New businesses coming to downtown South Boston through its SoBo StartUp program are finding success beyond their brick and mortar buildings, South Boston Town Council found out during its work session on Monday.
Lauren Tetterton and Taylor Jennings, owners of Southern Frills, are looking at late September for a grand opening for their business, located at 417 Main St. in the building once occupied by Hodges Jewel Box.
That hasn’t stopped them from using social media and their website to market their business, described as a boutique with affordable yet unique clothing for ages 18 and up.
Southern Frills, one of six winners in the StartUp program, already has a following on its Facebook page and as a result of online sales, according to Tetterton and Jennings.
The actual store is still under renovation, with a grand opening set for the last weekend in September.
Destination Downtown South Boston Executive Director Tamyra Vest told council Southern Frills is an example of how businesses are expanding their footprint and therefore their sales beyond a brick and mortar building.
The ongoing success of the SoBo StartUp program has drawn attention throughout the state, according to Vest.
“Our program has started to shine among others in the state,” said Vest.
Public hearings set for auction gallery
Council set a public hearing for Monday, Sept. 11, to receive public comment on a proposed special use permit allowing an auction gallery at 720 Wilborn Avenue in the building occupied by Edmondson’s Cleaners.
Verlyn Emswiler has applied for a special use permit to operate an auction sales and storage business at that location.
Auction galleries are permitted by special use permit in a B-2 General Business District.
The premises will be used as an auction storage and sale site and will not negatively impact the surrounding properties, and there are no proposed changes in the use or change to the building, other than an Emswiler Auctions sign, according to Emswiler’s application.
The South Boston planners will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 6, to receive comment on the proposed special use permit.
South Boston Town Manager Tom Raab told council that Emswiler’s plans for an auction space at 720 Wilborn Avenue would not affect Edmondson’s Cleaners, which is located in the same building.
Forestry grant bringing UVa students to town
Raab updated council on an upcoming field trip to South Boston by students in a class offered at UVa’s urban and environmental planning and landscape architecture department.
A forestry grant being considered by the town’s planning commission at its Wednesday, Sept. 6, meeting would pay for approximately 20 students and an instructor to come to South Boston and use the town for a case study in introducing a green infrastructure framework for landscape planning.
Green infrastructure is described as the interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats and other natural areas.
By considering and inventorying existing environmental functions and values first, land can be designated and zoned appropriately for protection and/or restoration before it is fully developed so that wildlife habitat, recreation, stormwater treatment, energy savings, aesthetic and cultural values and improved community health can be achieved.
The students will be divided into four or five groups and present ideas to the town regarding development of natural areas, according to Raab.
Urology clinic update
Raab updated council on ongoing progress in the construction of a urology clinic in Houghton Industrial Park.
Dr. Amar Parikh is one of the physicians scheduled to practice at the clinic, described as “state of the art” by Raab.
Expenditures are outpacing revenues one month into the current fiscal year, Deputy Finance Director Mickey Wilkerson told council on Monday.
Expenditures stood at $1,054,354 (10 percent) out of a budget of $10,754,189 as of July 31, and revenues stood at $399,814 (4 percent), with a target of 8 percent, according to Wilkerson.
Not much is coming in, but a lot is going out, Wilkerson told council, and that’s normal for the first month of a fiscal year, she added.
The cash operating general fund was in the red at (-$665,077), with a year-to-date balance of $2,786,584.
Selected general fund revenues included $37,515 in local sales taxes, or 9 percent of a budget of $410,000; $17,156 in occupancy tax collections, or 11 percent of a budget of $155,000; $192,134 in meals tax collections, or 11 percent of a budget of $1,790,000; and $2,530 in business license tax collections, or less than 1 percent of a budget of $565,000.
As of Monday, local sales taxes had reached 18 percent of budget, consumer utility tax collections had reached 17 percent of budget, telecom tax collections stood at 16 percent of budget, occupancy tax collections stood a 21.5 percent of budget, and meals tax collections stood at 20 percent of budget, according to Wilkerson.
Monies for categorical aid had not yet been received as of July 31, and South Boston residents have not yet been billed for real estate and personal property taxes.
One month into the current fiscal year, $3,305 in delinquent personal property taxes have been collected, or 15 percent of a budget of $22,000; and $3,057 in delinquent real estate taxes have been collected, or 7 percent of a budget of $45,000.
A total of $915 in penalties-taxes has been collected, or 6 percent of a budget of $15,000; and $1,561 in interest for all taxes has been collected, or 10 percent of a budget of $15,000.
A year-to-date total of $2,514 in delinquent decals monies has been collected, or 17 percent of a budget of $15,000.
A total of $90,264 in delinquent personal property taxes remains uncollected; a total of $45,000 in delinquent real estate taxes remains uncollected; and a total of $74,071 in delinquent decals monies remains uncollected.