About the Downtown Findlay Improvement District (DFID)
The Downtown Findlay Improvement District (DFID) is a 501 C(6) Not-for-Profit organization, which is overseen by a 10 member Board of Directors. The Board manages the 17 block District in Findlay and has equal input on the focus and direction of the organization. The district is charged with providing services intended to improve the safety, cleanliness, and vitality of downtown Findlay. DFID also supports business development through the coordination of comprehensive marketing strategies and initiatives and by providing substantive market and consumer research.
Our mission is to operate the organization ethically, with the utmost integrity and transparency. The sole purpose of the organization is to enhance our downtown district for its property owners and all visitors to the downtown Findlay area.
We feel we have made great strides in 2011, and will continue to do so in 2012. We wanted to share some of those successes with you, and tell you about our plans for the new year.
In 2011, our newest initiative was the wayfinding signs you may have noticed in front of the Courthouse, and at Millstream Art Plaza, at the corner of Sandusky and Main Streets. We also installed 11 new parking signs you will see throughout downtown. The project was a collaborative partnership among many, including Harvey Advertising, the CVB, and Marsha Steffan, our downtown coordinator. It was designed to provide a snapshot of downtown Findlay’s arts, entertainment, and shopping for visitors to the area. The signage is also interactive, through the use of QR codes for Smartphones, linked to the downtownfindlay.com webpage, and business pages where available. This is an evolving project, and will continue to improve with the input of its users. We welcome any suggestions you may have, by emailing email@example.com
Other Notable Projects:
The banners throughout downtown are paid for by the funds of the DFID. They are stored at Harvey Advertising, and a partnership was developed with the city, who hangs and changes the banners for the season.
In 2012, you may notice some banners being replaced, due to wear and tear from weather conditions and usage.
The flower program has really taken shape, and DFID has received some wonderful comments on it. In 2011, each stop had 7 Petunias, and
2 Vinca Vines. The flowers were watered every Mon, Wed, and Fri, as well as any day the temperature exceeded 89°F. They were also fertilized the 1st Friday of every month. DFID also provided weed control, by dividing the district into 3rds, with each section weeded twice a month. T&T Construction, a downtown business, stores the flower baskets and provides the services required.
For 2012, DFID has already met with Great Scot, a local retailer, and have developed a comprehensive flower plan that will include some new test flowers in the district. The flowers will be planted right after Mother’s Day. The baskets will feature red, white, and blue petunias (7), in honor of Findlay’s 2012 Bicentennial, along with Vinca Vines (2), and newly added Vinca flowers (4 test locations). The Vinca flowers love hot, dry weather, and should flourish well in the sweltering summer heat. Expect the watering, fertilizing, and weed control programs to continue. T&T Construction will continue to provide the services required.
In 2011, a walking path was provided on Main Street, one block east and west of Main Street, and on Broadway, as a trial run for the program. The walking path was four feet wide, and the area was pretreated if the weather called for a 60% chance of snow. The treatments allowed melting up to 2”, at which point the area was plowed with a four-wheeler. Services are provided from December through March as needed.
The program will continue in 2012, with the entire district and all of the side streets receiving these treatments as required.
Christmas Light Program
The DFID provides all of the Christmas lights in downtown Findlay, in 2011. Some of the lights on the trees had to be replaced due to vandalism and general wear. There were some issues with the electrical circuits shorting and shutting the lights off, and the DFID Board is working with the city to rectify this situation for the coming year.
The 2012 Christmas Light program is currently being reviewed for expansion. It has been suggested that the lights extend to the side streets, however there is not currently a power source on side streets in downtown Findlay, making it impossible to do so at this time. In the past, the lights were left on the trees, but they will now be removed in January. The DFID Board will continue to look for ways to improve the Christmas light program and welcome your suggestions!
The flags along Main Street and Broadway are paid for through DFID funds. They are replaced as needed.
The flag program will continue for 2012.
Downtown Speakers and Muzak
The downtown speaker program continues to thrive. This year, in addition to the usual Top 40 music that has played, you may have noticed rotating liners from your favorite local DJs at WFIN, WKXA, and The Fox. There have also been special events, like the Contours concert, when Motown music was played, or theme music for Halloween, and of course the Christmas Music.
For 2012, DFID continues to explore the possibilities of the speaker and Muzak system. It could potentially be utilized to provide announcements for downtown events, speeches for holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or specialized, rotating liners promoting downtown activities. Keep your ears open for seasonal music or announcements for special events!
In Other News:
In 2011, DFID also supported the efforts of the community through the comprehensive Tier I planning program, by providing a $2500 donation towards the match required to receive the planning portion of the grant. Some of the planning processes are taking place now, including the launch of the StickAround Downtown Findlay interactive art survey.
In 2012, the Board will continue to look at ways they can partner with other organizations in the community, and ways they can continue to improve the enhancement of services, property value, and development in our historic downtown. Please feel free to share your ideas or concerns regarding any of our efforts, with our Downtown Coordinator, Marsha Steffan, so we may address them at our monthly board meetings. Your input is important to us, and we hope you have enjoyed the improvements throughout the district thus far. The Board will be actively working to renew the district in 2012, as well as looking at requests to grow its boundaries and alternatives, so expect more information on that process in the near future. Through partnerships and dedication to downtown improvements and infrastructure, we will continue to provide service and vitality to Downtown Findlay’s Improvement District.