February 12, 2013 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
February 12, 2013 – 5:30 p.m., Bakken Museum

Board Members:  Meg Forney, Richard Logan, David Rhees, Aaron Shaffer, Mary Underwood, John Abraham-Watne.  Board members absent:  Kathy Cobb, Gary Knutson.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  In attendance:  Rodge Adams, Brad Bourn, Steve Goltry, Ian Kees, Matt Perry.  

Secretary’s Report:  January meeting minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer John Abraham-Watne reported that after two deposits (our CPP allocation and the parking study funds), there is a $17,761.25 balance in the NCEC account; $1,606.48 balance in NRP account.  He will continue the automatic transfer of $100 between the checking and the savings account as has been the practice in the past.  He will file the 990N E-Postcard.  

Council Member Betsy Hodges:  Policy Aide Jennifer Swanson reported that Linden Hills is undertaking a Small Area Plan and that members of the community are invited to comment.  There is an online survey.  There will be a two community meetings on Thursday, February 28 from 4:30-5:45 p.m. and 6:00-7:15 p.m.  She also reported that February is “Share The Love” month sponsored by Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.  They are offering $10 off pet adoptions during the month of February.  The STEP UP Internship Program is accepting applications until March 4.  STEP UP is a summer internship program for youth ages 14-21.

Richard Logan mentioned that after the Walking Workshop, he noticed that some crosswalks had been painted in front of the Lake Calhoun Executive Center that are now obliterated.  A stop line has also disappeared.  Richard said that at the end of the divider on Lake St. in front of the Executive Center there needs to be a sign “Stop here on red.”  

MPRB Commissioner Brad Bourn:  Brad reported that there was a $1.8 million deficit in the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board budget, so a 3.5% levy increase was approved.  Included in the deficit were: dealing with aquatic invasives patrolling for zebra mussels.  They will also be working with community outreach to talk to fishermen about bait maintenance.  $200,000 will be spent to stop the spread of invasives.  

David Rhees mentioned that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is having an open house on February 13 at The Bakken Museum.

Brad noted that they were able to maintain the tree planting budget, which is a good thing because  Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Lakewood Cemetery.    

Brad reported that the Minneapolis Conservation Corps will help with tree planting, dealing with aquatic invasives and more.  The Conservation Corps is made up of 12 college-age youth who work full time for a year assisting the Park Board.  It is an Americorps position.  

Other items of note:  

  • The Park Board will now require recycling for all events.  Other green initiatives will also be available (like composting.)  
  • There will be a recreation center use study over the next two years.  
  • The Dog Park is open and has been very well used.  It will close for a few weeks this summer for final landscaping.
  • Brad asked that we write a thank you note to outgoing Assistant Superintendent Mike Schmidt.
  • The MPRB has hired a new Assistant Superintendent for Recreation, Nick Williams.
  • If there are creative ways to partner with the MPRB, like recreation sharing between the MPRB and The Bakken, we should be sure to let Brad know.
  • Richard Logan mentioned that there is a maintenance issue with the sign kiosks on the north side of Lake Calhoun.  Brad will look into it.

The Edge Business Association:  The Board reviewed the Great Streets Business District Support proposal written by Kathy Cobb.  The proposal includes a customer survey, workshops for businesses, reprinting The Edge brochure and ads in the Southwest Journal.   The proposal includes the allocation of $8,740 in Phase I NRP funds (from Strategy 3: Neighborhood Corridors).  Meg Forney made a motion to approve the proposal as it is (including the allocation of NRP funds.)  The motion carried.  In a friendly amendment to the motion, David Rhees asked that we remove the word “ostensibly” on page 2 and capitalize the “t” in The Bakken Museum.  

Meg Forney recommended that WCNC join the Lake Street Council and the Uptown Association.  She made a motion that we fund memberships to both organizations.  The motion carried.  Annual membership in the Lake Street Council is $125 and $100 for the Uptown Association.

The Board approved a letter of support for the Uptown Association (for the Great Streets Business District Support grant.)  They will also be writing us a letter of support.

Filling the open seat on the Board:  Rhea introduced Ian Kees, a new resident who formerly lived in Linden Hills and served on the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council.  Meg Forney made a motion to appoint Ian to the Board.  The motion carried.  

Park Board CAC to plan trail improvements along Dean and Cedar Lake Parkways:  Meg Forney reported that they have added an additional meeting to address the intersection at Cedar Lake Parkway and the future SW LRT route.  They are trying to make intersections safer on Dean Parkway.  There will be a paved bike path on the north side of Cedar Lake Parkway.  

Annual Meeting:  Meg Forney proposed that we invite Gail Dorfman (Hennepin County) and Bruce Chamberlain (MPRB) to our annual meeting.  We would invite Gail to speak about the Walking Workshop and Bruce to give us an update on the Lake Calhoun charrette.

Discussion of NRP funds:  There is $275,666 remaining in Phase I NRP funds.  There is no urgent need to spend the money, but there is no guarantee about it either.  We may want to present recommendations about how to spend the funds at our annual meeting in May.  Ian Kees mentioned that he is willing to help work on this.  The Board feels that we need a brainstorming session to come up with some new priorities.

Neighborhood Priority Plan:  We also have $5,000 available for our Neighborhood Priority Plan.  David asked the question: “If you could change one thing about West Calhoun neighborhood, what would it be?”  Mary Underwood said that she would like to be able to have safe access on foot from the Midtown Greenway to Lake Calhoun.  John Abraham-Watne said that he is concerned about dim streetlights on West Calhoun Parkway.  

Ian Kees reported that in Linden Hills they used kiosks to collect ideas from residents at events.  They also included mention of it in the newsletter and in emails.  

David Rhees mentioned that he would like to host an event at The Bakken Museum – possibly a business or information fair.  He also would like to rent an inflatable movie screen in the summer to show a movie on the green roof.  We could have a neighborhood presentation before the movie.  We need events to build our visibility.  We will have a newsletter in April to publicize the annual meeting.  Mary volunteered to post flyers at some buildings (including the Calhoun Towers.)

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 12.  Possible agenda items include: 1) Update on Park Board CAC, 2) Neighborhood Priority Program questions, 3) Strategic planning to accomplish our goals, 4) possible change of Board meeting date.

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