January 5, 2008

Board Meeting 01 - 05

January 5, 2008
Welna Ace Hardware

Mary Gonsior (MG), Carol Pass (CP), Sherzad Kordian (SK), Juliet Thompson, (JT), Rosie Cruz (RC)

Directors not Present
Paul Wichmann (PW), Earl Simms (ES), Aden Awil (AA), Linda Leonard (LL)

Meeting was called to order at 9:35 by CP. Agenda was distributed. MG was designated as recording secretary.


The agenda was approved with the addition of a Crime Announcement.

The minutes from the last board meeting were not available.

CP distributed draft minutes from the EPIC General Membership Meeting (EGMM) on 11/8/07. The next EGMM is Thursday, January 10, 2008 @ 6:30 PM at Holy Rosary Church.

Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan
CP announced that the open house at Lake Hiawatha Community Center, 2701 E. 44th St., has been changed from 10 am-Noon, to 2 pm – 4 pm. EPIC’s concern regarding the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan focuses on how the city plans to “relate” to the neighborhoods. Will the city relate to the neighborhoods? What is the role of the neighborhoods in decision making?

ACTION: Directors should try to attend this meeting.

There was a shooting in the vicinity of 28th Street and 17th Avenue on Thrusday, December 27th. The community contacted Gary Schiff and learned that the building in question was an illegal boarding house with about 15 rooms in the house. Gary has pledged to the community to close any illegal boarding houses.

ACTION: JT will contact Gary and find out what is the definition of an illegal boarding house so that the community can assist in addressing this issue neighborhood wide.

The neighborhoods are asking for an environmental assessment worksheet regarding the proposed biomass plant on Hiawatha Avenue. This is a more comprehensive study of pollutants. We were not told about the pollution levels and what they were in earlier presentations by the developers. Documentation: Tech Support Doc. discussed. Other neighborhoods leaving it up to us. The EPIC Board has rescinded our initial motion of support for the Biomass Plant and is now on the offensive for a more thoughtful approach. We will discuss and vote on the Board’s December 1st, ’07 motion this next Thursday at our general membership meeting. This decision is in accordance with EPIC’s role as a member of the Good Neighbor committee regarding the plant, which pertains to plant operation.  Need to consider that this may be treated as a go-ahead for the project. The project is also moving ahead very quickly. The Board doesn’t see any real benefit to our neighbors and serious environmental justice issues. We were not told the whole story. Articles and information has gone out to the neighborhood. Residents are calling and asking questions.

ACTION: Directors will recommend the December Board motion to rescind support for the Biomass Plant to the GMM

On Jan. 10th Mpls City Licensing will be meeting with Super America owners/managers about licensing issues related to the SA on 25th and Bloomington   The License Settlement conference is the first hearing held to see if the city can get the licensee to agree to change their practices. Licensing present's evidence and SA can reply to the city's concerns.  The conference will be limited to discussion about licensing violations, not larger issues about the future of the store. 

Licensing has requested that any community member, who wishes to, provide a written community impact statement about issues, concerns that you have observed in the store or on the property. These statements will become part of the record and could have an impact on the stores future. You can email impact statements to Don Greeley - donald.greeley@ci.minneapolis.mn.us or to Julie Casey - julie.casey@ci.minneapolis.mn.us)

ACTION: CP, JT will attend the meeting (City Hall, room to be determined.)


On 11/8/2007 the GMM passed a motion to authorize up to $15,000 of NRP money to buy another portable camera for the MPD to be used in the East Phillips Neighborhood. JT opposed the motion and has concerns about whether the MPD has enough officers to monitor the camera. 

ACTION: Ryan Bruske will be asked to give an update on his research regarding cameras for the GMM. EPIC wants to know if the camera can be used as evidence to convict.


January 24th, Holy Rosary Basement, 7 pm, Community Advisory Committee, Public Meeting.
February 6th, Park Board Publick Hearing on Design, 5 pm at the Park Board building.

The community needs to attend the two meetings scheduled. The Park Board is saying that we need to spend the money that we have now. We want to slow things down so we can raise more money.

2601-2603 Bloomington – this project has shrunk to the extent that they no longer need a parking lot.

2931 Bloomington – this project has a permit to build; nothing is happening.

Boarded and Vacant properties are growing and 70% of these are rental properties. Landlords have been heavily fined and have let the properties go back to the banks. Forclosures are pending.

ACTION: It would be good to get a list of these properties.

Greenway Town Homes – the $48,000 NRP funds are still being stalled. CP distributed copies of a Preferred Buyer Agreement. This agreement reserves the units of the project, however, a Preferred Buyer may decline to exercise their option once the specific unit does become available. If enough people complete these applications, the town homes project will move forward.

CP submitted reports on EPIC’s CDBG funding and 2007 expenses, as follows:
  • EPIC's year end financial report
  • A final reimbursement request for 2007
  • An inventory list for purchases over $500.00
  • A letter regarding EPIC's 2008 allocation and lack of contract

EPIC is getting less money in 2008 ($7,500 instead of $9,425.) In addition CDBG is not providing a contract for our signature. The significance to EPIC is that without a contract, EPIC or any neighborhood’s  recognition of its official designation as the citizen participation organization for its community appears up for grabs. Even the meaning of that is up for grabs. This is viewed as a stepping stone to eliminating citizen participation by neighborhoods on the part of the city of Minneapolis. This contributes to eroding the city’s commitment to support neighborhood organizations, including NRP funding.

ACTION: CP will follow up on her request for a contract for the CDBG funds.

We received $56,000 in program funds from NRP (houses that were sold, money to be returned to the neighborhood upon sale.) If these funds are from the housing category, the board will propose a motion to the GMM to allocate these additional funds to the Greenway Town Home project to help move it along.

ACTION: CP will determine what category these funds came from in the original NRP plan.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 am.

Respectfully submitted by Mary Gonsior.