November 12, 2007 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes:  11/12/2007


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

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


Administrative Items

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the October 8, 2007 WCNC meeting were approved with  one correction.  Rhea will delete the extraneous heading re: WCNC Officer Elections.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Barb Stevens reported that there is still $4,933.19 in the NRP account and $481.00 in the development account.  Rhea submitted invoices for September and October and a bill for six months of the website server.  


Monthly Updates


Council Member commentsCouncil Member Hodges was not present.


Lakes District Council Update Todd Wildermuth

  • Todd Wildermuth reported that the Lakes District Council met on October 25.  The MPRB has just completed their Comprehensive Plan.  (Todd has a copy if anyone wants to take a look.)  Because there has been a huge effort to finish the Comprehensive Plan, they do not plan to complete the Lake Calhoun Master Plan until Spring at the earliest (“ice out”.)  
  • MPRB has hired the Hoesington-Koegler Group, Inc.  They have done a visual survey and have noted WCNC’s concerns, including erosi0n, the need for traffic signs, lack of mature trees.  The fishing pier is not mentioned.
  • Todd reported that he met with WCNC Co-Coordinator Ahndi Fridell to talk about the Lake Calhoun Master Plan.  The plan is to get involved early in the process before the Master Plan to fund a study and restoration plan.  Todd suggested that WCNC pay up to $30,000 for an assessment and plan.  Todd will talk to some planners to find out if $30,000 is a reasonable amount.  He will also make sure that the MPRB endorses the planner and will agree to act on the plan and include it in the Master Plan.
  • The Board reviewed a letter drafted by Ahndi Fridell to the MPRB and offered suggestions.  Todd said that he and Ahndi will finalize the letter and meet with the MPRB folks during the day (probably Paul Hokeness and Alexander Zachary.)  
  • Mari Taffe reported that she spoke to Marcia Holmberg at the MPRB regarding buckthorn removal.  Volunteers are not allowed to remove buckthorn on Park Board property because of liability issues.  The MPRB has worked with WCNC to remove buckthorn in the past, but they did not use herbicide, so the removal was not sustainable.  Marcia felt that there is not a lot of room for planting on the WCNC side of the lake.  Barb Stevens commented that river birch have been planted in a small area near Cedar Lake.
  • Kathy Bakke mentioned that the area around the billboard near the Minnekahda Club is not well cared for.  Mari said that they had tried to spruce that area up when they worked on the bus shelter.  Barb suggested that we might offer them money to do planting there.  There is a new owner now and it would be good PR.


Density and Development Guidelines

  • Todd and Ahndi will work on drafting design guidelines for the neighborhood.   Barb Stevens had retained a copy of the previous draft, which she gave to Todd.
  • The emphasis will be on keeping the neighborhood pedestrian friendly and supporting diversity of transportation.  
  • The plan will include a statement about protecting the character of the area where there is a concentration of single family homes.  
  • Barb Stevens suggested that, like the NRP Plan, we might not want to make the guidelines too specific.


Neighborhood Coordinator Update

  • Todd Wildermuth has volunteered to be the primary contact for the neighborhood on the Citywide Pedestrian Master Plan.  Rhea will mail the completed response form to the city.
  • Rhea Sullivan reported that she has talked to three different web designers, who have given quotes varying from $600-$1,500 for design of the WCNC website.  Rhea has also found a “free” program called Weebly that could be used to design the site.  East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association’s website uses Weebly (  Rhea will bring her laptop to the December meeting and we will look at various options for the website.


Audit Findings

  • Mari Taffe reported the findings from this year’s audit, that need to be addressed:
  1. Need to develop written accounting policies and procedures.
  2. Need a board-authorized Conflict of Interest Policy.
  3. Need to write a letter noting the fact that we are aware of the need for segregation of duties, but due to the small size of the organization, we are not able to comply.
  4. Need for bank reconciliation.
  5. Need to code invoices.


Other Business

  • Betsy Hodges hosted a meeting on November 19, 2007, from 6–8 p.m. at Anthony Middle School, 5757 Irving Ave. S., to talk about the future of NRP.   
  • Barb Stevens talked about her volunteer work with Linden Hills Power and Light.  She is hoping they will spread their mission into West Calhoun.  They are looking at the possibility of an anaerobic digester.   
  • Mari Taffe read a letter from Matt Perry that is to be addressed from all Southwest area neighborhoods to Betsy Hodges.  The letter asks that neighborhood organizations be included as active partners in determining the future of the NRP Program.  The Board agreed that Mari should sign the letter.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting will be held Monday, December 10, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.   We will meet first at Whole Foods, take a field trip to Caribou Coffee to look at website design options and end with a holiday gathering at Three Fish.  


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Co-Coordinator