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