April 11, 2006 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes 4/11/06


Present:  George Effrem, Todd Wildermuth, Rosemary Lundell, Mari Taffe, coordinator Ahndi Fridell

Absent:  Dan Blackburn, Kristi Olmanson, Barb Stevens, MGC Rep Cher Underwood Forsberg

Guests: Paul Hokeness, Alexander  Zachary – MPRB, Buddy Ide – resident, Betsy Hodges – City Council Member


Treasurer’s Report (via Rosemary)

  • received NRP reimbursement, paid part of Close, Postnet, do-good.biz


Paul Hokeness, Lakes District Manager – Park and Rec Board reorganized a year and a half ago.  Split the city into three district – Lakes, River and Minnehaha.  He is the Parks and Recreation Director of Lakes district – both parks and maintenance report to him.  When people have problems with rec centers, forestry, milfoil, crime, they report to Paul and he delegates staff to work on the problem.  Alexander Zachary is the Lakes District Planner.  Downtown planning department looks at the regional park system and larger project planning (such as Lake Calhoun planning).  Maintenance and overall project supervision would be Alex’s responsibility – playground equipment, computer lab equipment, update basketball courts.


Paul Hokeness 612-313-7717, phokeness@minneapolisparks.org

Alexander Zachary 612-313-7716, azachary@minneapolisparks.org


Rosemary Lundell requested the reinstallation of the fishing dock on west side of Lake Calhoun.  Paul responsed that he’s aware of it, has spoken to DNR about grant program to see if it can be put back in.  A petition from the neighborhood wouldn’t hurt.  Address petition to Paul Hokeness and Tracy Nordstrom.  Hokeness will support it, but there is no money in the budget.


Pond Hockey tournament caused a bad parking problem in the neighborhood.  Can you fix that situation next year?  Also, the banks of the lake were ruined.  Will Park Board be reimbursed for damage to shoreline and plantings?  Todd also reminded Paul that as a condition of the permit, Pond Hockey people should be required to go meet with neighborhood groups.  Most importantly, the Park Board/Pond Hockey folks need to create a plan for shuttling spectators and participants from parking areas to Lake Calhoun.


Mari reminded Paul about shoreline restoration.  Paul will get back to us after speaking to environmental staff.


Jennifer Ringold and Alexander Zachary are checking on what governmental entity “claims” Greenway Access point for signage.


A Park Board planner needs to be assigned to West Calhoun’s bus shelter project.  Board members urged Paul to make that a priority.


Council Member Comments – Betsy Hodges

  • Either Betsy or her staff person, Ben, will normally attend monthly West Calhoun Board meetings.
  • Wireless Minneapolis – City will be a large purchaser of wireless services.  Private vendor will provide low-cost internet access to people who need it.  Council included a Community Benefits agreement; trying to close digital divide for people who don’t have regular access to internet and computers.  Betsy’s reason for supporting the public private partnership was that the cost to the City to get the system up and running was prohibitively expensive.  Currently two vendors are doing pilot projects in two neighborhoods.  Additional meetings are planned to give citizens more information.

April 20 6-8pm Eastside Neighborhood Services

May 3 Waite House

Digitalaccess.org – provides further information

  • Governor criticized City about using NRP money.  That is off the table.  Some state money given for more police officers.  Talks about increased funding will continue.
  • City has put together a task force to determine costs of Instant Runoff Voting.


Rose Lane turns – Buddy Ide

  • West Calhoun neighbor lives off Rose Lane.  Problem with people turning in there getting lost.  Dead-end sign is misplaced, cars hit twice, garage doors damaged from people turning around.  Spoke to City traffic staff Jim Steffel and Pat Grant, who swear there is no problem.  Need to make it clear to people on the Parkway that turning onto Rose Lane will not get them where they want to go.  He will contact Betsy to discuss this issue further.


Bus shelter update

  • Ben has received bids from three fabricators.  Park Board will assign a project manager.


Community garden update

  • We will start with a 40 x 40’ space behind Whole Foods Market on HCRRA property.  Shannon O’Halloran will design the space for us.  Ahndi is working to procure free soil for the site.  Due to it being a former dump site, the County requires two feet of soil before any gardens are planted.


New Board Member

  • Todd nominated and Rosemary seconded resident Greg Benz to be a West Calhoun Board member.  Greg was unanimously elected to the West Calhoun Board.  Barb Stevens called in with a voice vote to provide quorum.


Density and Development guidelines

  • Mari asked what members thought about bringing Bob Close back to help put together some guidelines.  Board needs to have a solid understanding of existing zoning and guidelines produced by City and what those allow.  We’re also dealing more with aesthetic issues.  We’ll be able to use Midtown Greenway land use and development plan.  We can complete the mission and vision statement that we started with Close.  There was some discussion about whether to just create them or to pay Bob Close to help the Board do that.  No decision was made.


Other Business

  • Ahndi asked if there were Good Neighbor suggestions for the annual meeting.  The award may not be given this year.
  • Earth Day Greenway cleanup Saturday, April 22 at 9:30am behind Calhoun Village.


Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm


Annual Meeting will be held Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 7:00pm in the cooking classroom at Whole Foods Market.