March 22, 2022, Historic Brunswick NPA Meeting

Meeting Minutes:

Call to Order: 6pm

NPA Members Present: 40

Steering Committee Present:

  • Kate Sabbe 
  • Allen Rosen 
  • Tyler Jones
  • Thea Ramirez
  • Zach Gowen (not in attendance)

6:05pm Local Business Item:

Lisa Jordan- Xyno Furniture, 1214 New Castle Street

Xyno had their grand opening last weekend. Lisa and her husband are new to the community. The genesis of Xyno originated from the founder’s need to furnish her new residence on New Castle Street.  First Friday next week will have some activity for the community.

The name Xyno  (pronounced Zino) is equal parts crowd sourced and family generated.  

  • Store hours are TBD and open by appointment.
  • Follow on social media:  @Xyno
  • Xyno.com 

6:15pm City Items

Mayor Cosby Johnson, City of Brunswick

First 100 Days- Rising Tide (lifts all boats)

  1. Education
    1. We have a board of education and support our educational leaders.
    2. Local communities can advocate
      1. Free SAT/ACT for 11th grade and up (state wide program) 
  2. Affordable Wireless Internet
    1. Some residents don’t have access to wifi. 
    2. Public/private partnerships – Comcast, Xfinity to develop hotspots within the community residents can access.
  3. Economic Development
    1. Historic Redevelopment Tax Credit- provides tax credit to bring old homes back to their former glory. 
      1. Tax credit is set to sunset this year. 
      2. Right now a 2 year addition to this current tax credit. Mayor is wanting to expand beyond 2 years.
    2. Work force development
      1. Desire to expand technical school to aviation.
  4. Environment
    1. Our coastal landscape is great to look at but not great to fish out of.
    2. Hold companies accountable to rebuild coastal assets.
    3. Provide better signage so people don’t fish in the wrong spots. 
  5. Eco System
    1. How we talk to one another- how we deal with one another.
    2. Porchfest
    3. Having broader conversations around what economic development looks like. 
    4. How do invest in North End- College Park, Magnolia Park, college corridor.
    5. Making sure Chamber is putting together more diversity in our local chamber- diversify our boards for better representation. 

Questions: 

  1. Is Mayor aware of Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (a program applying millions of dollars through the state to increase broadband statewide)?

              Yes but not without issues:

  • Attachment fees- we can’t lock into those financial agreements to tap into the providers systems. Universally need to lock in attachment fee
  • Broadband- fiber to the home- attachment points are GA Power. 
  • Is broadband a right? 
  1. Question related to public service professionals- how can we increase pay, annex the city to make the footprint larger? 
  • Mayor Cosby would love for the county to give the city more land. 
  • We need to make sure the pay is sustainable for years going forward. 
  • Proposed $4/hr raise and $100/125 stipend to be applied to rent/mortgage
  1. Abandoned Buildings- what is the focus on this? We need to find ways to take these houses off the rolls. Each house to take off the tax roll is about $10k in just legal fees. We need to put these houses into groups we tackle multiple properties at a time. When the squeaky wheel gets the oil- you have patch work solutions.  

Guest Speaker:

Chief Jacques Battiste, Glynn County Police, former FBI federal agent- worked G8 Summit.

  • Recently elected Chief of Glynn County Police Department.
  • Making progress in re-tooling a better police department. Glynn Policy Department patrols 423 square miles and only 117 police to patrol. 
  • Pledged a new triumpher ant- with Brunswick, County, and State to support to City of Brunswick.
  • Operation Safe Glynn– a culmination of patrol, and criminal investigation to provide an overwatch of the entire community. Identifying hotspots, target high drug areas, gangs, human trafficking, shootings.  Increase self-awareness through partnering with local community members to receive information. Increased transparency.  Shift from patrol to invest in these areas that have been troublesome in our community.
  • The CRT (Community Response Team)
    • Partners with local groups to provide better levels of collaboration with groups that can help police solve problems that officers are seeing on the streets. 
  • Ahmaud Arbery Trial – Brought all local law enforcement together to protect the entire community regardless of where the individual lived. 
  • Follow Glynn County Police Department social media. 
  • Chief Battiste Phone Number: 912-558-5558

Questions:

What brought you to this area?

  • Chief researched that his ancestors came through the Brunswick port- which was one of 4 ports where slaves were brought into the US. His ancestors had no choice- but he chose to come back and be a force for good in our community.

What kind of calls take up inappropriate resources from local law enforcement? 

  • Educating the public is a big piece of how to allocate resources better.

Guest Speaker:

Erin Granados, Executive Director of Forward Brunswick

501 c (3) non profit organization advocacy group.

Mission: To inspire community commitment and raise resources to accomplish Brunswick revitalization projects. Forwardbrunswick.org

Vision: Foster economic vitality as Brunswick’s community partnership leader. 

Current Projects:

  • Quality of Life Initiatives
  • Economic Vitality
  • People
  • Businesses 

Amenities- Mary Ross Waterfront Park

Helped convene stakeholders.

Dusted plan from 2015. 

             Currently on Phase 2 of 6 Phases. 

Beautification- improve the aesthetic of Brunswick

Liberty Brunswick Project: an initiative that was born out of Mary Ross Water Front Park. It will be planting 99 ships that were manufactured at our liberty ports. Each tree will tell the story how each ship shaped our economic vitality. 

Development- Revitalized underserved business districts (Norwich to H Street)

Norwich Street- development of H to Norwich Street. Empowering residents to know about resources that can help them. 

Contact or to learn more: 

erin@forwardbrunswick.org

@forwardbrunswick


7:00 pm Upcoming Events

Allen Rosen: Bike Riders coming June 4- June 11 

The 41rst Bike Ride Across Georgia- Brunswick is the last stop. On 6/11, the community is invited at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Please line up on the streets and cheer people on as they complete the journey. We are expecting 1500 riders. 

The Dream Team- provide bikes and helmets to kids all around the state. Our local club is called Geichkunda- and is having a monthly bike ride on 3/26/22 at 10am at Howard Kaufman Park. No reservations needed. 

Connie Nieman: Proud Member of Magnolia Garden Club founded in 1955. 

Fairy Garden Walking Tour takes place on Saturday 4/23/22. Takes place Saturday 10am to 2pm.

8 different fairy gardens installed on Union/George and Albany Street. You can buy tickets tomorrow online or buy in person at one of the members. @MagnoliaGardenClub

Creative walking tour of our historic district. 

  • $10/adult
  • $5/kids
  • Kids under 5 are free. 

Arbor Day: Celebration on Saturday April 30th– activities will be downtown, walking tours, golf cart tours, events for kids, art promenade. 

Wellness Walk/Run- on June 4, 2022. Starts at Howard Kaufman Park at 8am.

You can register: 

City Hall 

Old City Hall

Outreach Center on Maysfield

Online website City of Brunswick website.


Guest Speaker:

7:15pm Chief Jones, Brunswick P.D.:

Last year crime stats went up last year (first time in 6 years)

Crime map was made available.

2 burglaries, 4 assaults, 8 thefts, one entering auto, 1 sex offense, 11 domestics, 4 trespassing. (5 of these incidents involved homeless population)

Last month- 24% decrease in crime compared to February of last year.

28 officers short.

Community Policing works- You can sign up if you have home cameras and are willing to help the police by registering on the website so if there is a crime in your neighborhood the police can find footage.

[Click here to download the camera registration form in PDF format. After you complete it, send it to info@brunswickpolice.org]

Question:

Brunswick News ran a story about BPD and GPD filling each other staff shortages?

Chief Jones said it was a contingency plan to mitigate more severe staff shortages. 


Guest Speaker

7:15pm Kate introduced Dr. Sabrina Johnson-Nixon- Director of Department of Neighborhood and Community Service 

Vision: to inform, educate, and engage citizens in the decision-making process. 


Open Forum

Question for Chief Battiste- Since GPD and BPD have had trust issues in the past- can we erect a citizen involve shooting review board?

  • Chief Battiste: We have an advisory panel made up of judiciary and law enforcement members that make up the panel. The citizen panel can’t be an authority- but the Chief stated there is opportunity for community members to be engaged and be heard. 

Question for Chief Battiste- Lanier BLVD and Gloucester intersection- so dangerous- traffic is horrific, many accidents. 

  • Chief Battiste: Is looking at what he can do, has gone to Department of Transportation. Is trying to address it from a fire and police issue to move the needle on this troublesome traffic spot. May be resolved within 60-90 days.
  • Commissioner Julie Martin- reorienting that specific intersection- coordinating with Georgia Department of Transportation. Gloucester is a state road and GDOT had already planned on re-paving, re-striping. City had a consultant come in and this summer- will erect 2 lanes that will come up to 17 heading east. There will be a pedestrian crossing installed. 

Adjourn at 7:30 p.m.

©Copyright 2018 Historic Brunswick Neighborhood Planning Assembly