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