed surrounding areas usable for parking and the parking available on hotel property. They covered the possibility of using the Plenty of Parking (POP) program as an incentive for customers to park in the nearby, city-owned lot and the fees for parking in the Civic Center lot.

Revisit February 24, 2010 Meeting
Mr. Stein reviewed the intent of that meeting. He noted that there had not been a Government Services Admin (GSA) representative invited but that Mr. Stein had been in contact with the organization and was including them in the discussion. He reviewed the discussion that took place with the Commission and pointed out that a circulator bus had received positive response. He noted that parking structures had been much discussed. Commissioner Williams reviewed the discussion of funding sources for a parking ramp, including using the infrastructure portion of city sales tax. He stated that this would allow for saving the income from such a structure to build a fund for the next
one. He noted that flat lots were the worst use of downtown land because they eliminate development on that land which meant reduced tax income, sales tax, and employment. Mr. Stein stated that gap funding from the private sector or North Dakota State University (NDSU) may also be a part of the solution. The Commission discussed circulator bus issues and timing. Mr. Stein reminded the Commission that the circulator route was one of the primary goals for this year and that it would also be a way to make the POP program more useful for business owners.

Ms. Stoker asked about the owners of the north portions of the Second Avenue North lot. Mr. Stein and Commissioner Williams explained the ownership and leasing status and that contact with those involved was underway. They discussed the costs of and interest in a circulator route. Mr. Gilmour stated that new buses were scheduled for delivery in a few months but that the funding for a circulator route had been denied by the City Commission the past two years. He noted that there may be federal money available to pay as much as half of the cost. He noted that there was also a Congestion
Mitigation program that could be spent on transit but that it would require a 50% match from the city. Ms. Walvatne pointed out that Sanford taking space in the Wells Fargo building would create much more demand for transit between the Island Park Ramp and the MeritCare campus. Ms. Stoker noted that NDSU development had also created much higher demand.

NP Avenue/1st Avenue North Corridor Study
Commissioner Williams reviewed the public meetings surrounding this study and noted that all of the options included the addition of bike lanes. Mr. Stein explained which of the options had been getting the most support at the meetings. The commission discussed those options and how they would impact traffic flow and calming. Mr. Stein stated that freight loading was a major concern in the design as well.

Operator’s Report
Mr. Rogne reviewed the operator’s report for February, 2010. He noted that new control arm equipment had been installed the past week with computers for the attendants and that there had been a few malfunctions and errors. Mr. Rogne pointed out that it was a short distance between the Island Park ramp and the NP Avenue lot but that renters did not want to have to cross the railroad tracks. Mr. Anderson stated that 120 to 140 staff from Sanford would be moving into the Wells
Fargo building in June or July, 2010. He agreed that a shuttle along Broadway would be a very attractive option for those people. He noted that frequency would be the key to gaining riders.

Discuss 2009 Revenues and Expenses with Allocated General Expenses
Mr. Stein reviewed the revenue and expense summary that he distributed to the commission and explained the various budget lines. The Commission discussed revenue sources and the US Bank Ramp demolition. Mr. Stein stated that the lot on the north side of 2nd Avenue needed to be resurfaced and have new lighting installed but that having no solid revenue source meant that they would need to wait to perform those repairs until the funds had been generated by the various lots. Commissioner Williams pointed out that developing bike lanes along Fourth Avenue North would connect those on Broadway with the riverside bike paths. There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned.