John Scarffe, Nederland. Signs promoting a safe place for Nederland businesses, and to promote the Farmers’ Market, dominated the regular meeting of the Nederland Downtown Development Authority on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at the Nederland Community Center. Janette and Julian Taylor proposed Safe Place signs for businesses, and Kelly Delia proposed a permanent sign to advertise the Nederland Farmers’ Market.
During public comment, Local Business Owner Ron Mitchell told the NDDA Board that 45 people have signed a petition for the creation of an Entertainment District in downtown Nederland, and approving such a District would go a long way toward getting approval of the NDDA’s debt authorization. “If we convinced the town to try it, we would have success,” Mitchell said.
Entertainment Districts allow the consumption of alcohol between businesses in a restricted area and allow extended hours to serve alcohol. The NDDA is making plans for district members to vote on a debt authorization in November.
Mitchell also said the NDDA should tie specific projects to the debt authorization. Designating parking on one side of Big Springs Drive would add 30 spaces for parking, as one example.
Julian Taylor told the Board that he was presenting a voluntary proposal. The environment in the United States has changed over the last few months. Populations within our community feel excluded, such as Hispanics, Muslims and the LBGT community. Whatever minority is affected, other minorities are affected — women, black people.
“I’m a member of a minority because I’m physically deformed,” Taylor said. “I’m aware every day that I’m the only person like me in the room. We remain Nederland, an open and inclusive community. Businesses can make a clear statement that this community invites them here.”
Taylor suggested that Nederland businesses display a plaque in their window that means: “Whoever you are, you are welcome in our community. Nederland is a Safe Space.”
The sign states: “This establishment is a Safe Place. Without regard to physical appearance, beliefs, or personal understanding of self, you are welcome here.”
Janette Taylor said, “We have come up with this on our own, but people have seen something like this throughout the country.” They will hand the sign to business owners and ask them to display it.
Board Member Brent Tregaskis said that most people would like a one-page explanation along with that, and Julian said: “We can do that. Good idea.”
Kelly Delia with the Nederland Farmers’ Market said she would like to see permanent signage to let people know the market is at the Guercio Ball Fields near the reservoir. She suggested a 24 by 30 inch sign at the top of the Canyon and East Street entrance to town.
“Otherwise, we just have sandwich boards,” Delia said. “We need something more permanent.”
Board Chair Katrina Harms said she was going to do signage for the Carousel of Happiness and maybe could coordinate both signs with the NDDA. A sturdy, heavy sandwich board at the beginning of town would work for the summer and for other events as well.
Delia said they were planning on having six Farmers’ Markets this summer. The first one will be on May 28 and then the second Sunday of each month.
Harms announced that Board Member Jeffrey Green has decided not to run for the Board again, so they will be looking for another Board member. His term ends in July, so the NDDA will post an announcement.
(Originally published in the May 4, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)