December 10, 2013 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
December 10, 2013 – 5:30 p.m., Bakken Museum

Board Members:  Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, David Rhees (arrived at 6:15), Mary Underwood.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  In attendance:  Michael Mechtenberg, Michael Erickson and Haydee Peterson

Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis:  Michael Mechtenberg from Metro Transit said that the purpose of an Alternatives Analysis is to identify and analyze the benefits, costs and impacts associated with various transit alternatives.  The Alternatives Analysis will result in the selection of a locally preferred alternative (LPA) that best meets the identified purpose and need for the project.  The study covers a 4-1/2 mile corridor from the West Lake Station to the Hiawatha Station.  The analysis has been narrowed down to three alternatives: 1) Enhanced bus on Lake Street, 2) Double/single-track rail in the Midtown Greenway and 3) Combination of enhanced bus on Lake Street and double/single-track rail in the Midtown Greenway with an enhanced bus extension to St. Paul.  We are currently in Stage 3 of the study: the evaluation of alternatives and final screening.  According to Michael, Metro Transit’s current recommendation would be the dual alignment of enhanced bus on Lake Street and double/single-track rail in the Midtown Greenway.  They feel this makes the most sense.  The recommendation would be to fast track the enhanced bus while conducting the rail study in the Greenway.  No formal action is requested from WCNC, but if we feel passionate about a particular alternative, we can make a more formal recommendation.    

Appointment of new Board member:  Mary Underwood made a motion to appoint Haydee Peterson to the WCNC Board.  A vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.

The Loppet:  Michael Erickson from The Loppet Foundation said that The Loppet is scheduled January 31-February 2.  They will be closing West Calhoun Parkway between Lake St. and 32nd Street.  The main staging area is at Lake Calhoun Center (formerly the Executive Center).  There will be beer gardens and food trucks.  Michael said he would be willing to write an article for our newsletter to help get the word out about the event.  He also asked for a letter of support.  The Board voted to sign off on a letter of support and asked him to provide the letter.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will send Michael our business email list.  We will plan to do a newsletter that will go out in mid-January to publicize The Loppet and the Polar Plunge.  We will also likely do a postcard closer to the Polar Plunge.

Treasurer’s Report:  Coordinator Rhea Sullivan reported that the NRP balance remains the same at $1,562.93 and there is an $8,930.19 balance in the NCEC account.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the November 12 Board meeting were approved as read.  

Polar Bear Plunge:  Ian reported that Rhea will meet with Jack Whitehurst and Megan Powell (Polar Plunge) on Friday, December 13.  The Polar Plunge organizers would like to come to the January meeting to discuss what they can do for us.  Ian wonders if we need a copyright release for our new logo artwork.  Kathy did not believe that we do.  We should think about staffing a table at the event on Friday, February 28 and/or Saturday, March 1.  ACTION ITEM:  David Rhees asked Ian to put together a draft of what we want and to circulate it before the meeting.  Ian will also get more information about staffing a table at the event.    

2014-2016 CPP Application:  Our goal is to have our CPP Application completed to review at the January WCNC Board meeting.  We spent some time at the meeting reviewing the application and budget.  In discussing the budget, the Board recommended an increase in rent from $500/year to $750/year.  David Rhees did not participate in the discussion.  The Board voted to approve the increase to $750.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will send the final draft to the Board for review before the January meeting.

Lighting Walk:  Richard Logan suggested that we wait until Linea is available and the weather is warmer for our lighting walk.  David Rhees said that we could also do the walk without Linea.  We will look at scheduling the walk in late February or early March.  It should be about an hour and a half.  

Logo/Neighborhood Signs:  The Board decided to go with the original logo design.  Nicole sent the 11×16 file to Doug at Public Works.  Once the city approves the logo we will get the finished files for our use.  Kathy will check with Doug re: the sign locations.  There will be 7 signs at entry points to the neighborhood.  The City will decide where they go.  Locations will include: France & Excelsior, West Calhoun Parkway & 36th St., West Calhoun  Parkway & Lake Street, France & Highway 7 and 32nd & Excelsior.  The signs should go up this winter.

Southwest LRT:  The West Lake Station has been identified as tier one for transit-oriented development.  At this point they are looking at the HCRRA land to build a high rise that would have 100-120 units and 20,000-25,000 square feet of retail/entertainment.  No developer has been identified yet.  Kathy Cobb will draft a letter on behalf of the Board to Beth Elliott to let her know that West Calhoun would like to be part of the discussion.  It would be good to figure out what the neighborhood is lacking in terms of what should be part of this potential development.

Access Point Sign:  Rhea Sullivan reported that an agreement has been drafted with Public Works for the sign repair.  The budget is $325 for painting, $100 for plexiglass and $75 for contingency for a total of $500.  $399 of the funds will come from the Midtown Greenway Access point strategy.  The remaining funds will be taken from the Neighborhood Corridors strategy.  A  motion was made to approve the sign repair expenses and the contract with Public Works.  The motion carried.  We will take possession of the key so we can maintain the sign board.  

Urban Agriculture Activity Plan:  The Park Board has drafted an Urban Agriculture Activity Plan.  We have been approached to find out if we would like someone to come speak to the Board about it.  The consensus was that we might consider it in April.

Development:  Richard Logan asked that the Board consider a resolution that the City only allow one development at a time in a given area.  This will be discussed at a future meeting.

Station Planning Tool:  Hennepin County has developed a tool online that people can use to comment on all stations.  It was suggested that we have someone come to talk to us and CIDNA about it.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 14, 2014.  

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.