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.



  • 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