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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fairhope Single Tax Corporation Lessees Meet

Fairhope, Alabama. (fairhopetimes@att.net)


LONG RANGE SPENDING PLAN
STC President Turner

The Fairhope Single Tax Corporation's directors met with colony members and lessees at Faulkner's Dahlgren Hall to give them an opportunity to suggest projects the corporation could someday fund -- using the "demonstration fee" portion of their annual rent payments.

President Lee Turner said that rather just have "people come in the door asking for money ... have a long-range plan ... of what we want to do ... help us to get matching funds and grants too ... ."

Turner said the FSTC directors hired  Thompson Engineering to facilitate the process and come up with a document, probably by mid-summer: Christopher Baker and Jennifer Nichols represented the firm.

Baker called it a "collaborative effort" and he was "here to listen" -- to determine consensus; then prioritize the project ideas.

Nichols left; Baker right
He designated broad categories of projects, similar to ones in the past, that fit into the corporation's IRS 501(c)4 status mandate to "promote civic betterment and social welfare."

The suggestions were recorded and posted on the walls -- and then prioritized by participants using the now-familiar colored-dot method: green means high priority, red less so. 

FSTC directors make the final choices, by majority vote; projects they are advocating and those of corporation committees were not mentioned during this meeting.

It was not specified if the final document from Thompson Eng. will be made available to lessees or the general public when completed later this summer.

(All projects must be within or "touch" Colony boundaries. Despite notifications of the meeting sent to all lessees, turnout was disappointing: only about 35 of the 3,200 attended.)


SOME PROJECT IDEAS SUGGESTED

Category 1: Sidewalk improvements.

  *Finish bricking downtown
  *Stimpson St. from Morphy to Fairhope Ave.
  *Gayfer Rd. from Bishop to Greeno
  *All streets to elementary school
  *Morphy Ave. down to Fels park
  *Morphy Ave. east of Greeno Rd.


Category 2: Road/intersection improvements

 *A roundabout Hwy 104/Veterans Dr. junction
 *Bike lanes/corridors  (North/South and East/West)
 *Pedestrian crossing signals downtown
 *Pedestrian islands for Greeno Rd.
 *Crosswalk for Section at Oak st.


Category 3: Recreation improvements.

 *Outdoor basketball courts
 *Bike racks downtown
 *Off road bicycling (nature park?)
 *East-side recreation facilities
 *Park behind library
 *New Soccer complex additions (concession stands?)
 *Frisbee golf, archery.


Category 4: Public safety.

 *Pedestrian safety education (drivers and peds)
 *Improve volunteer fire department response time (especially at night/early morning)
 *Restrooms at piers and ballparks need aattention
 *Stairs down to bay parks need repair/replacement
 *More off-street parking at Volanta park
 *Parking deck behind Greer's grocery?
 *Parking behind library?
 *More handicapped parking


Category 5: Civic organization aid

 *Partner with FEEF on projects (education-related)
 *Shepard's Place (elder care)
 *Library
 *Badwin Pops
 *Rotary Youth Club
 *Ecumenical Ministries


Category 6: Schools

 *Partner with FEEF
 *Outdoor classrooms
 *Organic School aid
 *More space for Single Tax classes
 *City history archives?


Category 7: Arts

 *Badwin Pops orchestra
 *Performing arts center (retrofit civic center?)
 *Sculpture gardens
 *Eastern Shore Art Center (dire needs?)
 *Public art
 *Theater 98 aid


 Category 8: Other/Misc.

 *Bury electric utilities
 *Drainage downtown
 *Cable/fiber optic systems improvement
 *Retirement fund for STC employees
 *Return Hwy 181 widening land sale money to lessees?
 *Evaluate "internal factors" at FSTC (governance, marketing, etc.)
 *More land donations to public
 *Acquire more property along bay



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a lessee and we did not get notification of the meeting? We spoke to several other lessee's and they didn't either? Ha d no idea there was a meeting.....

Anonymous said...

Good points all. I never received a notice, but probably wouldn't been able to go anyway.

Publisher said...

It went out with the annual rent statements.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't in my rent statement and I get two for different properties.

Anonymous said...

We did not receive a notice with our rent statement. In fact, in the six years we have lived on Colony property, we have never received notice of a meeting. Is this an annual occurrence?

Publisher said...

No, this was a first in recent memory: promulgated by current FSTC President Lee Turner.

There was some talk about holding another, but low turnout discourages that.

We suggest any lessees who would like another ... contact the FSTC.

The results of this project will be delivered to Corp. Directors later this summer by Thompson Engineering; it was not announced if they will be shared with lessees.