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