About the FFDRC
President Steve Eriksson was interviewed about the FFDRC, in December. The interview can be viewed below. Thank you to the Mohagen Minute for featuring us!
February 4, 2018
Greetings and thank you for your membership and support of the Fergus Falls Downtown Riverfront Council. Our last open Board meeting was November 14th at Union Pizza, which was a huge success and since that time we have been busy with a variety of committee meetings and work geared toward fulfilling our mission; and
with the Christmas and New Year Holidays. In January the FFDRC switched to monthly meetings, except no meeting in July, with the Board meeting at 4:00 P.M. on the first Tuesday of each month and the Executive Committee meeting at 8:00 A.M. on the third Tuesday of the month. The Board meetings are held at a different venue each month with the January meeting being held at Lake Region Arts Council, which is located on the first floor of the River Inn. The February Board meeting will be at Don Pablo’s in its basement banquet room. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the Board, Executive or committee meetings and there is no charge unless you want a snack or beverage. For dates and locations of the meetings just check our web page at www.ffriver.org or email NeTia Bauman at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have a comment, a concern or an idea of what we can do better please email me at email@example.com.
A lot of things have happened here in Fergus since November 14th with perhaps the most news worthy being the announcement to close Target’s Fergus store to be effective yesterday and I want to make a few comments about that event. I was particularly bothered about the announcement because it seemed to me the Fergus community was being blamed for the decision to close. In any event the closing seemed to be a catalyst for the rumor mill to go into high gear. Another event that took place in December was the
completion of the Downtown Master Plan by the City; this also seemed to fire up the rumor mill with two rather negative letters to the editor being published in the Daily Journal.
With all the talk about “fake news” in the news, I would like to set the record straight. Here are a few of the rumors circulating that need to be addressed.
“Target closed because the City Council would not let Target sell groceries”. Not true. My belief is that the changing retail environment with a greater emphasis on online shopping coupled with poor corporate management is to blame. Remember the Target venture into Canada? That was a poor decision also.
“Dunham’s is closing” Not true. Dunham’s recently signed a lease extension.
“Herberger’s is Closing” Not true. Herberger’s is open but would appreciate having these rumors stop as it has a negative effect on its business.
“The City is going to tear down ShopKo and the City Center Mall to make way for new buildings”. Not true.
Although the Downtown Riverfront Master Plan was created by the City of Fergus Falls and not the FFDRC, I can say with confidence that the Master Plan is a concept of how development could occur should a development opportunity exist. Again, spreading rumors with no basis in fact is bad for all of us. If you hear such stories just say it’s not true.
Updates on FFDRC Projects
Dairy Site – We continue to work though issues associated with the Dairy Site and, generally speaking, they relate to the due diligence being done on the site. On December 18th, the City and the Seller agreed to extend the contingencies and the agreement until February 12th, so the topic of the Dairy will come before the City Council on Monday night in closed session. I will report back when I can provide Additional information.
Light the City – The LTC Committee will meet on Tuesday at 3:00 in Don Pablo’s lower level banquet room to discuss the current project, which is looking into ways to create a colored light show illuminating the falls.
Light the Sign – We continue to work to find a solution to re-lighting the River Inn sign. Our efforts to date have been stymied because of the historic character of the sign as well as its physical condition and its elevation above the roof. We will also discuss the River Inn sign at the LTC meeting at 3:00 on Tuesday.
Project Downtown Renaissance – This is a new project directed to bring new retail tenants into the downtown and assisting existing tenants/business owners to ensure that they are successful. I presented an outline of Project Downtown Renaissance at the City Council Meeting on January 16th and received a unanimous
resolution of support for the City Council. The FFDRC is working on the “plan” and will return to the City Council in a month or so to discuss the plan and ask for more specific support to get it accomplished. I have attached an outline of the plan and would welcome any ideas or concerns you may have.
Take care and stay warm; Contact me if you have any questions.