Members Blog. This is the place where members of DMBA share information. Non-members are welcome to read. Our Dot Com site will be open soon.
is not affiliated with or a part of any other organization. We are an independent group of business owners who have come together to make a difference in our businesses and in our community.
Be a part of DMBA. Join in the conversation. Join in the fun.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things To Come

We are currently working on a Dot Com page for DMBA that will be very visitor friendly. A visitors site full of everything Meadville. 

A great directory with addresses and phone numbers. There will also be a printable map of downtown Meadville, from Water Street to the Diamond and from Arch Street to North Street. 

We are also looking at a Place-Mat map that is a bit bigger. Randolf Street to Willow Street and from Water to Grove. This one will be paid for with advertising around the edges.

New Member

We would like to welcome The Whole Darn Thing Sub Shop into the Downtown Meadville Business Alliance.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest

Members of the Downtown Meadville Business Alliance are working hard on our First Annual Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest. There will be an Amateur and a Professional catagorie. Our first planning meeting will be held at The Creative Crust Bakery on August 8th at 3:00. Proceeds will benefit Women's Services.

Meadville City Council Addresses Parking Ordinance

Press release on WUZZ / 7-18-13

(At this time, there is no ordinance or regulation regarding employee parking.)

Parking Sub-Committee

I want to talk about the 'differences' between what the Business Owners want and need when it comes to the 'parking issue' and what the City Of Meadville wants and is doing to achieve 'their' goal.

The Business Owners need a permanent fix to the parking issues. One that is NOT dependent on who is on city council. Those fixes must include changes to the existing parking code.

• A 'Customer Parking Only' zone, that is in the heart of the business district.
• Long term meters to accommodate part time employees.
• Business sponsored 15 minute parking spaces.
• A tier system for tickets. Violating the 'Customer Parking Only' zone would be higher, $25.00 than customers, running out of time on their meters. $5.00.
• Changing the hours that the meters are enforced from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. to 9:00 am to 5:00.
• A clear and concise definition for validating  customers tickets.
• Business owners that need to park near their businesses for Loading And Unloading, need to get a uniform yearly pass, to display in their window during times of Loading And Unloading.
• A clear definition of the rules of conduct for the Meter Men.

The City Of Meadville:
• To coax employees to rent spaces and not change the code.
• To have have part time employees share rented spaces amongst themselves.
• City Council has not addressed this issue.
• Not clear on the city's point of view on the ticketing issue.
• Changing the hours that the meters are enforced from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. to 9:00 am to 4:00.
• The City does not have anything on the books as far as validating parking tickets for customers. This is at the discretion of the Chief Of Police.
• Business owners make up their own signs and it is up to the Meter Men to decide who can Load and Unload in front of their businesses.
• The rules of conduct on the books right now only apply to the Meter Users NOT the Meter Men.

The parking problems that plague Meadville have been a part of and contributed to the death of the downtown for over 70 years. Businesses come and go due to lack of customers. No parking spaces, no customers. The Parking Authority was established 50 years ago to help solve the problems and meters were installed at that time to try to fix the problems.

Two $5,000,000.00 parking structures were built to give the employees a place to park. But because of 'bad attitudes' about the parking structures the employees refuse to use them.


These are the key points the sub-committee feels needs to be addressed. They were presented to council at the March 2013 meeting.
• Fines for parking violations, which start at $10 for an expired meter, are too high.

• Designated hours for enforcing metered parking, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., are too long. Mangilo-Bittner and Langley recommend reducing the hours of enforcement from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

• Options for employee parking are limited.

• The two-hour maximum time allowed for parking at some meters is not long enough.

They have written a letter and had the meter men place those letters in the windshield of the cars that they think are employees, feeding the meters. Many employees have moved away from the core business area. But many still remain.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Parking - Hovis Interiors

Hovis Interiors has been a fixture in Downtown Meadville for over 66 years. For 66 years they have used the alley behind their building to load and unload furniture into their building through their loading bay.

The loading bay was designed into their building with the approval of the city with the clear understanding that Hovis would be using that alley for their vehicles, when Hovis needed to load and unload furniture. 

Erie Bank has been in Meadville less than 4 years. They designed their parking lot with the 'only' entrance being on that same alley.

The other day, Hovis's truck was given a $50.00 parking ticket for using the alley. Hovis was then told they would have to park their truck on Chestnut Street to load and unload their 300 to 400 pound pieces of furniture.

Don't you think it is odd that the City of Meadville would choose to go against 66 years of permitted 'temporary' parking for Hovis Interiors because Erie Bank chose not to put an entrance to their parking lot on Park Avenue?

And don't you think it is a bad decision to cause a traffic nightmare on Chestnut for all the rest of the citizens of Meadville, over that of the customers of one business entity?

Wouldn't it be more prudent to make Erie Bank construct an entrance into their parking lot off Park Avenue?

Hovis Interiors has 2 buildings on Chestnut Street and has paid a ton of property taxes for those 2 buildings for 66 years.

It is clear to anyone who is looking at this from a distance that the business in the wrong is Erie Bank. Their poor design is NOT Hovis Interiors problem. Nor is it the problem of the citizens that drive up and down Chestnut Street.

Friday, July 19, 2013


There are some beautiful things that are born of 'heat waves'. This Cicada is drying it's wings after emerging from it exoskeleton.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Plumbing Problems

This was a few years ago but I want to post it to show the need for a place for businesses to communicate with one another.

The Market House was having big problems with their drains. They were clogged and filled up with grease. They had to replace a section of their plumbing and it cost a pretty penny.

A few weeks earlier, the same thing had happened to The Whole Darn Thing. Again, it cost them a lot of money.

A few weeks before that, the Kepler building had to replace a lot of their plumbing.

Why did all these businesses have the same problem?

The grease from some of the businesses, up the hill, was traveling down hill. When it hit the flat area around the Market House it started working its way into the plumbing of the businesses.

In the end, the city had to clean out the line.

By looking at all the pieces as a whole instead of as individual pieces, we were able to pinpoint the problem.

By looking at parking as a whole instead of as individual pieces, we can solve the problem.

By looking at the problems of moving the Court House away from all the lawyers offices that are located around the existing building and recognizing the impact of that move on the whole instead of the single idea of it being more space, we can solve the problem by moving other aspects of County Government out of the existing Court House.

Without sharing information with each other we cannot solve the problems that need to be solved.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Interesting Fact

This information comes out of research done at the University of Texas.
For every dollar spent at a locally owned business, 45% of that money stays in the community.
For every dollar spent a a box store, only 13% of that money stays in the community.

It's a no brainer. Shop Local!

Business Needs

In downtown Meadville, there is a great diversity in the types of businesses that share this community. Each type of business has different needs. For the retail sector, parking spaces for customers are crucial. For businesses like MBS and Career Links, longer term parking is needed for their customers. This is true for the hair dressers in town and the dentists. It's hard to think about your meter when all you are worried about is the drill.

There are other needs that banks and lawyers offices have that have nothing to do with parking.

It is our goal to be able to have different forums set up for like businesses to be able to work on their issues together.

We feel that having a place like DMBA can help businesses work together in a way they cannot on large social network sites.

This is our town and we can make it great!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Second Saturday Community Market

This is an amazing event. One that, next year, could involve the entire downtown business district by providing walk-about maps and possibly an art walk. Just an idea.

Response To Request For An 'Employee Free Zone'

This is an update, 7-1/2 months after our initial request to council to implement an 'Employee Free Zone' along Chestnut Street and around the Market House.