February 10, 2009 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes:  2/10/2009


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

Guests:    Rodgers Adams, Nirmal Krishnamoorthy

Absent:     George Effrem, Rosemary Lundell


Administrative Items


Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the January 13, 2009 meeting were approved as read.


       Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer Barb Stevens reported that there is $481.09 in the NRP Development account and $1,590.87 in the NRP account.  Post Net billed us too early and as a result we are paid up through August 2010.   Barb is almost ready to submit the CPED Citizen Participation grant and a CORF.


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 on January 22, 2009.
  • The City of Minneapolis has stopped planting ash trees because of Emerald Ash Borer.  Forestry Director Ralph Sievert made a presentation about the threat at the Lakes District Council meeting.  The outbreak began in Detroit, Michigan and has been spreading more quickly than normal, mainly through firewood.  Ash is a common boulevard tree.  There are about 38,000 ash trees on boulevards in Minneapolis.  
  • Bob Fine and Tracy Nordstrom announced that they would hold a public meeting regarding the Lake Calhoun Master Plan, likely in March.  Todd reported that this announcement turned into a lot of complaints about how the South Parking Lot repair project is being handled.  The Met Council is funding the work because this is a regional park.  The MPRB claims it is just maintenance, but in addition to scraping and repaving the parking lot, they will be adding rain gardens to help keep runoff out of the lake and also some amenities like picnic tables.  A group of windsurfers attended the meeting to complain because the project will cut down their rigging area and reduce the number of available parking spaces.  They are concerned because they were not asked to give their input on the project.  
  • Todd said that he sent an e-mail to Tracy Nordstrom stating that the MPRB does not have an appreciation for the fine level of detail that people want about projects that affect the lakes.  People do not want to lose the things that make this area special (and make it a metro-wide recreation destination.)  We seem to find out too late about important things.
  • Todd reported that the Lake Harriet concession is to be replaced.  Sea Salt was selected by the review panel, but they don’t want to provide ice cream and popcorn.  People feel that we need to have ice cream and popcorn at the lake.  It was suggested that a new building be built near the boat dock.  There may be a public meeting if they plan to build.  They would need to rehab the current concession space to make it workable for Sea Salt.   


Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Rodgers Adams gave an update on light rail from the CIDNA meeting.  He reported that two different suburban routes to a terminus in Eden Prairie will be studied, as will two different routes through Minneapolis. One Minneapolis route would go north between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles on the Kenilworth Trail. The other would go east along the Greenway, then north on or near Nicollet.
  • The original Nicollet proposal called for a shallow tunnel under Nicollet between the Greenway and Franklin Avenue, and a street-level route along the Nicollet Mall. That routing has been criticized because of the tunnel cost, impact on Eat Street restaurants during construction, the need to straighten the Mall, and the inability for trains to continue on along the Hiawatha Line to the airport or Central Corridor to St. Paul.
  • Two modifications to his original plan were proposed by City Council Member Ralph Remington, and those will be included in the study. The first is to run at street level between the Greenway and Franklin along Blaisdell and 1st Avenue, or along mid-block alleys parallel to Nicollet. The second modification would be to turn off the Mall onto 12th and 13th Streets, looping around the Garbage Burner to hook up with the Hiawatha and Central Corridor lines by the new Twins Stadium.
  • These options will be evaluated this year through an Environmental Impact statement.  The process should take about a year.
  • One option that Cher supported was the Kenilworth route that would serve the needs of the suburban commuters with a streetcar on the Midtown Greenway that would serve local people.


Other Business


Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission Meeting

  • There will be a meeting on February 21 to discuss the process for selecting the neighborhood representatives to the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission.  Todd Wildermuth is unable to attend.  Barb Stevens hopes to attend.


March Newsletter
  • Our Spring newsletter will be mailed by the end of March.  The article deadline will be Tuesday, March 10.  The newsletter will include:
    • April 18 Earth Day Clean-Up at Lake Calhoun
    • MGM Liquor Store article (Todd)
    • Minikahda Club article (Mari)
    • Vitamin Shoppe article (Rhea)
    • Ice out date with prize for winner
    • Tree planting & tree care; “Adopt A Tree”
    • Bakken’s Green Energy Initiative
  • Ice Out Date contest – Whoever guesses the date or closest to it wins a prize.  Rhea will contact Ben & Jerrys to see if they would be willing to donate a prize.  The winner will be determined based on the official record of ice out.  If more than one person guesses the correct date, we reserve the right to select the winner by drawing.
  • Earth Day – Rhea will look into getting free coffee again for the Earth Day Clean-Up.
  • Mari said that it will be our goal to have three newsletters this year in the Spring, Summer and Fall.


Tree Care Tips
  • Rhea reviewed tree care tips from Mary Nolte, the Fulton Environment Chair.  
  • It looks like all of the trees that will be planted in May 2009 are not adjacent to residences.  Lauren at Whole Foods said that they would water the trees that will be planted near Whole Foods.  We may want to ask Boulevard Gardens to help water the trees that will be planted near Jiffy Lube.  3140 Chowen is an apartment building.  
  • We will ask for people to adopt a tree in the March newsletter.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting will be held Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at The Bakken.  Rhea will be unable to attend.  


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Coordinator