July 12, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 7/12/11 Meeting

 

Present:    Kathy Cobb, Gary Knutson, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator), Michael Wagner (Chair), Seth Doorn (Treasurer)

 

Guests:   Rodgers Adams, Herb Vitullo

 

Administrative Items

 

  • Michael mentioned concern about disability issues, brought to our attention by Alice Bowron at the Annual Meeting.  Should we discuss on a future agenda?  It would make sense to consider disability issues for pedestrians in the neighborhood.  

 

  • Mail – Can we get our mail via Zumbox?  Currently the City is switching to paperless.  How to handle communication of mail.  Getting physical mail from the P.O. Box.  Seth suggested that we set up a monthly agenda item to review the mail.  We can add it as a monthly update.

 

  • Rhea will check in with Carsten regarding the plan modification for The Bakken sign.  David Rhees reports that they met with the City and will submit application this week.  Will have a public meeting.
  • Public meeting regarding 3408 Zenith is on Thursday, July 14.  

 

  • Minneapolis Dept. of Health and Family Support – 25,000 grant re: Local Food Resource Hubs.  Tools for Communities Garden to grow fresh produce.  

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the 6/14/11 were approved as read.  

 

          Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer Seth Doorn reported that we now have three separate bank accounts.  We have $3,649 in Community Participation Program (CPP) funds.   Rhea’s check for $870 will come out of that.  NRP is the same as last month.  Development the same as last month.  

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges was not present.

 

          Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Tim Springer has retired from the MGC.  Soren Jensen is the new Director.  He has experience running non-profits.  Upcoming fundraising events include the Tour de Fat (this weekend) and the Greenway Challenge in September.  Michael will participate in the Greenway Challenge.  They are still talking about a streetcar on the Greenway.  They are making the pedestrian part of the bridge wider.  Greenway Challenge in West Calhoun – tent located here.  Greenway office is at Lake & Chicago.  Tour de is a carnival bike festival – sponsored by New Belgium brewing, which takes place at Loring Park.

 

          Minneapolis SW LRT Coalition – Kathy Cobb

  • Talked about moving the freight rail line at the last meeting.  St. Louis Park isn’t keen on the idea.  Everyone else wants to change it.  We have been asked to send a letter in support of preserving the Kenilworth Trail in the Kenilworth corridor.
  • We should also copy the SW LRT Management Committee on the letter of support.
  • Resolution:  Seems like a positive letter.  If they left the freight rail line they would have to take the bike trail out.  It was meant to be a temporary location for the freight rail.  Was intended to be short lived.  According to Herb Vitullo, there are about 12 trains a day.  
  • The proposal is to send the trains behind St. Louis Park High School.  St. Louis Park doesn’t want to reposition it – it’s between the high school and athletic field.  
  • They have to build a connection because the EW track goes under the other track.  The two cross now, but they cross with a bridge.  Main West line on the side of Cedar Lake, goes west, Kenilworth bends to the South and .  There are two parallel lines that go out.  They can’t co-exist in the corridor.  
  • Henn County Railroad Commission owns Kenilworth ROW.  Would need two lines for light rail.  Because of location of buildings, can’t run both on the corridor.  It’s a very short area — less than 200 yards.  The whole problem is getting through the narrow bottleneck.  
  • Gary requested posting maps on the website of the freight rail.
  • Guest – Would not be able to mix light rail and freight rail on the same line.
  • Kathy made a motion that WCNC support Kenilworth trail retention and  that we send a letter to everyone affected, including the City, MPRB, SW LRT Management Group, County (Gail and Peter McLaughlin).  
  • Joan VanHala, consultant with Minnesota Sustainable Communities, has been working with communities along light rail line, proposing a Saturday workshop on how to read the DEIS.  Talk about coordinating responses to the DEIS.  She was very helpful in talking about what to expect.  Sample table of contents gives us a clue to what’s in the DEIS.  Each community has the right of first refusal.  If St. Louis Park doesn’t sign off on it, could delay.  Will likely come out in December.  

 

Other Business

 

        September Picnic

 

  • We discussed the logistics of having a September neighborhood picnic:
  • We could work with neighborhood businesses to get food.  Michael knows Nate of Nate’s Dogs.  Ben & Jerry’s Freezer truck.  
  • Could rent tables.  CIDNA has Fall Festival in September.  Fulton Festival is Saturday September 10.
  • We could also just put up a couple of tables at the edge of the soccer field and make it a neighborhood gathering with food, activities, bring your lawn chairs.  Bring your postcard – your postcard entitles you to hot dogs.  
  • We could ask Minikahda Club if they would donate the terrace.  David suggests.  Rodgers said we had a meeting there once inside.  Check in with Meg as a possibility.

 

         Brainstorming

  • Yesterday, July 11, was the brainstorming session with &Partners and businesses/property owners.
  • There was a focus on wellness and the feeling of neighborhood – the Lake, activities, neighborhood, a sense of community.
  • &Partners will go over the feedback.
  • Kathy mentioned that Meg Forney has suggested that we have a Wellness Festival because so many of these businesses are health-related – wellness oriented – Whole Foods, etc.  
  • We could consider a Wellness Fair Event as a possible alternative to the September picnic.  
  • The Board decided on a February date (a time when retailers are looking for ways to attract more traffic) so it will be a Winter Wellness event.  The idea is to send all residents a postcard with our neighborhood map that includes neighborhood businesses.  We could start at Whole Foods and then travel around Calhoun Commons and there might be something to claim at each business (a coupon, freebie or drawing to register for) and then travel on the Greenway to the back side of Calhoun Village where folks could explore those businesses in the same way (the postcard is the ticket to goodies, prizes, etc.) and then end up somewhere at the end (perhaps at Burger Jones or if there’s an empty office space in Calhoun Village) for a big raffle or some way to close the event and bring everyone together.  The idea needs fleshing out, but everyone seemed very excited about the potential of gathering West Calhoun residents together to explore area businesses and get to know each other
  • We may want to invite CIDNA to partner with us on this.  
  • We could ask the Pfaffs if there’s somewhere to gather at the end at Calhoun Village.  
  • Rhea will communicate with Steve Goltry, CIDNA about this idea.  Their meeting is tomorrow night.

 

      August WCNC meeting

  • The Board voted to cancel the August 2012 WCNC Board meeting.  Rhea will post the change on the website, include in the July eblast and notify Betsy Hodges, Rodgers Adams and Matt Perry.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13 at The Bakken Museum at 5:30 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator

June 14, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 6/14/11 Meeting

 

Present:    Kathy Cobb, Gary Knutson, David Rhees (Vice Chair), Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator), Michael Wagner (Chair)

 

Guests:   Rodgers Adams, Brad Bourn (MPRB Commissioner District 6), Matt Perry

 

Administrative Items

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the 5/10/2011 meeting were approved as read.

 

       Treasurer’s Report

  • Seth Doorn was not present.  Reported via emal:  Our NRP funds are at $7,989.12 and we received our NCEC check this month of $4,140, which Seth put in a separate checking account.   Check to Coordinator for $495 for May invoice.

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges was not present.

 

          Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Seth Doorn was not present.

 

          Minneapolis SW LRT Coalition – Kathy Cobb

  • Kathy Cobb reported that many neighborhoods are further ahead in thinking about how the SWLRT will affect them.  Other neighborhoods include Harrison, Bryn Mawr, Kenwood and CIDNA.  One neighborhood has done a design charette for the station.  
  • St. Louis Park will hear testimony on the movement of the rail line.  
  • There is a proposal for a resolution not to disrupt the Kenilworth Trail.  
  • There is a lot of development at the Van White station where there will be a maintenance shed for LRT cars.  It’s a wasteland there for people getting on and off the train.

 

Other Business

 

        Capstone Traffic Study Follow-up

  • Michael Wagner has drafted thank you notes to Jeff Peltola, Ed Terharr and the students from WCNC.  
  • The SW LRT Stakeholders group met yesterday, on June 13.  Jeff Peltola will be meeting with county and city people about how to implement the short-term elements proposed in the study.  
  • There have recently been traffic counting strips in the neighborhood on Lake St., Excelsior, Market Plaza.  It probably doesn’t have anything to do with the study.  It was likely a coincidence.  

 

         MRPB District 6 Commissioner, Brad Bourn

  • District 6 Commissioner Brad Bourn introduced himself and reported on the following items:  
    • Speed radar wagon – Commissioner Bourn offered that we could have a speed wagon in the neighborhood again on West Calhoun Parkway.  Gary Knutson felt we don’t need it.  He says that the traffic is slower in the summer and is probably self regulating.
    • Fishing docks – Commissioners Cummer and Bourn were able to negotiate a return of the fishing dock to West Calhoun.  The dock probably won’t be installed until August or September.  
    • Tornado clean-up – MPRB staff have been dedicating time to Tornado clean up on the North side of Minneapolis.  There were $2.9 million in park-related damages.  The MPRB has committed to divert 2012 tree planting to North Minneapolis.  They will plant next spring.  FEMA approved relief for private property damage.  
    • Budget – The MPRB receives 10% of its budget from State funds.  LGA will likely be reduced or cut entirely.  State parks will be closed in the event of a government shutdown.  That will mean a huge increase in use of regional parks.  
    • MPRB restructuring – There was a huge restructuring of the MPRB this past year.  They established neighborhood Community Service Areas.
    • Projects Commissioner Bourn is working on:
      • Low maintenance and low cost recreational opportunities like fishing docks and swim docks.
      • Updating swimming regulations – Open swimming, swim lanes at North beach.  
      • Recreational community building- Like Dodgeball tournament that was held this spring.  Perhaps beach volleyball would entice West Calhoun folks?
      • Working with the Minnesota Twins and Comcast re: live broadcast of Twins games at Movies in the Parks
    • Volunteerism – Finding meaningful volunteers opportunities for people.
    • Greening Initiatives – Impact of bottled beverages and waste.  MPRB just started a Greening Committee, including solar heaters and Zero Waste events at Lake Harriet (working with Bread & Pickle owner Kim Bartmann.)
    • Charitable giving – Small donation opportunities like $1 donation at Tin Fish to help remove milfoil.  Also working to standardize how the MPRB receives gifts.  Also standardizing how businesses are recognized at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.  
  • Potential renaming of Lake Calhoun – The MPRB received a petition to rename Lake Calhoun as Lake Humphrey because of Calhoun’s stance on slavery and cessation from the Union.  A legal opinion was made by the MPRB Attorney that the MPRB does not have the right to change the name of a lake, but could rename a park.  It would require a legislative waiver to rename.  The MPRB has a process for responding to petitions.  The petitioner could try a ballot petition to let the matter be decided by voters or could seek a legislative waiver.   Michael noted that it is a good opportunity to educate people about who John C. Calhoun was.  Gary Knutson read letters from other West Calhoun residents supporting keeping the name the same and noted facts about Calhoun.  WCNC will not take a position on this issue at this time.  Brad Bourn will keep us informed if there are further developments regarding the proposed renaming.
  • David Rhees announced that The Bakken Museum is forming a partnership with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.  He asked for contacts at the MPRB about environmental issues.

 

      August WCNC meeting

  • The Board voted to cancel the August 2012 WCNC Board meeting.  Rhea will post the change on the website, include in the July eblast and notify Betsy Hodges, Rodgers Adams and Matt Perry.

 

     3100 Excelsior Blvd.

  • Michael Wagner reported that construction is in progress at 3100 Excelsior Blvd., the previous site of Boulevard Gardens.  They have tenants and will be announcing them in a few weeks.  The new Project Manager would be willing to come to our meeting.

 

      Zoning Variance Issues

  • 3408 Zenith – John & Margarita Johannson are seeking a Steep Slope Variance in the Shoreland Overlay district in order rebuild their garage at 3408 Zenith.  David Rhees walked to the site.  It’s a new home with new excavation.  New structure will match the existing footprint.   It’s on a steep slope so it’s part of the Shore Land Overlay District that’s designed to prevent people from building near waterways on steep slopes because the runoff will drain into the nearby waterway.  The consensus of the Board was that the structure probably won’t be seen from the street.
  • Minikahda Club (3205 Excelsior Blvd. & 3241 Zenith Ave. S.) – Scott Newland of Newland Architecture, on behalf of the Minikahda Club, has applied for a variance to allow for development, including a new accessory structure, site grading, landscaping, tree removal and new tree plantings on or within 40 feet of the top of a steep slope.  This property is also part of the Shoreland Overlay District.  Public hearing will be June 30.  Neighbors within 50 feet will be notified.  It was also felt that the new structure won’t be seen from street level.  
  • Matt Perry said that neighborhood associations  can have a value add to the zoning process in terms of whether a proposed structure fits within the character of the neighborhood.  Matt sits on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which considers variances, non-conforming rights and disputes regarding the way the city Zoning Code is being interpreted.  The Planning Commission oversees larger projects, road vacations and lot splits.

 

     SW LRT Stakeholders Group/Starting a Business Association

  • The last SW LRT Stakeholders Group meeting was held yesterday, June 13.  Brenda Thomas from Doran Properties and Jack Pfaff attended the last meeting.   We have been encouraged by property owners attending the meetings.
  • A letter will be drafted from the SW LRT Stakeholders group to Betsy Hodges and Gail Dorfman (with many cc’s) to thank them for attending the Capstone Project Final presentation at the WCNC Board meeting and CIDNA Board meeting, respectively.  The hope is that this will help encourage the City and County to move forward to make the short term recommendations from the Capstone report.  Thank you notes will also be written to Jeff Peltola, Ed Terharr and the students from the Stakeholders group.  
  • Meg Forney, Kathy Cobb and Rhea Sullivan have been working toward starting a business association in the neighborhood.  They propose that the next SW LRT Stakeholders Group meeting be a brainstorming session to help develop a cohesive identify for the businesses on both sides of Lake Street working with &Partners.  The Board voted to allocate $800 in Community Participation Program funds for the brainstorming effort, pending Robert Thompson’s approval.  Rhea will contact Robert Thompson.  (Note: Robert Thompson approved the strategy because it fits with our CPP plan.)
  • The hope is that organizing businesses will help the area have more political clout.  We are hoping that the brainstorming effort with act as a hook to get businesses involved in starting the new business association and help us create a brand identity for the area like Uptown, Eat Street and 50th & France all have unique identities.

 

     Community Participation Program

  • The Board reviewed our CPP application.  We stated in our CPP application that we are going to coordinate a neighborhood event.   Rhea suggested that we consider having a neighborhood picnic.  The Board agreed to schedule a September neighborhood picnic.  We will coordinate details at the July WCNC meeting.

      Officer Elections

  • A slate of new officers were elected to serve for the next year:  Chair – Michael Wagner, Vice Chair – David Rhees and Treasurer – Seth Doorn.  Rhea will notify Seth.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12 at The Bakken Museum at 5:30 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator

May 10, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 5/10/11 Annual Meeting

 

Present:    Seth Doorn (Treasurer), Meg Forney, Gary Knutson,  Jeff Peltola (Vice Chair), David Rhees, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator), Michael Wagner (Chair)

 

Guests:   Rodgers Adams, Robb Bader, Alice Bowron, George Effrem, John Fagerson, Betsy Hodges (Council Member), Frank Hornstein (MN House of Representatives), Charles Mosner, Matt Perry (NCEC), Karin Quick, Herb Vitullo, and student Capstone presenters: Tim Nelson, Josh Potter and Joshua Rhode.

 

Administrative Items

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the 4/12/2011 meeting were approved as read.

 

       Treasurer’s Report

  • $8,115 current balance in the NRP account after paying liability insurance, newsletter expenses and Coordinator invoice.

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges reported that there is currently a bill in the legislature to merge the Minneapolis closed pension funds for police and fire with the State pension funds.  This would be a great help for the city if it passes.
  • The state is trying to cut all LGA funds to the City of Minneapolis.  That is one of the fights at the legislature.
  • $12.68 million was originally being held in frozen Phase II NRP funds from Minneapolis neighborhoods.  The city kept $10 million and released $2.68 million back to the NRP Policy Board, which will determine how the funds will be dispersed.  

 

        Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Seth Doorn reported that the MGC is close to selecting a new director to replace Tim Springer.   
  • The MGC will be working on a visioning plan that includes ideas like moving the Greenway into St. Paul and adding a rail car to the Greenway.  

 

Other Business

 

        Capstone Traffic Study Presentation

  • Students from the University of Minnesota presented the final Capstone Traffic Study.  
  • For detailed notes about the presentation, refer to notes from the 5/2/2011 SW LRT Stakeholders’ Group meeting.  There was also a handout: “Traffic Assessment and Recommendations: Lake Street & Excelsior Boulevard and Adjacent Intersections” which summarizes the short and long-term solutions and recommendations.  
  • Betsy Hodges took a copy of the report with her.  She said that she will look at the short term solutions with City staff.  
  • The presentation will also be given at the CIDNA Annual Meeting on May 11, 2011.  
  • The students will be working on a Power Point presentation or video that we could put on our website.  
  • Alice Bowron, resident of Lakewood Isles, is very concerned about the dangerous crossings in the neighborhood.  She has a disability and it is very difficult to cross some streets, especially Lake Street.  There is not enough time for a safe crossing, especially for a disabled person.

       Representative Frank Hornstein

  • Frank Hornstein, MN House of Representatives, made a brief statement.
  • He is fighting to protect Local Government Aide (LGA) for the City of Minneapolis.  
  • Devastating cuts have been made to education in the City of Minneapolis.
  • Frank is the lead on transportation issues.  

 

      Organizing a Business Association

  • WCNC will continue working on developing a business association for the area.  There has been a great response from the SW LRT Stakeholders’ Group this past year.  We have also talked to CIDNA about working together to form a business association that includes both sides of Lake Street.

 

      SW LRT Stakeholder Meeting

  • Our last Stakeholder meeting was Monday, May 2 at 4 p.m.   The next meeting will be June 13, 2011 at 4 p.m. in the Lake Calhoun Executive Center conference room.

 

      Board Elections

  • Gary Knutson moved to re-nominate the current Board.  All Board members but Jeff Peltola agreed to stand for re-election.  The motion carried.
  • The new board includes: Kathy Cobb, Seth Doorn, Meg Forney, Gary Knutson, David Rhees and Michael Wagner.  There are still three open seats remaining.
  • Alice Bowron expressed interest in joining the Board if she can get a ride to meetings.
  • David Rhees suggested encouraging business owners to join the WCNC Board, possibly in lieu of starting a business association.  Matt Perry said that it is better not to put a business association within a neighborhood association.  
  • Jeff Peltola suggested that we consider merging  WCNC with CIDNA.  There was some discussion of this.  Apparently former council Member Steve Minn advocated for West Calhoun to be separated from CIDNA when they started NRP.  CIDNA created WCNC.  CIDNA is not part of Ward 13.  If we joined CIDNA, the new neighborhood association would be part of three wards and would be represented by three council members.  
  • Betsy Hodges mentioned that in the redistricting Ward 13 may be smaller.  It might not include West Calhoun or East Harriet.

 

      NCEC – Matt Perry

  • Matt Perry asked how long it has been since our CPP application was approved.  Apparently checks have been slow to materialize.  We are still waiting for our check and our application was approved in March.  He said that 2.6 million has been disbursed to neighborhoods and 62 organizations have submitted applications.  The current legislation re: NRP puts this funding at risk.  

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14 at The Bakken Museum at 5:30 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator

April 12, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 4/12/11

 

Present:   Kathy Cobb, Seth Doorn (Treasurer), Meg Forney, Jeff Peltola (Vice Chair), David Rhees, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator), Michael Wagner (Chair)

 

Guests:  Kelly Finnerty, Chris Lundeen and Andrea MacArthur from The Bakken Museum; Rodgers Adams

 

Administrative Items

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the 3/8/2011 meeting were approved as read.

 

       Treasurer’s Report

  • $10,265 balance in the NRP account as of last month.

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges reported that the last Ward Breakfast will be held on Wed., April 20 at 8 a.m. at the 50th St. Café (formerly Pearson’s restaurant).  Former Council Member Steve Minn, who started the Ward Breakfast tradition, will be the special guest.  
  • $1 million has been allocated for pothole repair crews.  They are doubling crews to accomplish the repairs more quickly.
  • $12.68 million was originally being held in frozen Phase II NRP funds from Minneapolis neighborhoods.  The city kept $10 million and released $2.68 million back to the NRP Policy Board, which will determine how the funds will be dispersed.  
  • There is a bill to merge city pension funds with the state.  
  • The Lyndale Bridge project has been delayed until 2012.

 

        Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • No report.  

 

Other Business

 

        The Bakken Museum

  • Property Manager Chris Lundeen made a presentation about the proposed new monument sign that will be installed on the corner of W. 36th St. and W. Calhoun Parkway (on Bakken property.)  The sign is part of the Green Energy Initiatives that began at The Bakken in 2006.  There is currently a banner sign on the fence that was meant to be temporary.  They will be removing 10-ft. of fence on each side.  The sign requires an expansion of non-conforming use because The Bakken Museum is zoned R1.  The sign will be built on the original footings that were underneath a stone wall that surrounded the property in the 1930s.  
  • The estimated cost of the sign is $58,000, which includes approx. $11,600 in solar equipment that will help power the subtle lighting in/on the sign.  
  • Kelly Finnerty made a presentation about the Dakota Medicinal Gardens.  The museum has a grant for the development phase from the MN Historical and Cultural Heritage Fund to develop an exhibit to tell the hidden stories about the ecosystem and the Dakota culture.  The idea is to use stories of the Dakota culture to help visitors develop appreciation for indigenous practices.  Funding for fabrication and installation is needed, totaling $10,000.
  • Meg Forney suggested that The Bakken Museum also present a funding request to the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council.
  • Andrea MacArthur reviewed the options for WCNC to participate in an event at The Bakken Museum, including sponsoring one of the 10 Best Days of The Bakken or a Family Day.    
  • To avoid a conflict of interest, David Rhees was not present during these presentations or the discussion that followed.
  • A motion was made to move $5,800 from WCNC Phase I NRP Strategy #3 – Excelsior Blvd.  
    Streetscape to Strategy #2 – City Gateway Project.  This would be a plan modification to WCNC’s Phase I NRP Plan.  The motion carried.  Rhea will draft a plan modification letter and send to Carsten Slostad, our NRP Specialist.
  • A motion was made to fund The Bakken Museum’s signage project at 10% in an amount no greater than $5,800.  The funds would come from Strategy #2 – City Gateway Project after the plan modification.  
  • The Board discussed a potential summer event, but decided that the event won’t be tied to The Bakken.  We should continue to plan for an event because we included an event in our application for the NCR Community Participation Program funds.
  • A motion was made to donate $500 per year to The Bakken Museum from WCNC’s Community Participation Program funds, subject to funding availability, to be used for community participation.  This is to be voted on each year by the Board.  The motion carried.  David Rhees requested that when we send the funds, we should include a cover letter that spells out that the funds should be used for community participation.

   

       Annual Meeting Planning

  • Homemade Pizza Company will provide a couple of pizzas for our Annual Meeting.  (After the meeting, Whole Foods committed to provide three pizzas.)  
  • We will have pizza and bottled water for the meeting.  Rhea has authority to spend up to $50 on purchase food/water for the meeting.
  • Meg Forney will call Gary Knutson to find out if he is planning to run.  Jeff Peltola expressed that he probably won’t run for the Board because of his other commitments.
  • There will be a Capstone final presentation at the meeting.  

 

      Earth Day – Sat., April 16

  • Rhea will send another reminder e-mail with the location.  The event will go on rain, snow or shine.

 

      SW LRT Stakeholder Meeting

  • Our next Stakeholder meeting on Monday, May 2 at 4:00 p.m. will include a final presentation of the Capstone traffic study.  

 

      Business Association Progress Update

  • Meg Forney reported that Kathy, Meg and Rhea met with representatives of the Uptown, Lake Street Council and Nicollet East Harriet (NEHBA) business associations to get some guidance about how to start a business association.
  • The key question to consider is:  “What can we do for business owners to add value?”  We need to find out what their goals are.
  • How do we convert the Capstone traffic study project into something that business owners can relate to?   Meg recommended that we pay Jeff Peltola to take the outcomes from the study and turn them into something we can use.
  • Other ideas:
    • Possible West Calhoun banners.  Could have a banner contest to create the design.  (David Rhees suggested that we might consider also having a contest to create a new WCNC logo at the same time.)
    • Create a map.
    • Increase the website presence.
  • Next steps:
    • Contact CIDNA regarding including the north part of Lake St. on our website.   Meg will be meeting with CIDNA President Art Higinbotham.
    • Survey – What’s most important to business owners?  Ask businesses “What can we do for you?”  Perhaps talk about that at the Annual Meeting.
    • Possible map – We could add to the postcard map that we sent out last year.
    • We will continue to move forward.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting, our Annual Meeting, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at The Bakken Museum at 6:00 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator

 

March 8, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 3/8/11

 

Present:   Kathy Cobb, Meg Forney, Gary Knutson, Jeff Peltola (Vice Chair), David Rhees, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator), Michael Wagner (Chair)

 

Guest:  Matt Perry (NCEC Commissioner)

 

Administrative Items

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the 2/8/2011 meetings were approved as read.

 

       Treasurer’s Report

  • No report.

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges was not present.

 

        Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • No report.  Jeff Peltola mentioned that there was an article in the Southwest Journal about Tim Springer.

 

SW  Community Advisory Council

  • The last meeting of the Community Working Group was held on February 3, 2011, so that group will no longer be meeting.  Jeff Peltola attended the SW Community Advisory Council meeting on February 23.  He said that another neighborhood group has a Capstone Urban Planning project.

 

Park Board CAC re: SW LRT

  • Is still waiting for the DEIS to be released.  Meg Forney distributed copies of results of a Park Board survey about the SW LRT.  Meg asked that Board members review the survey and share any comments/input with her.

 

Other Business

 

        Minneapolis SW LRT Coalition

  • WCNC was asked to consider being a part of a Minneapolis SW LRT Coalition.  The coalition is: “A loose affiliation of neighborhoods in the Minneapolis Corridor from north to south.  The goal is to create a unified voice of Minneapolis Corridor neighborhoods so we have more bargaining power as SW LRT planning continues.  
  • Meg Forney, Kathy Cobb and Michael Wagner volunteered to represent West Calhoun Neighborhood Council.

   

       Community Participation Program application

  • Matt Perry reported that 45 neighborhoods have submitted applications since February 22.  All but two have been approved.
  • Meg Forney is very excited about the Stakeholder’s Group.  Kelly Doran attended this week’s meeting.  She proposed that WCNC expand the Coordinator’s hours to dedicate time to starting a business association.  She said that CIDNA actually started WCNC with $1,000 in seed money.  She suggested that WCNC provide seed money to start a business association.
  • Matt Perry helped to found the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association (NEHBA), which is a business association made up of eight SW neighborhoods.  Kingfield and East Harriet neighborhood associations put up a total of $1,500 to start the organization plus staff time.  NEHBA has received $200,000 in façade improvement and marketing grants.  
  • In the Community Participation Program application, Rhea will add a paragraph under the section about under-represented groups.  Business owners are an under-represented group.  Matt Perry suggested that we talk with NCR staff to find out if starting a business association is considered a community engagement activity under the Community Participation Program.
  • We discussed a possible summer event.  David Rhees suggested a possible partnership with The Bakken Museum during the Ten Best Days of Summer.  Other suggestions included “A Taste of West Calhoun,” a tour of neighborhood businesses.  It would be good to find out what the business community wants.  The Ten Best Days of The Bakken partnership seems to make the most sense for summer 2011.  
  • Rhea will add other partnerships under #5, including our representative on the Midtown Greenway Coalition, our partnership with The Bakken Museum and our annual Earth Day Clean-Up site (in collaboration with the MPRB.)  
  • Suggestions for #6:  1) Have NCEC Commissioners attend Board meetings and 2) Share expertise on topics of interest like business associations.

 

       NRP Plan Modification

  • The Board approved a motion to move $15,000 from Phase I Strategy #3 Excelsior Blvd. Streetscape (also referred to as Neighborhood Corridors) to Phase I Strategy #10 Implementation.  
  • Rhea will let Carsten know of the plan mod and will draft the plan mod letter.

 

       Phase I NRP Plan Review

  • The consensus of the group is that the whole board should review the NRP Plan.  We will look at the current strategies and discuss why they haven’t been implemented.
  • The Southwest Transitway is still 6-7 years out.  We won’t likely be able to plan for Southwest Transitway improvements for some time yet.  
  • Meg suggested that we set goals on a timeline.
  • We will review the NRP Plan at our April meeting.  If we want to make changes to the plan, we can present them at our Annual Meeting on May 10.
  • We have been invited to join CIDNA at their Annual Meeting on May 11.  The Board feels its best to have our own meeting.  The Capstone students can present their findings at both the WCNC and CIDNA annual meetings.

 

      Earth Day – Sat., April 16

  • We will once again be partnering with the MPRB to host the Earth Day Clean-Up site at W. 32nd and Calhoun Parkway.  
  • Rhea had asked Whole Foods for a donation of bottled water and snacks for Earth Day.  The Board suggested we ask instead if they would be willing to provide a donation for our Annual Meeting on May 10.
  • David Rhees will assist Rhea with staffing the table.  Staff from The Bakken Museum will be helping with the clean up.  Cargill will be providing free coffee and doughnuts.  

       NCEC Selection Process Meeting

  • NCEC Commissioner Matt Perry spoke about the April 16 (9 a.m. -12 noon) NCEC City-wide meeting to discuss the NCEC Election Process.  Every neighborhood organization is being asked to appoint a representative to that meeting.   This year Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 will be elected.  District 2’s election will be next year.
  • Michael Wagner will be our representative.  Jeff Peltola is the alternate.
  • The Commission will be coming back to the neighborhoods to discuss the equitable distribution of the frozen Phase II funds.  The Commission hopes to have recommendations ready by June 2011.

 

      Ice Out

  • Meg Forney took everyone’s guesses for this year’s Ice Out date.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at The Bakken Museum at 5:30 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator

 

February 8, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 2/8/11

 

Present:   Seth Doorn, Gary Knutson, Jeff Peltola (Vice Chair), Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)

 

Guests:   Rodgers Adams, Carsten Slostad (NRP Specialist)

 

Administrative Items

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the 12/14/2010 and 1/11/2011 meetings were approved as read.

 

       Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer Seth Doorn reported that the balance in our NRP account is $10,685.34 after paying the Coordinator’s January invoice.  He also reported that he met with Rhea Sullivan to prepare a draft budget for the Community Participation Program.

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges was not present.

 

        Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Seth Doorn reported that the MGC is planning for hiring a new Executive Director.  They have a search committee in place and have hired a consultant to help with the hiring process.

 

Community Working Group for SW LRT

  • The last meeting of the Community Working Group was held on February 3, 2011.  The SW LRT Stakeholders Group developed comments at their January 31 meeting.  Brad Pfaff presented the comments at the meeting.  Comments need to be refined for the February 28 deadline.

 

Park Board CAC re: SW LRT

  • Is waiting for the DEIS to be released.

 

Other Business

 

        Name of the “West Lake Station”

  • Meg Forney has proposed changing the name of the SW LRT station from “West Lake” to “West Calhoun.”
  • Gary Knutson proposed “Calhoun.”  Another idea proposed was “Lake Calhoun” station.
  • Jeff Peltola raised the question of whether it is up to us to come up with the station name.  Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much what we think, but it may be more important for the people coming to the station from outside the neighborhood.  We may not want to push this in our February 28 comments.
  • Gary volunteered to come up with some language for the comments to say, in effect, that the naming of the station deserves a second look.

 

     

 

   

       Update on Capstone Project (Traffic Assessment)

  • Jeff Peltola reported that four students are working on the Capstone Senior Project.  They are using Calhoun Towers and the Lake Calhoun Executive Center to make traffic counts.
  • Students will likely make a practice presentation at the next SW LRT Stakeholders’ Group meeting on Monday, March 7 at 4:00 p.m., at the Lake Calhoun Executive Center Conference Room.

 

       NRP Fund Review with NRP Specialist Carsten Slostad

  • Carsten gave a little background about WCNC’s Phase I NRP Plan.  We currently only have one open contract for administrative funds.  The last payment request put the budget out of balance and we need to do a “clean-up” plan modification.  There is currently only approx. $800 available.  The last advance was $5,600.
  • Carsten recommends that WCNC approves a plan modification to move $15,000 into the admininstrative contract at our March meeting.  Seth will look at the funds and recommend where we might take the funds from.  Carsten suggested extending the contract to Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Carsten also recommends that we form a committee to review our NRP Phase I Plan from ten years ago and evaluate the plan.  He suggested we look at what we wanted to do, what we did and how much was spent.  This may help spark ideas for current needs.  If we add new strategies to our Phase I Plan revision, we would need to have a formal neighborhood meeting to approve the plan and it would need to go to the NRP Policy Board.  Carsten recommends that we do this this year.  The Joint Powers Agreement that empowers the NRP Policy Board will end December 31, 2011.  After that he’s not sure how plan revisions will be handled.
  • In order to qualify for Phase II funds, we have to either have 95% of our Phase I funds under contract or 85% expended.  We are currently at 53% expended.  
  • WCNC had no Housing requirement for Phase I.  Carsten suggested that we may want to set up a Fix Up Loan Program.  Loan funds revolve back to the neighborhood and can be spent as we wish.

 

       Community Participation Program Application

  • The Board reviewed the draft budget for the Community Participation Program for $16,569.95.  Ideas for a community event include a fishing contest or an Ice Out contest.  
  • The Board asked Rhea to draft the Community Participation Program Application and send it to the Board to review before the next meeting.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at The Bakken Museum at 5:30 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator

 

January 11, 2011 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 1/11/11

 

Present:   Kathy Cobb, Meg Forney, Jeff Peltola (Vice Chair), Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)

 

Guests:   Rodgers Adams, Kelly Finnerty (The Bakken Museum), Denise Griep (Linden Hills Tennis Court Fundraiser), Tim Springer (Midtown Greenway Coalition)

 

Administrative Items

 

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes were not reviewed.

 

       Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer Seth Doorn was not present.   The balance in our NRP account is $11,649.50.

 

Monthly Updates

 

Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges discussed the City budget process and its ramifications.  This year recertified TIF districts took properties off the tax rolls and so increased the tax burden on other properties.  The Mayor’s original budget included a 6.5% property tax increase, with a maximum levy of 7.5%.  Betsy and the Ways and Means Committee put together a proposal to lower the proposed tax increase to a 4.7% increase.  Cuts included Target Center capital improvements, self insurance fund, Public Housing Authority and a 2-year City wage freeze as well as cutting NRP Phase II funds.  As of 2011, neighborhoods are not allowed to contract above 50% of their NRP Phase II allocation.  The Phase Ii funds will be used to fund neighborhoods in 2012 and 2013.  The NCR/NCEC will negotiate equity between neighborhoods.  Betsy apologized for the way the funding cut was handled.  NRP Phase I funds are untouched.   

 

        Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • No report.

 

Community Working Group for SW LRT

  • No report.

 

Park Board CAC re: SW LRT

  • No report.

 

Other Business

 

        Guest: Denise Griep, Linden Hills Park Tennis Court Fundraiser

  • A fundraising group was formed in November, 2010 to raise money to redo the Linden Hills Park Tennis Courts.  It is a total redo of the courts and new fencing.  The courts will also be striped for the Quick Start program for ages 10 and under.  The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) is acting as the fiscal agent for the project.
  • The goal is to raise $200,000 by July 2011.  The courts will be removed by fall and replaced by new courts (occupying the same footprint.)
  • The group would like our support.  LHiNC is contributing NRP funds to the project.
  • WCNC agreed to promote the program online and in our newsletters.  We also suggested promoting it at Earth Day.

       Guest:  Kelly FInnerty, The Bakken Museum re: Renewable Energy Gardens

  • Kelly Finnerty presented a power point presentation about the Bakken Gardens Exhibit Plan.  The Bakken Museum has received state legacy funds for a history of the Westwinds mansion and for a plan for The Bakken Gardens.
  • There are four separate garden areas:
    • Florence Bakken Medicinal Garden (est. 1994)
    • Dakota Medicinal Plants Garden (will develop interpretation for the site)
    • Organic vegetable garden (2)
    • The Solar Energy Sculpture Garden.
  • Solar- and wind-powered sculptures will be added to the green rooftop terrace this summer.  The sculptures will be integrated into K-12 field trips, the Inventors’ Program and the 10 Best Days of Summer.  Funding for the pilot phase of the project is $20,000.
  • Kelly showed many examples of different types of sculpture, including small and large scale sculptures, kinetic sculptures, and more.
  • Meg Forney said that she would like to see the sculptures on the grounds so that the public can view them to help draw people into The Bakken Museum.  Kelly said that the rooftop terrace is the collection site, but the temporary sculptures this summer should have portability and visibility.
  • Tim Springer suggested that where the MGC passes under 35W, there should be some kind of solar-powered art work.  He also suggested solar-powered art shows on the Greenway after dark to increase safety.  Tim also said that there are no lights on the Greenway to the lakes.  Perhaps use solar light.
  • Kelly requested that we consider supporting this program with NRP funds.  We might consider a possible partnership with the Midtown Greenway Coalition.

 

       Community Participation Program Application

  • Rhea Sullivan, explained that funds are now available from the Neighborhood and Community Relations department.  WCNC’s allocation for 2011 is $16,569.95.  The Board asked that Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator) and Seth Doorn (Treasurer) put together a draft budget for the funds and present it to the Board.

 

       Southwest Transitway

  • The final documents for Station Area Planning have been published.  The last meeting of the Community Members Working Group will be Feb. 3, to hear comments on the documents.  Final comments are due Feb. 28.  
  • Jeff Peltola gave a recap of the Jan. 10 SW LRT Stakeholder Group meeting.  The meeting was well attended.  Jeff presented his proposal for a Capstone Project with the University of Minnesota for a traffic study at Excelsior Blvd. and W. Lake St.  The group will meet again on Monday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. at the Lake Calhoun Executive Center to discuss comments on the SAP documents for the Feb. 3 meeting.
  • The next meeting of the Park Board CAC is January 20.  
  • Tim Springer (Midtown Greenway Coalition), spoke to the Board about the Midtown Greenway streetcar line.  A group is exploring funding options for the line.  Tim drew a map to illustrate the fact that the current plans would require crossing the Midtown Greenway trails to go from the Greenway line to the SW LRT.  Tim said that this area needs to be planned properly.  Metro Transit plans to do an alternatives analysis for the Greenway Line in late 2011.  
  • The Board discussed the need for a fluid connection to and from the Southwest LRT and the Midtown Greenway streetcar.

 

         Revised Draft Joint Goals for SW LRT Mitigation

  • Meg Forney presented a revised draft of the Draft Joint Goals resolution, which had been revised to make it more encompassing for all four of the participating neighborhoods.
  • The Board voted to support this resolution as written.  Any further edits will be shared via e-mail.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

 

The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at The Bakken Museum at 5:30 p.m.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rhea Sullivan, WCNC Coordinator