At their July 28, meeting the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority elected a new Executive Board. Long-serving Board Chair John Baker said he was not seeking re-election and nominated Sabrina Newby, who was the Vice Chair at the time.
Baker nominated Sabrina Newby saying he took several things into account including attendance to meetings.
“Because I think it is important,” he said. “I’d like to nominate Sabrina Newby to be our Chair. Because I think she can make the time commitments, not just the meetings but the time commitments.”
No one seconded Baker’s nomination. Roger Jones was about to make a nomination when HDDA Executive Director Michelle Ricketson briefly interrupted to explain that a person interested in the position could nominate themselves or if nominated could second the motion for themselves.
Baker once again nominated Newby who seconded the motion.
Jones nominated Marcus Sack. That motion was seconded by former Hinesville Mayor Thomas Ratcliffe. The Board then voted with a majority selecting Sack as the new Board Chair. As the Board considered their Vice Chair position Newby and Jones were nominated with Jones winning the majority vote. The Board then voted in favor of Shonda Mickel to be both the Secretary and the Treasurer.
Ricketson read the treasurer’s report on behalf of Mickel. She reported the HDDA has received $52,00 year to-date (YTD) in revenue for their rental income. The HDDA Discover Downtown Revolving Loan Fund has $186,265 in revenue YTD. The Old jail has brought in $240 (YTD) and the Farmer’s Market has brought in $10,470 (YTD). Rental at Bryant Commons has produced $2,293.75 (YTD) and $1,475. Was brought in from the Small World and Big Eater Roll events.
The Board reviewed three different intergovernmental agreements as they decide on the correct model would fit the HDDA and the City of Hinesville. No action was taken on the matter. The Board wanted time to review the various agreements.
Ricketson said one of the agreements is what the HDDA received from City Attorneys at Jones, Osteen and Jones as a sample to get them started and to show some of the agreements already in place with the City.
“Some of the things they do for us and what we do for them,” she said.
Ricketson asked Hinesville City Manager, attending via phone, if he wanted to let everyone know of the meeting set for July 29. A meeting with the public and business owners located around Bradwell Park to provide an update of the park renovations and sidewalk closures.
Many at the HDDA meeting to include Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown said they were completely unaware of the meeting.
“I didn’t know the City had a meeting tomorrow,” Brown said. “Nobody notified me until right now.”
Sack said social media would be an easy way to get the message out and noted he hadn’t seen any updates online. Ricketson said they had posts being scheduled in the upcoming weeks letting people know the businesses are open and the alternate areas to park and access the stores during construction.
HDDA reported that five new businesses opened bringing in 15 more employees to the downtown district. They also reported no businesses have closed. They’ve held 40 events to date. The HDDA plans to partner with the owners of the Brick wall Café during the Aug. 5 and Aug. 12 Farmer’s Market at Gap Park for Georgia Southern Spirit Nights. Brick Wall Café owner Nick Reardon will be setting up a karaoke machine. There will be prizes awarded for best and worst karaoke singers those nights. The HDDA is also looking to increase their agricultural vendors for the upcoming markets too. The HDDA is hoping to finish the Farmer’s Market season with a Tractor show.