Strategic Planning & Partnerships Commission Proceedings by Authority
State of New York,
City of Jamestown ss.:
Police Training Room
The regular meeting of the Strategic Planning & Partnerships Commission of the City of Jamestown, New York was held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 8:30 A.M in the Mayor’s Conference Room, City Hall.
Members Present: Co-Chairman Greg Rabb, Co-Chairwoman Kathleen Eads, Paul Leone, Marie Carrubba, Brett Apthorpe, David Leathers, Kevin Sixbey, Justin Hanft, Jim Domogola
Others Present: Rochelle Mole, Steve Sandberg, Vince DeJoy, Tina Scott, Malachi Livermore, Andrea Magnuson, Vince DeJoy, Lisa Hatch
Mr. Rabb: Before we go ahead with this meeting, Kathleen and I discussed that we were going to take June and July off if only because, one, I have conflicts in my schedule keeping me out of town on business and I’m sure Kathleen is very busy with everything going on over at the Reg. While we’ll all miss you, I’m sure we’ll reconvene in August. I guess we’ll go ahead with the agenda; we were focusing on an update on all the different exciting downtown projects I think we’re going to go in order, right Kathleen?
Ms. Eads: Yes. We’re going to have Rosemary Lombardo and Beth Trosper from the Marvin House.
Rosemary Lombardo and Beth Trosper – Marvin House
Ms. Lombardo: First of all, I’d like to give you a little flavor, if I could, it won’t take long, regarding what the Marvin House is and what we’re all about and what we are doing. I’ll give you some bullet points afterwards. First of all, I’d like to say we all have a beautiful gem here in Jamestown. I know some of you know that and I hope all of you will know that. I think, if I’m not mistaken, we are the only actually architectural Queen Anne in the city of Jamestown that is in pristine condition. We’re very proud of that because our members, for 68 years, we have been giving it tender, loving care. It’s been a wonderful thing. Beth will cover that in more detail after I’m done.
Our initiatives for the coming year are continually outlined suggestions and efforts of our members, our directors, we will continue to be extremely proactive on all of these community service projects coming up, especially in August. We’re quite excited about that. We are involved with many community service things that some of you don’t hear about because they’re very confidential and that’s the way people want them. We are constantly reviewing and establishing our baselines for what we can do to be more effective. Many of our ladies have given their own talents privately in community service. Another important thing; we are the mother house of Jamestown for all the community clubs and organizations. As a mother house, we are open for meetings, we have our in-house chef, you can have meetings, celebrations, training sessions. I know some of you have had them there. We can accommodate everything; celebrations, whatever. If you’re a member, you get it free; rent fee. If you don’t, you would have to pay a small fee.
Mrs. Elizabeth Warner Marvin left the house to the women of Jamestown. She had a jewel, she knew it, she wanted to protect it. She didn’t want it torn down and that’s why she left it to the city of Jamestown and to the women. We offer tours and this is what we plan on doing in August; offering tours. Beth is our tour guide, she is excellent, she knows it inside and out which she will tell you later. Our newest addition that we have accomplished, hopefully, is Mrs. Marvin’s men’s club and I know we have a couple people in here and we’d like everybody, all the men, and that’s to establish a new dimension for the Marvin House. To get it out there, to get it known, to do many, many good things for the community.
I’ve brought some pickles for Vincent. His wife is in love with them and we make terrific pickles and one of our projects is going to be on our veranda, on our porch, we will be selling pickles also. We’re proud of our pickles. Like I said, it’s a cost and a journey, we’re raising funds continually so we can accomplish beautiful, wonderful things. We hold special events and I think we play a very important role in the city of Jamestown on a cultural level with all the women. I would like to say; keep your eye on us because in August you’re going to see something fantastic on the corner of Fifth and Main. It will be brilliant. You will be in awe. I know you will be. Some of the projects that we plan for August is we want to get buntings on our front porch. It’s going to look marvelous. That’s one of our goals; to have that same Victorian look that was many, many years ago. That will be very brilliant for the Lucy Desi days. We’re on an ongoing, everyday basis. We’ll do anything the city of Jamestown wants us to do. We’re here for you. It is your home. It was left to the women of the city; it is your home. Whatever you want us to do, we will do. Our membership has increased. We’re also going to be starting, for flexibility and for new memberships, we’re going to be starting a women’s night meeting for a lot of our members to come. So, we can attract the younger women, the working women so they can attend. Which right now, they can’t because they work. Anyway, that’s about it. We’re doing all kinds of things. You can ask questions because there’s so many things that we’re involved in and on a continual basis being involved. Whatever you want us to do for August, we’re there for you and we will do anything. I have a brochure here too. We’re going to be doing the rack cards up at the overlook. We’re going to be doing that hopefully. I’ve talked to June about that. So, hopefully they’re going to do something really great to get the visibility out there. We want to be on the tour, we want to be a part of this whole thing. We’re there for you.
Ms. Trosper: I’ll continue on where Rosemary left off. I want to tell you that this past year, we have renovated the Fifth Street side of the house and the Main Street side. I don’t know how many of you live in an old house – I mean, old, old; over 120-some years old, or more. And try to restore this so that it maintains it. When we started looking at the idea, we knew we had to do something because you just can’t put siding, aluminum siding on the house, or vinyl siding and then have the interior collapse. Through a committee, we came up with renovations and I want to report to you what has been done so far. We are so pleased and if you go by, it looks nice; it’s very, very nice. On the front porch, that Rosemary was talking about putting the buntings on, that whole front porch was rotten at the end. You couldn’t walk on it. We had to partition it off so that people would not get hurt. That’s all been taken out and supports are put in and then the new redwood flooring has been put in to match it. They had to piece it in because the architecture worked on the porch, was not just laying boards out there. No, that had to be one board this way, one board this way and it’s a beautiful house done. The railings; go by and look at the railings. Those had layers and layers and layers of paint on them. So, they dipped them, you would think the paint would just come off. Well, it did; except for the very first layer. The very first layer was on and then they had to hand sand that all off. Those are the original spindles on the porch now. Did you know that old wood is better than the new wood we have now? Who knew, but they’re perfect and they’re beautiful. That helped with our front porch and then there was lighting that’s been put on.
Now, the next step that they did for the renovation, is we did soda blasting on the turret in the front and on the sides of the porch, the foundation of the porch, to remove all of the environmental residue and also the paint that had been put there. That helped that tremendously. Then we had windows that had been painted shut; they had never been opened before. Now those all operate, they’ve been glazed and the wood that was rotten on the exterior of the house; the window frames, those have been cut off and replaced to look exactly like the original house. You don’t realize where that came off and it was put on. It’s gorgeous, it’s just wonderful. In the attic, facing Fifth Street, at the very, very top of the house there are windows, you’ve got four panes on the bottom and then there’s a circular part. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get a window like that, but it’s very expensive. The bids came in at $12,000.00 for that window, to replace it. We don’t want to block it off and just leave it out because that’s the structure of the house. However, our builders Mayshark, had made a template for that and that window frame has all been made out of redwood now and it was like having a new grandchild come to you or the birth of a child. They had to lift it up on this g-lift and place this whole window in and now it’s there to stay. It’s painted, it’s beautiful, it won’t fall out, the rain won’t come in. It’s gorgeous. So, take a look at it. We are so happy to have that window upstairs. Then at the house, facing Main Street, there’s a veranda. Sometimes you might say it’s a patio, but it’s a veranda and that door that was upstairs going to the veranda didn’t even open. Now the door opens and as you walk out all the rotting shingles have been replaced. The top part of the veranda just incinerated in your hand. That has been replaced with a lovely piece of redwood, all painted, and it has just made the house, restored it gorgeously.
Now the foundation; when they were soda blasting, they found a crack in the foundation, directly on Main Street. They went downstairs into the basement, started to fix that. For some reason, a workman put his hand up for support or something and it touched the sill plate that goes between the foundation and the rest of the house and a piece of wood cracked off from that and they looked – that whole piece was all rotten. Up above it, there are two grand pianos. Those pianos would have been in the floor in the basement as time went on. So, the support of the house has been removed and a new one put in. Then we have the shingles on the exterior. Some of them were totally rotten. Now when you take off a rotten shingle you think you can just replace it with a new one, but that’s not the case. When they took off the shingle, the part of the house behind it was rotten. It just keeps going and going in layers. But, if you don’t fix it the first time or when you’re working on it, then it keeps deteriorating more in the inside and eventually you lose the house. And there’s a beautiful structure to the house. So, where they had to replace the shingles, the new ones have been put there and it’s just not an easy task. You have to special order the cedar shingles, then they have to be dipped so that the front and the back are primed, then they install them and everything is painted again. I think I hit most of the things that have happened, so far, in the house.
But, the reason I have to tell you this is my own personal experience. And that is that I moved here to the city of Jamestown twelve years ago. Now when you come into this town, how do you meet people? My children were all out of school so I wasn’t involved int eh school system, there were organizations around, but you just don’t say oh here I am, but someone invited me to the Marvin House and the ladies just welcomed me in. they asked me to come back for the next luncheon that was there and I have met some of the most wonderful women in this Jamestown area that I’ve ever had in my experience of life. And so, it’s very special to me. I want to end with this; when we brought workmen in to work in the Marvin House, they walked through the house and actually, for the gentlemen here and the ladies who understand this example, the men would go through the house and they start feeling our wood. Ladies would feel fabric, but these workmen and craftsmen came in and would feel the wood. They would feel the fireplaces, they would feel the wood mantles on the fireplace, they would feel the knobs going down the stairs. They loved the wood. Finally, it was like, how long is this going to take because they went from room to room to room. It’s gorgeous and we want you to come visit us, we’re there on the corner when people come into town they’ll see us and it is a wonderful place. Thank you.
Mr. Rabb: Does anyone have a question for our friends from the Marvin House?
Mr. Leone: Are there interior photographs from when Mrs. Marvin was living there?
Ms. Trosper: We do have a picture of her and there are probably some. I haven’t seen a lot of them. Rosemary, have you seen interior?
Ms. Lombardo: I don’t have interior, I have exterior. I didn’t want to show anybody because this is going to be just so beautiful.
Ms. Trosper: The appearance of some of them because when the house came to the women of Jamestown, Mrs. Marvin had been sick for about twelve years so a lot of the house, the way she maintained it, hadn’t been kept up. But, they did have some photographs then. We have to look for them, but if you’d like to see them, we could work on getting them.
Mr. Leone: Yes. It’s hard to find interior photographs of, especially, old houses.
Mr. Rabb: I want to thank you for opening up a men’s group, which I recently joined to help with the restoration of the house and we had a lovely luncheon and I thought that was fantastic that you let us guys come in there. But, I should let you know, I’m probably going to feel the wood and the fabric.
Mr. DeJoy: And also just to mention Mr. Chairman, if anyone would like an opportunity to go in the Marvin House, this Sunday is a good opportunity. You’re doing brunches from 11:00 to 2:00. I know that because our rotary club meets there and Mindy prepares some of the most delicious breakfasts I’ve ever had and from 11:00 to 2:00 I think it’s $13.00, they’ll be serving brunch.
Michael Streed and Brandon Wade – Doubletree
Mr. Wade: Yes, please feel free to ask questions at the end. The first question I always get is when are you opening. I’m going to lay it out there right now to get that out of the way. I’ll say fall-ish. We’re hitting between September and October right now. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be open for Lucy Fest and the grand opening for the comedy center. It’s really sad, but the building is old, so we ran into some big plumbing issues that we had to take care of. We want to do it right and we want that building to last another 50, 60, 70 years. We’re taking care of those issues now. We’re 147 rooms, predominantly, many of these rooms are going to be 2 queen bed rooms. So that means for all of our sports groups, family members, that kind of atmosphere is what we were targeting when we created the room count. For the adults, if you want to bring your family in, we have every 2-bed room we have, we have a king room that’s connected to it. You can just put your kids to the 2-bed and you hide on the other side. We have a couple suites that we have up on the top floor. We got rid of most of the suites that were there before we took over the building. We wanted to kind of go back to that family feel and that leisure feel.
Then we go down to the second floor, the ballroom; 4100 square feet full functioned ballroom that can be split up into three different areas, kind of like it was before. If you want to host meetings, functions, parties, collaborations with the other downtown business that we’ll be doing stuff with. We opened up the pre-function space so there’s about 1000 square feet of just cocktail hour that we’re talking about doing out there. If you’ve ever been in the building, they have the stairs that go up to the second floor. We’ve now put a bridge across that stair and it’s really neat. You can actually walk over this bridge into the restaurant.
Mr. Streed: On the wall with the windows.
Mr. Wade: Yes, on the wall with the windows. If you didn’t notice, the new windows are there too. D & S Glass did an amazing job; got rid of those reflective, shiny windows that were there before. Then you go to the restaurant. The restaurant is named Pearl City Hops Tavern Restaurant. We went back to the original Jamestown, one of the names it was named after; Pearl City. Gastro pub inspired. We’ll have breakfast, on Sundays we’ll have a brunch for everybody to come and enjoy and then at lunch and dinner time on the first floor at the bar and tavern. We’ve been working closely with the Jamestown Brewing guys and some of the other local businesses on creating that kind of food and feel of relaxation on that part.
The front desk area is completely remodeled. Pretty much everything in the building that was before, has been touched, gutted and thrown out. We basically just took everything out and just had a big shell. That was, I think, about it for the massive project that we were doing. The Hamister group has put in a lot of money and we got some money from some other places which is great and we’re very excited. Like I said, we’re going to be done probably around the fall. I hate when that question always comes up; every time I see Vince or anyone else on the street – when are you going to open and I wish I was open in August when everybody’s coming into town because it helps me out as far as my budget, but we’re going to get there and it’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful place.
The outside patio; this is one of my favorite spots. You know the brick wall, it kind of looks like a prison when you walk by on Fourth Street over there. We’re knocking that brick wall out, so it’s going to be an all-open patio concept. We bought four fireplaces we’re going to put out there. It’s kind of like if you’ve ever been to Bemus Point, the EBC, that same fireplace you can sit around in the fall time and have a drink or sit and have a cocktail, whatever you like. We’re working with Infinity group out here to have outside performers in the afternoon time. So, we’ll work with some of those kids and adults that go to Infinity just to get them out there to have a nice atmosphere with the music and then walk down to the brewery or anywhere else that has live music late at night, have a nice nightlife.
Mr. Streed: I think you’ve touched quite a bit of it. Along with it, we’re just very pleased to say that we’ve been very community involved with a lot of local businesses. Pretty much all the work being done in the hotel is basically all local.
Mr. Wade: We did a map the other day; 90% of the construction that’s being done at that building is all local.
Mr. Streed: And that’s one of our primary focuses is we want to be community involved and that is a huge issue; involving the community in the production of the building. Sales-wise, all the businesses that we’ve come in contact with responded very well to the hotel. They not only, some of them have that nostalgic feel of what the hotel used to be like and it’s kind of cool to show them what it’s going to be like now. There’s some of the old, a lot of the new and I think people are really excited. We’re going to do a lot of community events. A lot of things out in the parking lot for the community as well as functions and events inside. We’re very excited. Any questions?
Mr. Wade: Thank you so much Ms. Chairman for inviting us here.
Mr. Rabb: It’s exciting to drive by there and look in the window and see all the stuff that’s going on. You can tell that you’re really just gutting it and starting over.
Mr. Wade: One thing that I didn’t mention, this is kind of exciting for the downtown atmosphere. I mentioned this to Vince the other day and the brewery guys. On the other side of the building, where the tower is, there is an AT&T cell tower, but on the other side where the other elevators are, we’re going to be working with Erie News Now and we’re putting up a weather camera that’s sponsored by Shults Auto Group and us and that weather cam is going to be 360 degrees, so it can be turned around and see all of Jamestown. So, if you think about that, it’s always going to be on the news up in Erie. Anytime they have an event they can plug right to us, they’re always going to see Jamestown all the time now. We’ll try to get some of that pull, try to get that down here and try to get the focus of saying, wow, there’s a lot going on here and a lot of pretty things going and happening and let’s go down there for a day or two. We’re going to be working on that marketing too; to get people to stay more than one day.
Jon McLellan Jr. – Jamestown Brewing Company
Mr. McLellan Jr.: Our presentation is going to be very short and sweet. Logistically, nothing has changed for the brewery. The layout is still the same. The operations are going to be exactly the same as all of our other presentations. We’re just about wrapping up demo; demolition is almost complete on the building and all of our dates are back for our contractors. We’re trying as hard as we can to be present in some capacity for the Lucy Desi Fest in August. We don’t have hard dates set yet, but rest assured, we are working diligently to hopefully make that a possibility. We recently had an event on May 5th in the alley sponsored by our good friends from Twelve Gates Brewery. It was a very good turnout. We had a steady flow of about 100 people an hour. I think we had about 510 people there throughout the entire 5 hours. We got a lot of great feedback from that. We’re just excited to get opened and be a part of the community. Any questions?
Mr. Thomas: Do you have your tanks in yet?
Mr. McClellan Jr. Yes. The tanks are at Phil Baker’s trucking company. We’re waiting on 2 more tanks, so we’ll be at 12, 14 tanks.
Kathleen Eads – Reg Lenna Center for the Arts
Ms. Eads: I will be short and sweet as well. The Reg; we are on schedule, the plan is to have the street level completed and open by the end of July. We are currently at 41% complete on the entire project so we are moving apace. We will also have the brand-new lobby will be open and available for Lucy Fest and all of the activities as well as the new gallery and God willing and the creek don’t rise, new sidewalks. We will see. Does anybody have any questions about The Reg?
Mr. The Corner Café is amazing.
Ms. Eads: Thank you, I’m glad to hear that, most appreciated. It’s doing really well.
Vince DeJoy – Greater Jamestown Riverwalk
Mr. DeJoy: I have volunteered to pitch in for Jeff Lehman to discuss everything that’s happening on the Riverwalk, all of the improvements that we’re about to open in a big way. Jeff is out there actually trying to make things happen. Our Department of Development has the more easy and fun part; trying to write the grants to bring the money in. Poor Jeff and his team has to execute it and we’re working diligently to make sure that you get sidewalks in front of the Reg. Right now, we’re really concentrating on Fourth Street to make sure that that is all completed by the Memorial Day parade. Then we’re going to moving to in front of the National Comedy Center, but we’ll talk about that in a minute.
As you can see, we are prepared to open what we’re calling Phase 5 of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk trail. This will be a bike trail that starts on Eighth Street down by the boat landing, by McCrea point on the other side of the outlet. As you can see here, this is the beginning on Eighth Street. We’ve also included a nice parking area or trailhead for people to park and begin their journey across the trail. June 29th is going to be the official ribbon-cutting and opening and we should have everything completed by then. As you can see, it’s a long pathway that goes all the way out to Clifton Avenue. I should’ve measured it; I was kind of wondering what it is, but as soon as it’s open, I will measure it on my Fitbit watch and probably use it as a regular means of exercising. A beautiful overlook of the Chautauqua Rowing Club. This was something that I wasn’t even expecting that was going to get done, but I am so glad to see it with some picnic tables and some benches. Just a beautiful view on the other side of McCrea Park.
Also, there’s a pedestrian walking bridge that crosses one of the creeks; tributaries going into the lake. It’s just going to be a really, really nice experience. Now, this is what we’ve all been waiting for. This is part of Phase 6 of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk trail, in the basin behind the train station and the BPU campus. This is one of the two pedestrian bridges. We are just so excited to be opening these up. We’re doing the finishing touches and again we want to let the community know; please stay off the bridges. This is still an active construction zone. There is still some danger there, all the railings aren’t in place, all the landscaping, all the ramping isn’t in place, so we ask people to please be patient. This will be open soon. As you can see, we have lighting that’s already in place that will light up the bridge at night, so it will be available to walk at night. It’s a wood deck. It’s basically this finish, we will not be painting it, it will basically rust in place and I think it will look very nice over the years.
What they’re really working on now are the ramping systems. This is the bridge that’s next to the Washington Street bridge. This is all part of a $2 million project; $1.6 million was a grant that my office applied for the tuition alternatives program through New York State DOT with $400,000.00 match by the city. As you can see, this whole area with Comedy Center Park and the bridges is all coming together. There’s a stairway to get up to the bridge that will go over to Panzarella, yet there’s also a ramp system for handicap accessibility. It’s really kind of cool how this is all coming together and being more integrated. This is the view from the south side of Chadakoin River. It will be nice once people will be able to actually walk around the entire Riverwalk Trail without having to go onto the street. Again, another dramatic view of what I wanted to show here was, I went out back of the porches or patio areas behind the National Comedy Center and my God, what a view. It looks just fantastic and I can’t imagine what it’s going to look like, at night. Once we have all of this in place, we’re working on that currently with the BPU, met with New York State Department of Transportation last week and we’re going to be working on all the permitting processes. As you can imagine, putting any type of light fixtures on a state-owned bridge is just no easy task and there’s not one person that says yes go ahead and do it. This is going to have to go all the way up to the federal level, but that’s just what we have to do. We’re looking to work with the BPU, collaborate to light up the coal silo that really isn’t being utilized anymore for coal, but will become beautiful at night. Looking to light up some trees, up-light trees, and other hard assets that will add a lot of drama to the Riverwalk.
This is one of our other signature projects this year that we are working very diligently on. This is the Second Street piazza and what we will have here are brick pavers that will create a pedestrian piazza along West Second Street. As you can see, there’s a large trench going from Washington Street all the way out to, I believe it’s Lafayette, replacing a waterline. This was the best time to do it so that in a couple of years we don’t have to be digging this up again. We’re appreciative that the BPU water division put this on the top of their priority list and moved things around to make this happen and they are working so hard and that’s why I don’t want to bother Jeff too much these next few weeks because he is just so busy going from project to project.
As we described earlier, this was a grant that was through the consolidated funding application last year that was received by the city for $140,000.00 and was generously matched by local foundations including the Gebbie Foundation and CRCF and other foundations potentially, but basically brick pavers that will go from Washington Street all the way down to Jefferson. There will be bollards that will be able to be installed on a temporary basis when we’re looking to close down the street to traffic and to basically conduct festivals. There will be lighting that will be strung across which will be very dramatic; LED Edison-type of light bulbs and we’re working on that to get all the final approvals from SHPO because it is touching some historic buildings being the train station. Again, it’s not an easy design it and put it up. There’s a lot of permitting and hoop jumping to go through.
I just want to also mention, while DOT was down here on Friday, actually the regional director from DOT and the deputy commissioner was here along with Senator Cathy Young, the mayor, myself, Jeff and others to look at the possibility as we discussed in, I believe it was last month’s meeting, to create two-way traffic. I’m not sure; they’re going to be doing their analysis, they’re going to put all the information into their modeling to see if it is feasible for two-way traffic along – to be able to turn right from Washington Street onto West Second Street. I can’t promise that this is going to be a quick fix or if they will allow it, but they’re going to do their analysis and we will be seeing what they come back with, hopefully within the next few weeks and we’re still working on the wayfinding, so the permanent wayfinding, this part of it, is kind of on hold, but we’re still working through the other components of how we’re going to direct both vehicles and pedestrians, especially for parking, to find available parking areas. But, there is a temporary wayfinding package that is being put together. Bergstrom Associates out of Rochester who is also putting together the CMAQ grant as our consultants for both the wayfinding and for parking, smarter and strategic parking alternatives on how to have meters that aren’t just fed by coins but using other means of payment such as credit cards and pay by phone and other apps to accomplish that. That was, again, the Gebbie Foundation stepped up and is supporting and funding temporary wayfinding study and construction of signage that will be used at least for the opening of the National Comedy Center and we’re hoping that there will be a lot of people coming in initially and we just want to make sure that their initial experience is a pleasant one and that they will tell their friends and family and suggest coming to Jamestown and it will give some confidence that we really have done our planning on this project and that this is going to be a great attraction. A lot of things happening, it’s the most exciting time that Jamestown has experienced in years and I’m just enjoying hearing from everyone around the table that are bringing all these projects. Let’s be happy this summer.
Mr. Rabb: Vince, the only question I have on the trail, the first trail along the river, that’s not lighted at all right? Sometimes people ask me about public safety along there. Is it easy for the police to control or has any thought been given to public safety issues? Because that goes pretty far back and I just don’t want to see the trail abused at nighttime and I know you can’t guarantee that stuff won’t happen, but I sometimes hear from people that there is…
Mr. DeJoy: We’re constantly looking at ways to additionally put video cameras up. I don’t know when that will come into effect, but we’re looking for ways to ensure the public’s safety and to ensure that people are confident that there aren’t going to be bad actors that are hiding behind a tree and waiting to accost people.
Mr. Rabb: Yes, because it’s just a fantastic trail and I love that little overlook.
Mr. DeJoy: I know our Jamestown Police Department also has a bike patrol. I think that’s another good means of patrolling that area.
Mr. Rabb: I think if there’s a lot of people out there, it’s always safer too.
Mr. DeJoy: We can ask the chief that one at the next meeting.
Mr. Rabb: I think it’s a great project, it’s exciting.
Mr. Leone: So, the plan is to go all the way to the lake, eventually?
Mr. DeJoy: To the lake? I guess we kind of do on the other side because it picks up from McCrea Point and there is a trail. It’s along the road, it’s not along the lake, but it does go out to Celoron.
Mr. Leone: Okay. And on the east side, that’s going through private property?
Mr. DeJoy: No, that’s all city-owned property.
Mr. Leone: That’s all city property, okay.
Mr. DeJoy: Predominantly Chadakoin Park.
Council President Carrubba: You can go around the Gateway Center. There are signs. It’s clearly marked with signs with Riverwalk signs. I’ve seen people biking and walking through there.
Mr. Leone: It’s great. If anybody hasn’t been through the comedy center on a tour yet, take the opportunity whenever you can get it. The view of the Comedy Center Park behind is just awesome because there is a whole wall of floor to ceiling windows. It’s just great.
Mr. DeJoy: Or, take the opportunity to buy a membership and you can have unlimited access to it.
Ms. Eads: That’s a great segue. Malachi Livermore has agreed to pull back the curtain a little bit more down at the NCC and timeline, etc.
Malachi Livermore – National Comedy Center
Mr. Livermore: Unfortunately, I don’t have a nice presentation like Vince, but I do have a scrapbook here. We are on our timeline for opening August 1st. All the physical construction will be done by July 1st, but we’re looking to be fully staffed by July 1st which gives us a month period to beta test and alpha test all the programs, all the software developers, all the hardware developers will come live onsite in Jamestown and we’ll be bringing groups through to test the experience and fine-tuning the experience. Vince covered the piazza out front. We’re looking to actually take advantage of that in the first week of August and close down that street the entire week of the festival. We’re already selling admission to the National Comedy Center and in order to control crowds, we’re actually doing timed admission. So, if you go to the 9/11 memorial museum, if you go to the Anne Frank house, you have to select a time that you want to go. So, we’re going to be implementing that. Just to make sure that not everybody shows up way before Amy Schumer and we want to get 5,000 people through there. So, I recommend that you get your admissions sooner than later if you would like. It’s $23.50 but become a member at $50.00 and you can go through as many times as you like.
Vince mentioned the park out back, Comedy Center Park, we’re actually installing electric back there where we can have special events. That space is programmable. That large lawn, it’s kind of hidden from the street. You can’t really see it off of Washington Street if you drive by, on Second Street you really can’t see it. So, if you haven’t seen it, I really recommend going back and checking it out. That’s a prime opportunity for weddings and festivals and beer tastings and what have you. That’s all programmable. Additionally, we have a connector that is connecting Second Street, down underneath the new construction of the connector building that’s connecting the historic BPU building to the historic train station. That has public restrooms, there’s a public elevator for ADA accessibility, not only down to Comedy Center Park, but down to the Riverwalk, just kind of working all together there. That is going to be open to the public starting in August.
Hopefully people have heard about our lineup this year for the festival. Lily Tomlin, unfortunately, is sold out, so if you didn’t get your tickets, I apologize, but I recommend getting your tickets for Amy Schumer and SNL as well as they are going quickly. We are looking to have our block parties out in front of the Reg. We have an application in with the city to accomplish that and have this community event where everybody can come down and enjoy live music, enjoy beer, wine, vendors. Lisa Hatch from JRC is working on food trucks. Things like that and really making this a community experience versus just going to a show and back home.
We’re really starting to hit hard with our national media and our national advisory board including Jim Gaffigan and Louis Black and what have you. They’re really starting to develop a plan to get onto the late-night shows and get a national awareness of this attraction. We actually just made the cover or In Park magazine, which is a national publication that, I don’t want to brag, but we beat out Universal Studios Beijing for the cover, so that’s a great sign for Jamestown.
We’re working with the Gebbie Foundation and the city to do some streetscaping on Third Street and JRC to hide some of the vacant windows and make those presentable as that’s going to be a main path between the Reg Lenna and the arena and the Lucy Museum and what-have-you. We’re partnering with a lot of downtown venues for the festival, including the Reg Lenna, the arena, the Jackson Center, Infinity Performing Arts, Lucille Ball Little Theater, Willow Bay Theater and we’re presenting programs in all of those venues during the festival, once again, trying to make this a community event.
I think everybody knows that the attraction is very media-based and very personalized based on your sense of humor, but we have actually acquired a lot of archives. We’ve acquired the Carlin Estate, that was covered in the New York Times. The Rosemarie, we got pieces from Lenny Bruce, Pryor, but we’re actually getting a shipment from major studios that we’re partnering with in Hollywood and getting archival materials that have never been on display before from NBC, Universal, Paramount, etc. We are proud to announce that the Labyrinth Press Company was awarded our RFP for food service in the National Comedy Center, kind of a grab-and-go station in the gift shop area and then also during summer and peak hours, offering an outdoor café type of thing on our back patio in Comedy Center Park where visitors can grab a bite to eat after they were in the car for five hours. We’re really trying to keep that to a quick grab-and-go and try to really drive business downtown to Forte and other area restaurants to spend those dollars. This is just kind of out of necessity that if you’re in a car from Cleveland you want to spend some time and grab a bite to eat. I think that’s about it. Any questions?
Is there a ribbon-cutting taking place on the grand opening, or is it an interval thing or soft-opening?
Mr. Livermore: Yes. The whole festival is kind of the grand opening celebration and so we’re actually utilizing that entire event, week long event, as a grand opening celebration. There are some politicians who want to do ribbon-cutting, which we’re working with them currently and that would probably take place prior to the festival just because there is so much going on.
Ms. Eads: Great. Thanks, Malachi.
Linnea Carlson – Jamestown Public Market
Ms. Eads: And Linnea, I’m sorry I forgot about you in the original agenda; I apologize. The public market is getting ready to open, this Saturday coming.
Ms. Carlson: First I just want to say thank you to everyone here for allowing me this opportunity to talk about the public market. I’m consistently impressed with everyone’s dedication to highlighting all the amazing things going on in Jamestown and the market is poised this year to kind of be a focal point for the community and holding all of these initiatives.
So, if you’re not already aware, in October of last year, we received the Farmer’s Market Promotional Program funding. That’s a federal USDA funding grant that we were one of 52 cities in the entire nation to get, which is pretty amazing. So, it’s $180,000.00 through the federal government, to help us to promote the market, get more attendance out to the community, as well as expand our programming and educational opportunities. Traditionally when people think of farmer’s markets, they think of fruits, veggies, baked goods that are way too expensive, I can just get at Tops. But, the truth is, nationwide farmer’s markets are really community-centered events and that’s what we’re looking to do with the Jamestown Public Market this year. We’re collaborating with a variety of community organizations, local businesses, small farms, artisans. I was just talking with Tina Scott yesterday at the Prendergast Library, we’re doing something with their summer story time. We’ve been in talks with the brewing company to highlight some of their beer tastings, we’re bringing in wineries, and we’re expanding our marketing and promotion with this grant. We’re going to be having billboards across the city that we’re really excited about, increasing our media presence and once people start hearing about the market, they’re going to come down, but we need something for them to do other than just offer retail space. It’s really going to be a fun event every Saturday. We’re bringing in Legos for kids to do one day, Lego STEM activities, the first 100 kids are going to get to take home a Lego kit. We’re doing weekly children’s activities. We have volunteers that are going to be doing story times and activities that are centered on nutrition and agriculture. We’re bringing in live entertainment and we’re really trying to connect that to what else is going on in the community. For example, Lucy Fest weekend, we booked the local standup comedian troupe, Crowded Sleepover, they’re going to be at the market all day long. We’re hoping to flow right in to everything that’s going on with the comedy opening.
And so, with that in mind, we’re looking at the other aspect of this grant that we have. So, we have our Saturday event. It’s open to everyone, anyone can come. We accept credit card, debit card and food stamps as well, but some of this funding has also been awarded to us to support our mobile market initiative. And what the mobile market is, they’re kind of sprouting up all over the country. There’s some in Cattaraugus County, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse. They’re everywhere. What they are, are farmer’s markets on wheels. You load up a van or a truck with fresh produce that we get from our farmers so we’re supporting our local farmers by purchasing this produce and we’re brining it to areas of the city where community members are in need. So, Jamestown has a pretty significant food desert and if you’re not aware of what a food desert is, it’s a federally government defined area of a city or a rural community where 33% or more of the individuals that live in that area are a mile or further from a grocery store. A lot of times people think that’s not that big a deal, we’ll just get in the car and drive to the grocery store, but a majority of the people in those areas don’t have cars or access to transportation. It’s impossible for them to eat healthy. They shop at 7-11 or the Dollar General, which is great, but it’s not supporting local business, it’s not supporting local farmers and it’s not providing them healthy food that they need, especially children. I’ve worked in food systems for a long time and I’m amazed how little kids can see an apple or a beet and be like what is that, I have no idea what that is. That’s kind of really what we’re looking to do with this mobile market is to provide fresh produce to people who need it. But, there are other opportunities with the mobile market as well. It’s not just for low-income areas. Mobile markets also stop at large employers like hospitals or factories and service the employees on their lunch break. It’s bringing the farmer’s market to them. They also can act as a go-between between local farmers and restaurants that want to have menus that are more farm to table highlighting local foods. So, that’s really our goal with this mobile market. It’s never been done before in Jamestown, but we’re pretty excited. We have quite a few partners already in this endeavor, including the Salvation Army in Jamestown, the Tree of Life Episcopal Church, Eat Smart New York through Cornell Cooperative. We have, just yesterday I met with individuals, we have a very promising lead on a truck that we can utilize, so we’re pretty excited to get that moving.
Looking forward to what the market can be this summer and beyond, we really just want to highlight local. So, my internal mantra is kind of shop local, celebrate community. We want to bring in local, small business. We want to bring in local artisans, highlight community organizations and eventually we could look at what could this do for Jamestown as a whole, how can this support us economically. For every dollar that individuals spend at a farmer’s market, $2.50 goes right back into the local economy. It just makes sense. We’re bringing people downtown, we’re going to be highlighting those local restaurants, local businesses, getting them through the doors. And looking down the road, how can this be more sustainable? You can look at different communities including Batavia, recently got through their DRI initiative, a food hub funding. Food hubs are permanent structures that house every part of our food system. We could have farmers there selling their produce, community gardens selling their produce, Jamestown Brewing could have their beer, the Marvin House can have their pickles. It’s a one-stop shop, not just for locals, but for tourists. We are poised to truly be a center for agri-tourism, which is booming across the country. Chautauqua County has the most farms out of all of New York State; we have grapes, we have hops, let’s take advantage of it. Let’s put it in one location every week and look into the future how we can sustain this and include everyone in our community. We’re pretty excited for everything we have on deck. We have a load of events coming up; we’re going to do a pig roast one week; we’re super excited about. I have, if anyone’s interested, a calendar of our events. There’s something going on every Saturday, so we hope to see you there and if you would like to learn more or talk to me about how we can collaborate, please get ahold of me. We’re highlighting different community organizations each week. We’re doing community spotlights and we just want to get the word out to the community that we’re so much more than a food retail space, we’re celebrating all of it. Thank you so much.
Mr. Rabb: Can you just remind us when you’re going to open?
Ms. Carlson: Yes absolutely, that’s the most important. We open June 9th. We’re opening every Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 pm and we run all the way through the end of October, so we’re 21 weeks and we’re excited.
Mr. Rabb: Cherry between Third and Second, right?
Ms. Carlson: Yes, same location as it was last year.
Mr. Leone: How many units for the mobile market?
Ms. Carlson: Right now, we’re looking at doing three locations throughout the city. The grant specifies that we have to be in food desert areas. The USDA defines those areas and everyone that I’ve been in communication with and organizations have been nothing but supportive. So, we kind of have been looking at what makes the most sense for the community. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t necessarily just have to be something that goes into the food deserts. I’ve had employers like The Resource Center and BPU express interest in having us stop there as well. It’s really just bringing this fresh produce that people want to buy right to them.
Mr. Leone: And prepared food as well?
Ms. Carlson: Prepared food would not be a part of the mobile market this year. It’s focusing more on that fresh food, but we are going to be having prepared food options at the market each week. We’re looking to highlight different local businesses. The Tarmac Café is right there, Gypsy Moon as well so we’re working in collaboration to highlight what they have to offer.
Mr. Leone: Is this supposed to support itself? Is it a profit-making thing? To be able to pay for the drivers?
Ms. Carlson: A mobile market, inherently, is not a profit-making business. It’s to support those who are hungry or food-insecure. But, if you look at models like Food House that are the one-stop shop. Rhode Island has a fantastic model. It’s agri-tourism centered where you highlight local foods, home baked goods, pickles, beer, but it’s also sustaining these healthy programs, so they kind of house them all in one program.
Mr. Rabb: At some point, will a schedule come out where you’ll be with the mobile market and what times and days, so we can get the word out?
Ms. Carlson: Yes. Right now, we’re looking at doing just the 90-pilot program because, again, it’s never been done before; we want to make sure it’s done right and that the community is responsive. We’re aiming to start the first week of August and go for 9 weeks into September. We’ve already partnered with the produce farmers that are at the public market and we’re going to be hopefully having a community kick-off event at mid to end July that will display the schedule, answer any questions the community has and be able to get the word out on where we’re going.
Mr. Rabb: Great.
Ms. Eads: Great. Thank you so much. Any further questions?
Mr. DeJoy: Linnea, I’m not sure who the vendor farmer was, but last year I can recall there was one weekend and I saw Kathleen, I was sitting at Crown Roast Coffee, and Kathleen came by with fabulous giant white carrots and these stalks of brussels sprouts and I hope we can find that vender again because I’ve never seen those and they were fabulous.
Ms. Eads: I think it was Abers.
Mr. DeJoy: Was it? Okay.
Ms. Carlson: Abers Acres is fabulous.
Mr. DeJoy: Let’s make sure we get them back.
Mr. Rabb: Is that the end of our list Kathleen?
Ms. Eads: That is the end of our list, yes.
Mr. Rabb: Well, since we’re going to take the summer off, and you can still ask questions if you want, but I think it’s pretty amazing after listening to all this, most of which I’m aware of, but I can’t imagine that there’s any city of this size or bigger that is doing this much stuff. Sometimes I still hear people out there saying nothing happens here and I say, what? Just listening to this presentation today, it’s absolutely amazing and I think it’s hats off to everybody in this room because we’ve all worked together to make this happen, so I think we all deserve a pat on the back. Secondly, the other thing I want to point out is, again, we’re taking the summer off, so it was Kathleen’s idea as the new private co-chair to bring us back together to focus on everything that’s happening, especially in the downtown area and so Kathleen came up with the idea, which I think was a fantastic idea, because we’ve been able to call attention to all the exciting things that are happening down here to make sure that everybody’s on the same page and I’ve been public co-chair for a long time and I’ve gone through a series of private co-chairs, but I think Kathleen has restored a great deal of energy and excitement and the public co-chair wants to thank the private co-chair for doing such a fantastic job. Kathleen was usually doing most of the work and would say to me, what do you think and I’d say great idea, let’s do it Kathleen. So, thank you.
Ms. Eads: Thank you Greg. Thank you so much. It’s been a lot of fun, it really has.
Mr. Rabb: I think we have a question, perhaps?
Mr. Lindquist: Yes, one question. There are some great things that are happening downtown this summer; it’s going to be a real…………….. I was kind of curious, because I didn’t hear it brought up at all. I think I read that there’s going to be approximately 30,000-plus visitors to the city during that opening week of the National Comedy Center. Has there been any thought given to satellite parking facilities, people movement in and around? Because we’re basically looking at doubling the population of the city for a full week. As far as wayfinding, I believe the JRC is working on its effort in wayfinding for downtown, but satellite parking facilities and shuttle buses, etc. I think that that might help create a better experience for that first-time visitor instead of trying to come downtown with their vehicle and get stuck in a traffic jam for 15 or 20 minutes and get frustrated. So, I’m wondering if anybody has given any thought to that or if that could be on the drawing boards as maybe a last-minute preparatory item?
Mr. Livermore: The comedy center is working with the city, the Gebbie Foundation, JRC on a temporary wayfinding program. We additionally have some great case studies. For example, when Jerry Seinfeld was here, we had 5,000 people downtown at once and that was a wonderful preparation for this and we learned from that that we need to have signage all the way out into the main four corridors that come into the downtown directing people. I don’t think that it’s so much a parking issue as a wayfinding issue. When we did Seinfeld for example, we worked with the Riverwalk Center and had parking there, so we do have additional satellite locations, but I don’t think at any point we’ll have more cars – I think the most condensed time where people are going to be downtown would be the Amy Schumer show with two back-to-back performances, which we’ve done before. And I’m proud to say that we started the Seinfeld show on time. It takes a lot of coordination, it takes a lot of wayfinding. We had people at all of the parking structures, we had volunteers there directing people. JRC is working with Bill Stevenson on a bus shuttle system that is going to be going around all the parking structures, the satellite locations. We’re working on signage with the Gebbie Foundation on the wayfinding and additionally, there’s I know Chautauqua Institution is going to send a bus system going back and forth from Chautauqua Institution all day which is going to alleviate some of that traffic as well. So, there are a lot of wheels in motion in accomplishing that so far.
Council President Carrubba: But I think the one issue you didn’t have when Seinfeld was here, was the Main Street bridge wasn’t closed, so now you’ve got people having to loop around the city that may not know where they’re going and you can’t walk back up from that location unless you go around. That’ creating more difficulty this year, I think that you didn’t experience last year.
Mr. Livermore: That’s why, I think Vince touched on it, that we kind of asked for Second Street to be able to turn right because if you miss that turn, you are going across Washington Street bridge, how do you get back from… so, we think that that right-hand turn, making Second Street two-way is crucial.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Todd M. Thomas, Director of Administrative Services/ City Clerk