November 11, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Meeting Minutes
November 11, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  Allan Campbell, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Katie Larson, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees, Mary Underwood, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: George Effrem, Aaron Shaffer.

Treasurer’s Report:  John Abraham-Watne reported no activity in the NRP account.  The balance is $607.93. The NCEC balance is $13,775.90.   

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the October 14 meeting were approved with one correction.  Change “We need to get on the legislative agenda…” to “She wants to get on the state legislative agenda…”

Retreat Summary:  Ian Kees reported that each committee should meet no later than the January 13 meeting and should finalize objectives, regular tasks and projects at that first meeting.  He also suggested that in February/March that each committee should develop a step plan with dates for each project.  Also, committees should identify funding for projects as soon as possible.  

Coordinator Time:  WCNC Coordinator Rhea Sullivan can work up to 30 hours per month.  She currently does not have a contract.  

Phase II Feasibility:  Rhea Sullivan reported that in order to start Phase II planning neighborhoods have to have expended 85% of their Phase I funds or have contracted 95% of their Phase I funds.  WCNC has not done either.  In order to start Phase II planning WCNC will need a waiver.  Jack Whitehurst, our Neighborhood Support Specialist from NCR, drafted a letter asking for a waiver, which the Board reviewed. WCNC Chair Ian Kees asked if we could change some of the wording.  Rhea will check with Jack.  The Board voted to seek a waiver for Phase II planning with potential modifications to the letter based on feedback from the City.

70% of Phase II funds need to go to housing.  WCNC had a waiver for housing for Phase I and did not have to allocate any funds to housing.  The question came up whether we can also get a waiver for housing for Phase II.  (Note: Rhea spoke to Jack Whitehurst about this. A waiver is not possible for Phase II.  The funds are set up differently. Each neighborhood must spend 70% of their funds on housing.)

Phase II planning is a function of the Long Term Vision/Strategy Committee.   

Committee Updates:  

  • Communications Committee will meet at 7:30 a.m. on November 12
  • Outreach Committee will meet at 7:00 p.m. on December 1
  • Environment Committee – No meeting scheduled yet.
  • Long Term Vision/Strategy Committee will meet the first week of December.
  • SW LRT Committee is planning the Walkabout on November 15


Loppet Assistance:  The Loppet has asked our participation in three facets of the 2015 Loppet: 1) They would like WCNC to support an aid station for 6-8 hours on Saturday, January 31 and 4-5 hours on Sunday, February 1.  They would need 2 people per time slot.  We could do what we want to make the booth festive.  2) They have invited us to participate in the snow sculpting from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 31.  This overlaps with the aid station. 3) They have also invited us to participate in the Crew Ski Loppet, which involves a 6-member team on 25-foot skis.  This event requires a $500 donation.  Rhea will check in with Jack to find out if we can use our funds for this.  A motion was made to support all three activities – dependent on whether we can use our funds for the Crew Ski Loppet.  The motion carried.  We talked about getting a banner with our logo on it to use at events like these.


SW LRT Station Walkabout:  The walkabout will be held on Saturday, November 15 at 11:00 a.m.  After the walkabout, the SW LRT Committee will be putting together a survey to the neighborhood.  The Citizen’s Advisory Committee is being reconstituted.  Their first meeting is in January.  We want to be sure that Greenway issues are addressed.  There is a lack of access to the Greenway for people west of the light rail.


Meeting Time:  The Board discussed changing the meeting time from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 or 6:30 p.m.  David Rhees said that it would be easy to change it to 6:00 p.m.  The Board voted to move it to 6:00 p.m.  Rhea will publicize it in an eblast and will notify the Southwest Journal.

Potential Speakers for 2015:  We discussed possible speakers for 2015.  Some ideas include: Jack Whitehurst (NCR), Frank Hornstein and Scott Dibble, Maude Lovell from the Uptown Association, Sophia Ginis from SW LRT, someone from the Park Board to talk about the land bridge and sailing school, Brad Bourn, local residential realtor, business node representative, neighboring Board Chairs, someone from the Minikahda Club, Greenway Bike rep.  Katie Larson suggested that we tie visitors into what the committees are doing.


ECCO request re: ski grooming:  ECCO is planning to submit a proposal to the Park Board requesting more frequent trail grooming on Lake Calhoun.  Ian Kees reported that he would sign off on this proposal on behalf of WCNC.

Welcome letters: Katie Larson asked the manager of her building if he would put something in their welcome basket from WCNC.  He agreed.  The Communications/Outreach Committee will talk more about it. We should also do more on our Facebook page.  It was suggested that we spend more money on marketing materials.  We could do a magnet with neighborhood events listed.

Earth Day 2015:  The Board agreed that we should sign up to do Earth Day in 2015.  Rhea will contact the Park Board.

Open Forum:  It was suggested that was might get someone in the community to sponsor 25 helmets for $250 or put our logo on bike lights.  If anyone has stories about bike safety, please pass them on to Aaron Shaffer.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, December 9, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

December 9, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Meeting Minutes
December 9, 2014 – 6:00 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  Allan Campbell, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: Rodgers Adams, Mary Altman, Carolyn Bell, Edwin Bell, Ann Burk, Lesley Lydell, Emily Ziring.

Treasurer’s Report:  John Abraham-Watne reported no activity in the NRP account.  The balance is $607.93. The NCEC balance is $13,625.90.   

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the November 11 meeting were approved as read.

40th and France Land Update:  Lesley Lydell from the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) reported that there is a parcel of land at 40th and France, which adjoins Minikahda Vista Park, that is located in St. Louis Park and Edina, that the City of Minneapolis owns.  The land was put up for sale by the Mayor of Minneapolis.  In a September 1 article, it was explained that the land could be sold to a private entity if neither the City of St. Louis Park nor the City of Edina buy it.  After the article came out a group was formed.  The goal of the group is to keep the land (which has been a park) as natural as possible. There is concern about potential development and concern about storm water management because water from this area flows into Lake Calhoun.  Lesley’s purpose in coming to the meeting was to make us aware of this situation and to ask for our support to keep the land as natural as possible.  Ideally it would be park land.  There has been talk in Edina about dredging this area, which would destroy the park land.  There have been no offers yet on the property.  The cities are making independent appraisals.  The deadline has been extended to December 31.

Council Member’s Report:  Council Member Aide Emily Ziring reported that at the budget mark-up session on December 1, Council Member Palmisano was successful in passing a reduction to the overall tax levy increase (from 2.4% to 2.2%). A final public hearing on the budget will be held on December 10 before the council takes a final vote.

The Southwest LRT Project Office is currently in negotiations with a consultant for the advanced design work (stations and track). City and MPRB are currently in negotiations with a consultant for the Kenilworth landscaping plan. The City and partners are currently working on determining who should take the lead in hiring a consultant to begin the area-wide traffic study that will begin in the first quarter of 2015.

Regarding Parking and Snow Removal – Traffic control has been out a lot more.  Many people have been ticketed for parking within 5 feet of a driveway.  Emily asked that we help make people aware of this rule.  The City has hired a contractor to help with snow removal. If a work order is made, the response will happen sooner.  Complaints should be logged on Minneapolis 311.

The Minneapolis Code is being amended to reflect the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air act, which prohibits cigarette use in virtually all indoor public places and indoor places of employment.  E-cigarettes will be included in this prohibition.

Regarding Accessory Dwelling Units, an ordinance has passed the Planning Commission and Zoning and Planning to allow Accessory Dwelling Units to be built on residential property.  The 13th Ward Office has been supportive of this ordinance.

Regarding Airport Noise, Council Member Palmisano has been working to make strides in airport noise.  She has advocated for the MAC to make better use of the Runway Use System.  They aren’t currently complying with it and are sending more planes over SW Minneapolis.

Emily did not have an answer about the reconstitution of the CAC for the SW LRT.  We want to be sure that WCNC is represented on the CAC.

Richard Logan reported that there are six new streetlights on Market Plaza and on the Abbott Chowen loop.

Utility Box Art:  Public Arts Administrator Mary Altman gave the WCNC Board an overview of the process of installing art on utility boxes – either with wraps or by painting a box.  This type of project has been done in two dozen neighborhoods.  Mary reported that wrap life is about 5 years.  The life of a painted box depends on how well it is painted.  There are two ways to go.  You can either do custom wraps or use pre-approved designs.  

For a custom wrap, it is required that an artist be involved.  The artist would help to select the photos and to make the design 3-dimensional.  There are a couple main vendors for printing vinyl wraps – Vomela and Sign Minds. The cost is about $15/square foot or about $700 per box, depending on the size for printing and installation.  Four boxes have been approved for utility box art – 3 are in West Calhoun, 1 is in CIDNA.  David Rhees has also expressed an interest in covering the utility box that is on the Bakken Museum property.

We will need consent forms filled out by adjacent property owners and an encroachment permit ($50) for each box.  It is possible to do a mixture of custom and pre-approved boxes.  For a custom design, we can pick an artist any way we want, but the design has to go through an approval process with the Minneapolis Arts Commission.  The custom design process usually takes at least a year.  We could do a call for artists.  Mary has an e-list we could use.  We must pay a stipend.  It is not specified what that stipend should be.  For example, Kingfield paid $75 for photos for boxes, and paid $2,400 to the person who translated the design into 3-D.  Mary said that it is important to include artistic people in your selection process.  Pre-approved designs have a set schedule – April, July and September.  Mary mentioned that we could consider pursuing a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grant (MRAC) for designing the boxes.

Committee Updates:

Communications Committee:  The Communications Committee is planning to undertake a website redesign this year.  Haydee Peterson is reviewing other websites.  She feels we need more photographs on our site.  Armatage has a Welcome Packet online and their events get a big billing.  A lot of neighborhoods are promoting the city, too.

A motion was made to spend up to $500 for two banners for The Loppet. The motion carried.

Another Communications Committee initiative for 2015 is to redesign the newsletter and do it quarterly.  The committee would like to print one side of the newsletter in full color on white paper with a full color masthead.  The committee would also like to change the name from the Wavelength to West Calhoun News.  A motion was made to do four newsletters in 2015 and to spend up to $4,000.  The motion carried.  

The Board reviewed the Communications Committee objectives and projects.  A motion was made to approve the committee formation, the objective and the projects.  The motion carried.

SW LRT Committee:  The Board reviewed the SW LRT Committee objective, projects and tasks.  A motion was made to approve the committee formation, the objective, projects and tasks. The motion carried.

Rhea explained the two options for return on the SW LRT survey – which included either using metered envelopes for return or using Business Reply mail.  A motion was made that we use Business Reply Mail and budget up to $1,500 for the survey. The motion carried.  The Board was asked to get any feedback on the survey to Allan as soon as possible.  The goal will be to send the survey out January 15.

Additional Bakken Funding:  The Board discussed increasing the amount that we spend to use the space at The Bakken Museum for our meetings.  A motion was made to increase the amount to $1,000.  The motion carried.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.