November 11, 2008 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes:  11/11/2008


Present:   Rosemary Lundell, Mari Taffe, Todd Wildermuth, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)

Absent:     George Effrem, Barb Stevens

Guests:    Rodgers Adams, Nirmal Krishnamoorthy


Administrative Items


Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the October 14 meeting were approved.  It was noted that Paul Domholt wrote the Scope of Service for tree planting for 4 years rather than 3 years (as was reflected in the minutes) and the price for the gator bags has been quoted as $15, $16 and $18.

       Treasurer’s Report

  • $481.09 in NRP Development account; $3,378.87 in NRP account (reported after meeting by Treasurer Barb Stevens.)


Monthly Updates


Council Member comments

  • Council Member Betsy Hodges was not present.


Lakes District Council Update

  • Todd Wildermuth reported that the Lakes District Council met in late October.  The meeting was focused on budget issues and the fact that the MPRB is short of money.  In order to help cut costs, the MPRB will not be replacing retiring staff.  The MRPB is not doing any expansion or remodeling.   Their last expansion was in the late 1970s and those buildings need repairs now.  They are mainly looking at repairing roofs.  They hope not to have to cut back on programming.


Todd reported that the MPRB has tried to get the city to pass a park dedication fee to bring in more funds.  Though the initiative passed, there are a lot of restrictions on it.  Another difficulty the MPRB has is that the Board of Estimate, which determines how we are taxed, is stacked against them.  They cannot tax the way they want to.  The way things are set up, the City gets the maximum and the MPRB gets smaller increases.   Todd noted that a lot of folks are contesting their property taxes this year because of falling property values.  This cuts into city funds, which affects the Park Board.


The MRPB has a newly created Minneapolis Parks Foundation to improve the Minneapolis Parks system.      


The MRPB is also looking at determining a policy on sponsorship, advertising and naming rights.  They want to assess the public’s “pallet” for advertising in public spaces.  This is an ongoing discussion that has just begun.  If you want to provide input on this, please contact Todd.  It was noted that people do see the parks as a refuge from advertising and the private sphere.  It does make sense that there could be different standards for permanent advertising (long term) vs. programming (short term).


Midtown Greenway Coalition Update

  • No report.  


Other Business


Welcome from David Rhees – David Rhees, Executive Director of The Bakken, welcomed us to our new meeting space.  He said that there might be a representative of The Bakken who would like to attend WCNC meetings.  He asked us what our key issues are.  Todd Wildermuth and Mari Taffe gave an update.  


Key issues:

  • Southwest Transitway – which may include a Park and Ride and likely will include a Lake Street Station.
  • Traffic calming on West Calhoun Parkway
  • Tree planting and stump removal
  • Would like to find a way to address shoreline erosion and replacing the fishing pier
  • Lake Calhoun Master Plan – Bob Fine has placed an informal moratorium on major capital improvements on Lake Calhoun (like the proposed sailing village.)  Bob would like to get the planning process going again with neighborhoods that are on the lake.


Tree Planting/Stump Removal – The Scope of Services and budget for tree planting and stump removal has been approved by the Board via a phone vote.  Mari Taffe reports that the Japanese lilac trees have been planted on West 32nd Street, but residents did not receive care information from the MPRB.  Rhea Sullivan will contact Paul Domholt to request tree care tags.


It was noted that the budget and Scope of Services had two different prices for the gator bags.  Rhea will confirm the price with Paul Domholt.  


Next steps:  Paul will get us a map of the newly-planted trees in the spring.  Once where we know where the trees are planted we can plan our watering campaign strategy.  We may need to go door to door.  We will publish information in a spring newsletter, likely in April 2009.  Rhea will check in with Mary Nolte, Fulton Environment Chair, regarding Fulton’s strategies for encouraging watering.


Newsletter – The newsletter arrived in most homes on Monday, November 10.  We received an e-mail query about the census information.  It was recommended that we put a link to CPED on our website.


Recruitment – It was suggested that we contact resident property managers to find out if buildings have regular meetings.  Rosemary Lundell volunteered to visit the tall building on Excelsior Blvd. and the Canterbury and let them know that we need representation from their buildings.  Mari Taffe will talk to Meg Forney, who may be interested in returning to the Board.  


Southwest Transitway – It was noted that CIDNA does not support a Lake Street station on the Transitway because there is no easy way to get to the station from the neighborhood.  We need to provide direct access to bikes and cars.  Todd Wildermuth reported that the Park and Ride behind Whole Foods appeared on the scoping map.  The map also showed a Park and Ride ramp at Beltline Boulevard.  WCNC sent a letter stating that we are opposed to a Park and Ride.  When there is insufficient parking, people start parking on adjacent streets.  To control this, we would likely need to institute permit parking that would restrict parking hours to discourage commuter parking.  


Website – Rhea will change to a winter photo in December.  She will ask Barb Stevens if she would like to contribute a photo.  Please forward any ideas for the website to Rhea.


NRP Elector – No one is available to attend the election.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting will be held Tuesday, December 9, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. at The Bakken.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Coordinator