Downtown Development Authority of the Charter Township of Clinton
Baker College Administrative Offices Boardroom
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 Minutes
Chairperson Donna Sassin called the meeting to order at 7:39 a.m.
Members Present: Carolyn Dorian, Cynthia Kelly, Marco Lavinio, Pat Moran, Donna
Sassin, Tom Tignanelli and Pete Thomas. A quorum was present.
Others Present: Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon, Police Captain Bruce
Wade, Mick Kargol of Detroit Custom Clothing and Graphics, John Wernis, Jim
Carabelli, and Jeremy Harman of United Lawnscape, Inc., and Joseph Silbernagel, Carlo
Santia and Joseph Peruzzi, Clinton Township support staff.
Minutes Approval : A motion was made by Carolyn Dorian and seconded by
Marco Lavinio to approve the minutes of June 15, 2011. Motion approved.
a. United Lawnscape, Inc. Report on Median Maintenance Procedures:
Jeremy Harman reported that it took United Lawnscape, Inc. 2 ½ weeks to
complete the first phase of the median maintenance program as outlined by the
DDA. This included the weeding, mulching, edging, pruning and cleanup of all
beds along the corridor. He indicated that fertilization will take place during the
next three weeks putting it into late July or early August. Fertilization prior to
this could have been harmful to the plantings considering the heat and dry
weather so far this summer. Fall cleanup is anticipated for mid-November and
will include an application of insect and fungus control and deep root
fertilization of trees. Mr. Harman agreed to provide periodic updates on work
along the median conducted by United Lawnscape. United also agreed to bill
on a monthly bases upon completion of agreed upon work.
John Wernis added that United was very pleased to be performing the work
along Gratiot. Marco Lavinio commented that the appearance of the median
had already improved greatly in the short period of time that United was on the
job. He added that continued improvement of the planting beds through
fertilization and weed suppression was very important to members of the DDA.
A motion was made by Pat Moran and seconded by Marco Lavinio to ask
United Lawnscape to research the scope of plant replacement and plant
splitting that may be required along the median. Motion approved.
b. Police Report: Clinton Township Police Captain Bruce Wade reported that the
Police Department recently completed the first phase of a drunk driving
campaign. The police recently responded to an altercation at Dimitris
Rendezvous, and that a former Clinton Township Police officer was now
employed by the Clintondale Adult Education program to maintain order among
the students. The officer has made a point to stop by some of the businesses in
the area and that was greatly appreciated by the DDA members present.
Businesses include Dorian Ford, Cash Exchange and Kelly’s Dentistry. Plans
are to invite the officer to one of the future DDA meetings.
A motion was made by Pete Thomas and seconded by Cynthia Kelly to
invite representatives of the Clintondale Adult Education program to a
future DDA meeting to detail their plans to continue to enforce student
rules and protect businesses along the corridor. Motion approved.
c. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Carolyn Dorian reported that as of 6/30/2011
the cash balance of the Clinton Township Gratiot DDA stood at $273,377 that
includes a $60,000 cash reserve.
In conjunction with the budget report, Clinton Township Supervisor Robert
Cannon pointed to an article that recently appeared in the Macomb Daily that
reported on efforts by some communities to absorb DDA revenues in order to
help alleviate overall community budget shortfalls. Mr. Cannon assured the
members of the DDA that Clinton Township did not have any plans regarding
this type of action and was confident that none of the township’s board
members was interested in such an action. He expressed the board’s satisfaction
with the improvements taking place along Gratiot and commended the DDA
members for volunteering to help make Gratiot a better place in which to
d. Gratiot Cruise Report: A motion was made by Pat Moran and seconded by
Carolyn Dorian to purchase 500 children’s bicycle helmets at $4.25 each to
be fitted and given away at the upcoming Gratiot Cruise. Motion
approved. It was also suggested that the helmet carry the DDA logo. As
Bruno Burnosky was already providing a number of Gratiot Cruise banners, it
was thought that he could provide the logo for the helmets.
e. Marketing Report: DDA Liaison Joe Peruzzi introduced Mick Kargol of
Detroit Custom Clothing and Graphics who recently moved his store from Hall
Road to Gratiot to take advantage of the added exposure.
Mr. Peruzzi provided copies of a recent Macomb Daily article that described the
beginning of the LED lighting project along Gratiot. Updates on the project
have also appeared on the township’s Government Access television channel on
both the Comcast and WOW networks. Additional programing is also planned
that will detail Gratiot Cruise planning by the event’s major sponsors.
Mr. Peruzzi reported that he is working with Mary Ellen Zander of the Macomb
Daily to prepare Gatefold advertising in the gatefold just prior to the Cruise.
The cost of this gatefold will be borne by the DDA and should include at least
10 of the top sponsors.
He reported that the DDA currently has on order 1000 red bags that will cost $1,400
(lowest bidder) won by Detroit Custom Clothing and Graphics. 500 of these bags will
be turned over to the Gratiot Cruise Committee to distribute at car shows and at the
Mr. Peruzzi asked that the DDA approve a $250 donation to the fall Festival of the
Senses held on the township Civic Center grounds on September 24 and 25. A motion
was made by Pat Moran and seconded by Carolyn Dorian to approve a donation
of $250 to the 2011 Festival of the Senses. Motion approved.
f. Misc. Report: Donna Sassin reported that the next scheduled Gratiot cleanup is for
July 16 and that volunteers will meet in front of Farmer’s Market at 9 a.m. She asked
that a dumpster be made available and thought that the volunteers would handle the
Gratiot right-of-way while United Lawnscape would take care of the median grounds.
Carlo Santia reported that the township’s Building Department was continuing to issue
violations to used car lots that parked vehicles on the Gratiot right-of-way. He reported
that Piper’s Alley continues to seek a resolution regarding their enclosed patio.
He added that activity along Gratiot included the construction of a new O’Reilly Auto
Parts store at the site of the former Re/Max building, a Smokin’ Barbecue outlet at the
former Dunkin Donuts site, a Chicken and Ribs just south of Moran Chevrolet and a
Big Reds automotive outlet at the former Cash Exchange site. Ricci’s Auto Sales and
Taco Bell are both modernizing their sites on Gratiot.
Work on the LED project appears to be in full swing with poles now being lifted into
place. Arrays are scheduled to be installed by the end of July. That will be followed
by painting the poles black and the installation of banner arms. Mr. Santia suggested
that he would be making the final payment on the project.
g. Electronic Sign Report: Mr. Santia said that three bids were received to install a
larger electronic sign at 14 Mile Road and Gratiot and relocate the current sign at that
location to Gratiot across from Causley Buick-GMC. The new sign will measure 60 sq.
ft. versus 20 sq. ft. for the original sign. The lowest, qualified bidder was Displaymix
at $36,000, followed by Signarama at $45,000 and Philips at $50,000.
There was discussion on the need to give the new sign a two-way feature so that the
electronic message could be seen by traffic traveling in both directions along Gratiot.
Mr. Santia estimated that this feature might cost upward of $20,000.
A motion was made by Pat Moran and seconded by Pete Thomas to incorporate
the double-sided sign in the project. Though the motion was approved, it was
determined that a quorum no longer was present as some members of the DDA
had left prior to the end of the meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 9:35 a.m.
Submitted by DDA Liaison Joseph Peruzzi