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					Downtown Rutland Partnership Strategic & Works Plan Fiscal Year: July1, 2007-June 31, 2008

Submitted to the Rutland Re-Development Authority By: Michael Coppinger Executive Director July 19 2007

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-Table of Content-

Overview ----------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Budget Breakdown --------------------------------------------------- 4 Business Development --------------------------------------------- 5 Office Overhead ------------------------------------------------------ 7 Marketing & Promotions ------------------------------------------ 8 Streetscape ------------------------------------------------------------ 9 Special Events -------------------------------------------------------- 10 Payroll & Wages ------------------------------------------------------ 11 Budget FY 07-08 ----------------------------------------------------- 12

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Overview
The mission of the Downtown Rutland Partnership is as follows: The Downtown Rutland Partnership is an organization dedicated to the economic prosperity of the City of Rutland. Our purpose is to manage, market and maintain the downtown Rutland Special Benefits District and advance those activities that will improve the vitality of the business community and enhance the cultural and physical climate of the district. Downtown Development Corporation (dba: Rutland Partnership) submits a $237,000 expense budget to Rutland Redevelopment Authority for Downtown Rutland management activities for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008. The geographic area to be served is the Special Benefits District approved by Rutland Redevelopment Authority in November 5, 1990. This budget encompasses only expense items founded by Rutland Redevelopment authority through the Special Benefits District assessment. Rutland Partnership raises additional funds which are then appropriated to its Downtown management programs. For example, during the 2006-07 budget year, Rutland Partnership raised over $36,800 through private sources, such as cooperative advertising, streetscape sponsorships and arts projects. These funds were applied to the Downtown program, making Rutland Partnership’s effective expense budget for 2006-07 more than $264,500. Over the past four years the budget for the Rutland Downtown Rutland Partnership has been level-funded at $225,750. Over that same time the Partnership has been doing more programs and actives for the Downtown. Most recent, it has become evident that we must put a greater focus on business development and business retention in the city. The Partnership plans on making business development its top priory in the coming year.

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Rutland Partnership Rutland Redevelopment Authority-Funded Expense Budget for July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008

Category Business Development Office Overhead Marketing & Promotions Streetscape Special Events Payroll / Wages TOTAL:

07-08

% of Budget

$17,000 5.50 $32,215 10.25 $67,500 22.00 $27,600 9.00 $50,237 16.25 $114,000 37.00 ______________________________________________ $308,552 100 % (% are rounded off)

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Business Development

$17,000 or 5.5%

With the start of a new fiscal year and with a new Executive Director, Rutland Partnerships Board of Directors has made recruiting new businesses Downtown a top priority. With the new incoming President the Partnership intends to shake-up the Business Development Committee and put together a very aggressive campaign to seach out new businesses. Development of Upper Stories for Residual Living: It is important that the Downtown Rutland Partnership works with downtown property owners to develop the second and third floors in their buildings. To be specific residential housing is key to a vibrant and sustainable downtown. People living in downtown, will support existing business by shopping, eating and working downtown. Condominium style residences or two bedroom units attract the 30 plus set in hopes of retaining them in this community thereby supporting downtown longevity. Development of these properties can be achieved by utilizing the revolving loan fund established by the Rutland City Board of Aldermen in conjunction with the Rutland Redevelopment Authority and the Downtown Rutland Partnership. It therefore is incumbent on the Downtown Rutland Partnership to educate and inform property owners of the existence of this fund. It will also be our goal to facilitate this development by acting as the permitting liaison between downtown business developers, the Rutland City Fire Department and Rutland’s Building and Zoning Board. Better use of Zamias Account Funds: The Downtown Rutland Partnership needs to work with city government to better utilize Zamias account funds. We would like to create a grant for existing business to improve the profitability of their businesses. This money could be used for establishing or upgrading computer systems, external facades, etc. As well as provide educational support to strengthen Downtown’s existing businesses. Comparison Study of Vacancies in Downtown The Downtown Rutland Partnership needs to embark on a market study, analyzing comparable retail and rental spaces within our region. The study would analyze the cost of square footage and what services and amenities are included in this price. We would then see how we “stack up”. Taking this information we can educate the public of the benefits of operating in our downtown and create a promotion campaign.

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Way Finder Project into Downtown The Way Finder Project will be instrumental in steering people into “Historic” Downtown Rutland off routes 4 and 7. We intend to by winter, have signs (brown historic markers) affixed to traffic lights along Route 7 directing people down into the Historic District of Rutland a.k.a. “downtown”. The intent of the signs to steer tourist traffic off Route 7 into downtown areas. Parking Deck: We intend to cultivate a working relationship with Vermont’s Department of Buildings and General Services. Our goal is to translate to them our needs as it pertains to the multi-model transit center and the parking deck. To date we have had preliminary conversations that have been positive. We have expressed our hopes of improving the parking services provided by doing the following: 1. Better signage on West Street. A universal green parking sign would be mounted on the front of the parking deck designating it as a parking venue. Our hope is that better visibility will translate to higher usage solving many related downtown parking issues. 2. Coming up with a metered usage system charging people for the amount of time they spend in the parking deck. The intent of a metering system is to make the cost associated with parking in the parking deck more competitive with on street parking. Merchants Row Vacancies, Financial Districts: With the growing demand for financial services i.e. financial planning, retirement, IRAs, 401 Ks, estate planning and the like, I believe we can transform parts of downtown into “The Financial Hub” of the region. Like many other cities with districts such as financial, theatre and dining, I believe we can achieve this on a smaller scale here in Rutland. This benefits our city by bringing mid to high-end incomes into downtown thus giving restaurants and shops additional business from customers with potentially higher discretionary funds. Presently there are a couple of pieces of that puzzle currently in place on Merchants Row, Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney. Moving forward we should embrace this idea for filling up the first and second floors along Merchants Row. Market Research Preparing for next year, the Partnership will look to budget money to conduct a “Market Research Project Study” to analyze retail shopper and shopping in the greater Rutland area. This study will hopeful provide us with valuably incite that will help the Partnership grow the Retail base of Downtown. 6

Office overhead

$32,215 or 10.5%

The Downtown Rutland Partnership has continued to call 103 Wales Street, home, for the past fifteen years. The Downtown Rutland Partnership shares office space with The Rutland Redevelopment Authority and splits most costs for services i.e. internet, phone, copier use and rent. To date this works well for both parties and helps not only both of our bottom-lines but also aids in the flow of communication and collaboration when working on similar projects. Recently we have changed the office set-up, relocating the Partnership’s Office Coordinator and Marketing Coordinators’ workspaces to the lower level (street level). Our hopes are that this change will: 1. 2. 3. Improve customer service. Provide a better work environment for these two individuals. Better utilize our available space.

The Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerce has recently embarked on a study to analyze the viability of co-locating several different agencies having to do with community and economic development locating them all under one roof. The agencies involved are as follows: REDC (Rutland Economic Development Corporation), RRA (Rutland Redevelopment Authority), RRCC (Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerce), RRPC (Rutland Regional Planning Commission), SBDC (Small Business Development Corporation), The DRP (Downtown Rutland Partnership) and several others. At this time most, if not all, agencies are willing participants, given a few caveats such as location, size of building for space required and the overall cost of the facility.

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Marketing & Promotions

$67,500 or 22%

Representing the second largest portion of Downtown Rutland Partnership’s Budget second only to payroll. The objective of Marketing and Promotions is 1. To help market Downtown Rutland as a whole. 2. Provide cooperative advertising to lessen the financial burden to individual businesses within the district. 3. Promote special events taking place within the district. We will continue to have a strong relationship with local radio and print medias as well as utilizing marketing through monthly and seasonal magazines that focus on tourism in our market. Going forward The Downtown Rutland Partnership intends to utilize cable television by coming up with an attractive advertising campaign showcasing Downtown Rutland in its entirety. It is our immediate goal to create a Downtown Rutland cooperative advertising package, to offer (sell) to members within the partnership, marketing their individual business monthly/seasonally. The package will tie in elements of all media sources and should effectively serve our diverse membership. The Downtown Rutland Partnership also intends to utilize free media sources including developing a public access television show which will spotlight Downtown Rutland Businesses and celebrate why downtowns are unique. Other promotional activities that The Downtown Rutland Partnership plans to embark on are.  September Thursday Night Business “Happy Hour” in Downtown. This progressive social event will be hosted weekly by different downtown lounges and/or dining establishments allowing people to network downtown, relaxing and socializing with others who work downtown. November Kicks off “Free Dinner Out”. Seven participating restaurants will offer up one night of dining for two. Each time you dine out in October at any of these establishments you are eligible to enter into a drawing to win a dining package for two that includes certificates from each of the participating restaurants. The more you eat out the higher your chances of winning. One winner will be drawn each month out of entries submitted that month. Christmas Downtown Rutland Partnership plans to put together a promotion to offer cash prizes to random downtown shoppers during the holidays. Spring Downtown Rutland Business and Trade Show spot lighting our local business and services within Downtown. This could be held in the Paramount Theater and Richardson building.

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 

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Streetscape

$27,600 or 9%

For the past several years the Streetscape Committee has been extremely active beautifying Downtown Rutland. The Downtown Rutland Partnership is fortunate to partner with the Recreation Department, the Garden Club and the Department of Public-Works to help with these efforts. The Garden Club supplies volunteer labor for the planting of all the vest pocket parks within downtown. We have continued and will continue with the hanging basket program along our downtown streets and will also go ahead filling the whisky barrels. We have had the good fortune that the Recreation Department is willing and able to water said planters, however as the City continues to amend the Recreation Department’s budget and their funds become strained, in the future this service may not be at our disposal. The Downtown Rutland Partnership has had success in applying for grants for reconditioning sidewalks, replacing light poles and upgrading to crosswalk throughout downtown. The next phase in this project will be to continue up Center Street from Wales to Court Street along the BROC and Moose Club side of the street. Upon starting my position here at the Downtown Rutland Partnership (4/30/07) I was made aware, by the Rutland Public Works Department, that due to the Nor-easter storm this spring as well as many other projects on their list, both the street lights and crosswalks may have to be shelved for this year. We will continue to work with the Department of PublicWorks to figure out a way to expedite these projects. Finally the banners on light poles have served to be a wonderful way to add color and vibrancy to Downtown Rutland as well as give the Downtown Rutland Partnership an opportunity to promote many of their events such as Sidewalk Sales, the Ethnic Festival and Friday Night Live. Other than the sidewalk, light pole and crosswalk projects, the Downtown Rutland Partnership is planning to pull back from embarking on any further streetscape ventures until we have had an opportunity to inventory our needs and resources.

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Special events

$50,237 or 16.25%

The goal of hosting special events in Downtown Rutland is to attract people in to the heart of the city. By putting on special events our hope is to increase foot traffic and visibility for downtown shops, restaurants and offices. In the past a great deal of emphasis has been put on special events diverting a tremendous amount time and energy from our small staff and our volunteers. It is the belief of the Executive Director and Board of Directors for the Downtown Rutland Partnership must pull back somewhat from some of our previous commitments to special events. Going forward the Downtown Rutland Partnership intends to examine all special events through the year to weigh their individual effectiveness at building sustainable customer bases for downtown businesses. The following events will not be affected by the pull back,  Sidewalk Sales  Ethnic Festival  Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally  Chili Challenge  Farmer’s Market  Rutland’s Christmas Celebration  Thursday Night Flicks

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Payroll / wages

$114,000 or 37%

The payroll and wages portion of the budget represents the largest part of the budget. At the present time The Downtown Rutland Partnership employs three administrative staff members and one seasonal maintenance contractor. 1. 2. 3. 4. The Executive Director This is a forty plus hour salaried position without health or dental benefits. The Special Events and Marketing Coordinator This is a twenty-five to thirty hour a week hourly position without a benefits package. The Office Coordinator / Bookkeeper This is a twenty-five to thirty hour a week hourly position without a benefits package. Seasonal Maintenance Contractor Contracted for twenty-five hours a week for 36 weeks without a benefits package.

With the exception of the seasonal maintenance employee all the administrative staff including the Executive Director are new to The Downtown Rutland Partnership. It should be noted that payroll and wage expenses have gone down from the previous year due to the change in these position’s pay rates. For the upcoming year the Executive Director may look at changing the duties and job description of the Seasonal Maintenance Contractor. Recently there has been much concern regarding several maintenance type issues within the downtown district, shopping carts being an important example. Due to the outsourcing of projects and jobs The Downtown Rutland Partnership has had little direct oversight into the completion of tasks and the quality of labor. As a result many of these projects and jobs have been delayed, left incomplete or have been totally ignored.

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Partnership Budget FY July 1 2007--June 31 2008 Income Balance Forward 4000 - Marketing Revenues 4008 - VT Comedy Works 4006 - Ethnic Festival fees/sponsors 4005 - Revenu-producing Sales Programs 4001 - Sponsorship/Fees 4002 - Cooperative advertising 4004 - Miscellaneous marketing Total 4000 Marketing Revenues 4100 - RRA Contact 4200 - Interest Earned 4300 - Streetcape 4400 - Special Events Income 4401 - Vendor/Fee 4400 - Special Events Income - Other Total 4400 - Special Events Income 4500 - Miscellaneous 4600 - Shopping Cart 4999 - Uncategorized Income Total Income Expense 5000 - Business Development 5013 - Shopping Cart 5014 - Business Plan Contest 5010 - Website Listings 5009 - Broker/Leasing Communication 5008 - Trade Fairs 5007 - Merchandising Mix Analysis 5001 - Marketing 5002 - Professional Fees 5003 - Print Materials 5004 - Supplies 5005 - Miscellaneous Total 5000 - Business Development 5100 - Office Overhead 5120 - Software 5118 - Collection/Legal 5102 - Corporate insurance 5103 - Travel / Mileage / Cell Phone 5104 - Mail.Postage 5104.1 - Bulk/Permit 5104.0 - Mail/Postage - Other Total 5104 - Mail/Postage 5105 5106 5107 5108 - Phone - Professional Fees - Supplies - Dues/Subscriptions/Educ 3,000.00 200.00 1,700.00 2,000.00 6,120.00 6,500.00 6,000.00 15,000.00 4,500.00 0.00 38,120.00 237,000.00 0.00 0.00 6,000.00 2,500.00 8,500.00 0.00 6,000.00 0.00 289,620.00

6,000.00 0.00 500.00 1,500.00 500.00 0.00 7,500.00 0.00 0.00 500.00 500.00 17,000.00

500.00 0.00 5,000.00 2,500.00 750.00 2,000.00

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5109 - Rent 5110 - Miscellaneous 5111 - Bank Charges 5112 - Equipment 5113 - ISP 5114 - Equipment Purchase 5115 - Late Charges/Interest Due 5116 - Website Server 5117 - SVDC Loan Total 5100 Office Overhead 5200 - Marketing & Promotions 5219 - Ethnic Fest 5218 - New Initiatives 5217 - Promotional Items 5216 - Surveys 5215 - Target Marketing 5201 - Advertising 5201.4 Brochure/Directories/Map 5201.3 Television 5201.1 Radio 5201.5 Magazine 5201.2 Newspaper Total 5201 - Advertising/Promotions 5202 - Public Relations 5203 - Cooperative Advertising 5203.4 Magazine 5203.2 Radio 5203.1 Newspaper 5203.3 Television Total 5203 - Cooperative Advertising 5204 - Special Events 5205 - Supplies 5207 - Miscellaneous 5208 - Website 5209 - Distribution 5211 - Signage 5212 - Permits & Fees 5213 - Graphices & Creative Services Total 5200 - Marketing & Promotions 5300 - Streetscape Improvement 5311 - Capital Improvement 5301 - Maintenance-Supplies & Misc 5302 - Contract Services / Equipment 5303 - Banners 5304 - Trees/Landscape 5306 - Miscellaneous 5307 - Holiday Decorations 5308 - Planters/Flowers Total 5300 - Streetscape Improvements

7,200.00 500.00 250.00 3,650.00 500.00 1,500.00 0.00 300.00 665.00 32,215.00 0.00 10,000.00 800.00 0.00 1,200.00 5,000.00 7,500.00 10,000.00 5,000.00 15,000.00 0.00 0.00 6,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

1,000.00 1,000.00 0.00 1,500.00 2,500.00 0.00 0.00 1,000.00 67,500.00

2,000.00 600.00 500.00 2,000.00 500.00 4,000.00 15,000.00 5,000.00 29,600.00

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5400 Special Events & Community Relations 5412 5411 5401 5402 5404 5405 - Vt Comedy Works - Security - Supplies - 1st Night Sponsorship - Misc - Special Events 5405.1 - Holiday Ornaments 5405.1 - Special Events - Other Total 5405 - Special Events 5406 - Merchant Commuication/Meeting 5407 - Signage 5408 - Talent 5409 - Equipment Rental 5410 - Graphic & Creative Services Total 5400 - Special Events & Community Relations 6560 - Payroll Expenses 6561 - Employee Benefits 6562 - Wages 6563 - Maintenance 6560 - Payroll Expenses - Other Total 6560 - Payroll Expenses 500.00 1,500.00 17,000.00 16,000.00 1,000.00 50,300.00 0.00 104,000.00 0.00 10,000.00 114,000.00 6,000.00 300.00 3,000.00 1,000.00 1,000.00 3,000.00 0.00

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