Annual Community Meeting Sept 2019

Date: 9/5/2019

Location: Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida’s Citi Teen Center (313 E. 10th Street)

Time: 5:30 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 65 guests to the meeting. She shared with attendees that there are a lot of ways to get involved with Springfield and SPAR: you can volunteer at an event, join a SPAR committee, donate to a SPAR program, and, also, share the positive changes that are occurring in the neighborhood with friends and family.

Kelly introduced Todd Hollinghead, president of the SPAR Board, to introduce the candidates for the open Board positions. Three candidates, Jennifer Chapman, Aaron Leedy, and Mallik Singareddy, were presented for a first term. Tim Hope and Joey Marchy were presented and seeking reelection for a second and final term. All candidates spoke briefly, sharing a little about themselves, and about why they wished to join the Board. Ballots were distributed, filled out, and collected. 

Joey Marchy, member of the SPAR Governance Committee, announced that all new candidates were elected to serve their first term and all returning candidates were elected to their second and final term.

Kelly, then, shared the SPAR Finance Update for 2019. 

Kelly Rich shared that the SPAR Design Review Committee is the liaison between homeowners and the Historic Preservation Commission regarding COAs, Windows, Fences, and Doors, and Code Enforcement. They shared that it’s important to get the word out to neighbors in discussing these historic properties and preserving the fabric of these homes; by maintaining them and becoming more educated on what needs to be done as homeownership continues to grow in the area. SPAR has hosted multiple workshops with the City of Jacksonville’s Planning Department throughout 2019 to educate residents on the COA process, Windows, Doors, and Fences, and Code Enforcement. These workshops will continue into 2020. The next one will be on Sept 17th and will focus on Fencing Guidelines.

Kelly Rich gave an update from SAMBA (Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association). There are currently 85 members of SAMBA. In 2018, the average attendance for a SAMBA meeting was 20 people, and in 2019 that has grown to an average of over 30 per meeting. SAMBA meetings are free to visit and open to anyone in Springfield or those who want to do business in Springfield. SAMBA works to invite quality speakers and include resources beneficial to small businesses. The next SAMBA meeting will be at 8103 Clothing on September 9th.

Aaron Glick, chair of the Commercial Corridors and Beautification Committee, gave an update on projects they are working on. This includes new planters thanks to the “Give and Go” program, a congratulations to SIAA and their tree well project, pedestrian safety upgrades with the Florida Department of Transportation, upgrades thanks to a grant from AARP (to fund bike racks, repair stations, and more trash cans), and the SAMBA Advisory Committee. New updates include a new ATM at Vystar Credit Union, as well as striped parking spots and 2-Hour Limit Parking on Main Street. There are a couple of businesses that are expected to open in the next few months, including 1748 Bakehouse. 

Kelly and Aaron presented a brand new mini-grant opportunity for SAMBA members’ events and programs. The latest recipient of the SAMBA Facade Grant was 1748 Bakehouse. Including that award, over $11,000 has been invested in local businesses in the past three years. They also presented new SAMBA membership levels with the current tiers being reduced from three (General, Associate, and Executive) to two (General at $100 and Executive at $250). New members of SAMBA can join at $50 for the first year with that increasing to $100 for consecutive years. 

Crissie Cudd with Southern Moss Realty gave an update on the market trends in the Springfield neighborhood.

Kelly reminded guests to save the date for the 42nd Annual Springfield Tour of Homes and Gardens scheduled for May 16th and 17th, 2020. 

Kelly presented a Year-In-Review of SPAR activities touching on a wide variety of on-going work, projects, and events in the community to include Residential Revival Project, Community Clean Ups, Sheriff’s Watch and Off Duty Officer Program, Easter Keg Hunt, Throwback Baseball Game, Explore the Core bike socials, and Give & Go programs with both the Jaguars and Icemen, and Jacksonville PorchFest 2018. There have been many wins during Springfield’s Sesquicentennial Year, including receiving a proclamation at City Council, the release of SesQ Saison, the opening and continued use of Sesquicentennial Park, continuing success of Music on Main, and the Sesquicentennial Mosaic with Roux Art and JEA.

Jacksonville PorchFest  is coming up, and Kelly shared information about the festival and lineup. It will occur on Saturday, November 9th from 12 pm to 9 pm. Kelly encouraged residents to invite their friends and family, and to purchase beer, wine, and merchandise on festival day in support of SPAR. 

There are two Explore the Core Bike Socials on the calendar: Sept 9th is a tour of the murals in the Eastside and October 12th will be a bike ride to San Marco. The next Historic Preservation workshop is scheduled for Sept 17th at the Wells Fargo Learning Center, and it will be focusing on Fencing Guidelines. Oktoberfest on Main Street will return on October 5th. Lastly, the next two Music on Main events are scheduled for September 25th and October 30th respectively. On September 25th, a featured group of Springfield musicians will perform in a Jam Session, and on Oct 30th, MJ Baker will be playing.

Kelly thanked the Boys & Girls Club for hosting the meeting and The Cookbook for the refreshments.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 pm.

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