Under New Business, members of the Culver Redevelopment Commission (CRC) discussed the downtown business roof lights during their meeting on Monday.
CRC President Sally Ricciardi said the roof lights on Café Max have come loose from the roof and were sagging and now are gone. Ricciardi said, “The problem is that my understanding is that Susie (Mahler) isn’t interested in paying the tab to have them put back up.”
Ricciardi said the CRC can pay for a grant to improve something, like a façade grant however, we can maintain, or pay maintenance on a project. She explained that the CRC paid for the lights to be installed but they don’t pay the monthly bill for the electricity they use.
When asked if the rest of the lights were working Ricciardi was told the entire 100 block of South Main from Lucrezia to the flower shop is not working.
Board member Gary Peric said he thought the Chamber of Commerce could handle the issue.
Redevelopment Commission minutes said the businesses on Main Street requested the funding for the lights in 2016 and that Susie agreed to plug in the lights for her block at her building.
The question was asked if it is an aesthetic thing or a safety issue. The comment was made that in the evening it is an enchanting look and you would think the businesses would want to have it fixed.
The proposal was to meet with Susie from Café Max and try and clear the air on the issue to seek a resolution.
Ricciardi said that even if there was an agreement with the grant awardees, down the road 5 or 10 years the owners may have changed and how can you force the new owners to agree to maintenance costs that someone else agreed to?
Culver Town Manager Ginny Monroe agreed that the Chamber would be the most well equipped to handle the issue. She also said in attending Mainstreet conferences there are cities and towns facing this same kind of struggle. They talk about dying downtowns and communities and how to attract foot traffic with friendly charming atmospheres. Monroe said the CRC and others have invested a lot in the downtown, façade improvements, uniform lighting, parking improvements, and even snow shoveling.
Ginny Monroe will see about addressing the issue with the Culver Chamber of Commerce but also noted that some of the merchants are not chamber members. It was also recommended that Discover Culver may also be another option.