February 14, 2007 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes 2/14/07


Present:  George Effrem, Barb Stevens, Mari Taffe, Todd Wildermuth, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)

Absent:  Greg Benz, Dan Blackburn, Rosemary Lundell

Guests:  Bob Fine, Betsy Hodges, Kari Oquist


Treasurer’s report

No report this month.  Barb Stevens reported that account balances were the same as last month.


Council Member Comments – Betsy Hodges

  • The Ward Breakfast will be held Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 8:00 a.m., at Pearson’s.
  • The In-fill Housing proposal is moving ahead.  The goal is to continue to encourage development, while placing limits on the floor area ratio (size of structure on the lot).  There will probably be a public meeting in late February or March.  The earliest it will come before the full Council for consideration is April 27.
  • There is serious talk about a merger of the Minneapolis Public Library with Hennepin County.  Betsy’s committee has not yet weighed in on this.  Details are being hashed out.  The alternative is to close 3-6 more libraries in the coming years.
  • Betsy could not comment on the stadium issue.       


Chain of Lakes Coalition – Todd Wildermuth

  • No update.  Dan Woychick is trying to come up with a way for the Park Board to meet more frequently with neighborhood groups.  The group is still alive.


Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Greg Benz is willing to act as representative.  Need quorum to make it official.


Bob Fine, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner

  • Bob said that the Lake Calhoun Master Plan has stalled because planning staff is currently overloaded.  Work on the plan should begin this year.  Neighborhood associations will be contacted early in the process to get their input.  
  • Time frame for fishing dock/pier and stop signs is probably 2008 at the earliest.  MPRB is currently buying permanent docks that they can float on the lake in the winter.  There is a 2-year payback on the investment.  Bob will find out what it would take to get the dock project going.  He said that Lakes District Manager Paul Hokeness has some latitude on budgetary items.  It is possible that WCNC could contribute to the dock.  Bob said that one of the Lake Harriet docks was funded through a grant, possibly from the DNR.  
  • Bob gave an update on the Parade Stadium development, which would include a possible stadium, an event center with catering (a revenue stream for MPRB) and indoor water park.
  • WCNC has approx. $40,000 in Phase I NRP funds to spend on shoreline restoration at Lake Calhoun.  The area is roughly from 32nd to Rose Lane. There was a conversation about this three years ago, but the planner is no longer with the Park Board.  Bob will find out who we should talk to at the Park Board and if there was any preliminary work done by the previous planner.  Todd will follow up with Bob in ten days.  WCNC may be able to apply for a Minnehaha Creek Watershed District grant in the fall.
  • Pond Hockey was moved to Nokomis this year.  It seemed to work better there.     


Other Business

  • Discussed possible letter of agreement/contract with new WCNC Coordinator Rhea Sullivan.  Todd recommended to make it as simple as possible and to set the maximum number of hours per year.  Barb will look into the number of hours Ahndi worked over the past two years.  Start date will be February 1, 2007; length of time: 2 years.
  • Ward 13 Summit Update – Todd Wildermuth attended the meeting.  Discussion centered on the City’s Community Engagement Report.  The group asked for more time to review the report.  Todd felt the report did not set up a firm process for community engagement.
  • An Environmental Committee will convene.  Members will include Todd Wildermuth, Kari Oquist and Barb Stevens.
  • Stop signs – WCNC has petitioned for stop signs at these three locations: Lake Calhoun Executive Center, W. 32nd Street and West 36th Street.  Could use alternative methods of traffic calming, including speed bumps or narrowing.
  • Next newsletter in April 2007.  Possible topics:  1) Focus on shoreline, 2) Watering for Community Garden at Greenway access point, 3) Annual meeting in May, 4) Midtown Greenway Cleanup.


Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.


Next meeting will be held Tuesday, March 14, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in the cooking classroom at Whole Foods Market.