October 8, 2007 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes:  10/8/2007


Present:  Barb Stevens, Mari Taffe, Todd Wildermuth, Rhea Sullivan (Co-Coordinator)

Absent:  Kathy Bakke, George Effrem, Lauren Kebschull, Greg Benz, Rosemary Lundell, Ahndi Fridell (Co-Coordinator)


Administrative Items

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the September 17, 2007 WCNC meeting were approved as read.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Barb Stevens reported that there is $4,933.19 in the NRP account and $481.00 in the development account.  Barb needs to make an adjustment between the two accounts.


Monthly Updates


Council Member commentsCouncil Member Hodges was not present.


Lakes District Council Update Todd Wildermuth

  • Todd Wildermuth reported that that he will circulate minutes from the last meeting of the Lakes District Council (formerly known as the Chain of Lakes Coalition).  
  • Paul Hokeness, Lakes District Director, attended the last meeting of the group as did all of the Park Directors from the area.  The Park Board is looking to use this group as the connection between the MPRB and neighborhood organizations.
  • At the meeting, they discussed the Park Board’s poor financial situation.  The Park Board needs funds.  One huge issue is the need to repair the existing park buildings, many of which were built in the late 1960s and 70s.  Such repairs are costly.  
  • There are two organizations that currently do fundraising for the parks:
    • People for Parks – Small donors
    • Minneapolis Parks Foundation – Operates separately from the MPRB to raise funds for park projects.  They are going after big donors.
  • The next meeting  of the Council is October 25, 2007.  The Lake Calhoun Master Plan is on the agenda.


  • There was a discussion about options for restoring the eroding Lake Calhoun shoreline, which is in very bad shape, especially between Ivy and Rose Lane.  Todd stated that we would need to have a consultant look at the hard and soft options.  Possible options include:
    • Rock gabions – Caged rocks
    • Field stone rocks – Which would look less artificial.  You could add willow springs with the rocks.
    • Big stones that interlock, also with willow plantings.  


  • Todd suggested that we need to find out who the consultants are that the Park Board hired to do the Lake Calhoun Master Plan.  If they are technical consultants, they may be able to help us.  Todd will contact Co-Coordinator Ahndi Fridell and have her find out the status of the Master Plan and whether the consultants for the plan are qualified to make technical assessments regarding shoreline restoration.
  • Todd will contact the MPRB to discuss lakeshore reinforcement, a possible tree plan and a possible access to the lakeshore.


Buckthorn Removal

  • A West Calhoun resident contacted Mari Taffe to let her know that she has a crew of people (and equipment) willing to remove buckthorn from Park Board property on Saturday, October 27, 2007.  She hasn’t cleared this with the MPRB.  Mari will contact Marsha Holmberg, who was most recently the person in charge of buckthorn removal at the MPRB.  


Neighborhood Coordinator Update

  • Rhea Sullivan reported that there has been a 46% reduction in Phase II NRP funds for all Minneapolis neighborhoods.  This means that with a 30% holdback (still required by NRP), WCNC now has approx $98,000 available in Phase II funds.  NRP Director Bob Miller is hosting a meeting to discuss NRP and the current funding situation (and any other concerns) on October 30, 2007 at 7 p.m. at the Crown Roller Mill, Conference Room 3.
  • Bob Miller also sent a letter to WCNC regarding a new policy for Plan Modifications for NRP Action Plans.  The original policy was drafted in 1994.  The new policy better reflects today’s NRP program.  Comments on the proposed changes will be taken by Barb Lickness until November 9.
  • PostNet has a new owner/manager, Doug Field.  Betsy has moved to a store in Highland.  Rhea will introduce herself to the new owner.
  • Rhea will handle the annual renewal of the MN Secretary of State.
  • Rhea will also be looking into website design options and will report back next month.  


NRP Phase I

  • Mari reported that she had spoken to our NRP Specialist, Carsten Slostad, and he gave her the funds remaining in each of the eleven Phase I strategies.  WCNC currently has $307,000 remaining in NRP Phase I.  $31,570 remains in the Lake Calhoun strategy.
  • Rhea will contact Jack Whitehurst to find out about getting access to the PlanNet NRP database for West Calhoun.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.


Next meeting, the WCNC Annual Meeting, will be held Monday, November 12, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.   We will confirm whether we can meet in the Whole Foods classroom before the next meeting.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Co-Coordinator