June 8, 2009

General Membership Meeting 06 - 08

EPIC General Membership
6-8-2009 Minutes

Brad Pass (BP), Carol Pass (CP), Chiffon Williams (SW), Rosie Cruz; Mary Gonsior; Stephanie Allen; Linda L
earl sims; eonar
CP Chaired and called the meeting to order at


MOTION:   Approve the agenda.   Moved,   Seconded Motion Passed

Meeting called to order as a committeee of the whole.
BP moved to approve the agenda and Earl seconded it. No objections.

May minutes...Mary arrived for a quorum. Chiffon and Rosie arrived.

mary moved to approve the minutes and there was no objection.

Milwaukee Trip...Rosie wants to go; Linda suggested Sarah and Becky of the Urban 4H group about going.

Development on Hiawatha...No one seems to know about the Seward Redesign Group and what it is doing or when it was established. Modification 113 may just be a minor change is what Kathy explained. Carol will try to meet with them to find out the history. Bystrom may have been bought by the redesign group Mike said.

Charter commission: Carol reported that it was very interesting. Our city charter has a commission that can propose changes. We have a strong council; independent board of taxation and have a city mayor. Council  Ostrow proposed a number of changes. The park board was left independent; board of taxation will be on the ballot; city manager will not be proposed.

Hope Community will present a significant analysis of comparative expenditures per capita for children in different parts of the city and different demographics. 6-8 pm June 3rd at Hope.


Report on Design Team
Brad said the cost will not go beyond the budget set for the total budget for the architects.
[linda was out and Brad can type this] The city spends more on dogs than kids in our neighborhood. Now we have partnerships to reestblish and approach them with programming. We had 21, but things might change. We plan to be fully operational when the building opens: soccer/tutoring; soccer; baseball; urban 4H

There is a motion from the board about preference for the location of the facility to keep it from housing and away from the park planned by the Greenway coalition. A proposal would be to have xcel take the site of a building for sale on Minnehaha. We know they plan to expand a substation by Hway 280.

Motion to support Xcel’s putting the substation inside the empty building that exists just east of the Greenway Park, or tear down the existing building and use that space. The greenway trail should be moved to the south side of the building, providing space for the substation to expand north if needed. (JB) (CW)
Motion passed.
Board motion with the addition that the lines be buried.  Passed unanimously. Made by Mary seconded by Chiffon

Future of neighborhood
Eight districts. The 8th crosses the river. We are group 7. We are easily overlooked and overshadowed by the neighborhoods south of us. The Board has 16 people. 8 are appointed by the mayor and predominantly a group of the mayor's friends and white male. Other agencies that were in NRP will not be represented.  The election is the 16th. Chiffon ia the elector and Jenny the alternate. Linda asked about NRP funding and a change about wording. Carol had pointed out publically that the Native groups will now be left out. For seven years the mayor has tried to unravel NRP.

7:40  24th and Bloomington and Village in Phillips
It needs to be developed as close to what we want as possible or a private developer will impose a plan that could be adverse. Carol met with a developer called the Velvet Hammer! PRG has tried to find an appropriate developer and AICDC seems to be the one. There will be fewer people than another plan with larger families.
Mike said they run the county detox and other buildings. The site is small. The elders will bring low impact with their age and lifestyle. There should be stability for the neighborhood with this plan.It is partnering with Common Bond.

Stephanie said it seems like too much rental. They would not have bought had it been a rental plan. Cynthia voiced similar concerns.

Carol said in1999 about 90% was rental. Now we are closer to 30%. Other neighborhoods are still high rental. We had lots of vacant lots and put in houses. We lost about 70 buildings in 1.5 years. Carol never endorsed condos.

Kathy had two points: they tried every possible scenerio for owner housing, but the number of units possible would not support the land cost. A study about property values with nonprofit well-managed rental properties did increase value compared to 4 plex and duplex properties because of funds available for landscape and upkeep. She offered more information about a similar site in St. Paul.

Chiffon said St Paul has better housing optons. She recommends that we look at what they are doing because it is working.

Kathy discussed the factor of having an elderly population and that it would have a lower impact on the neighborhood in terms of numbers.

Mike talked about the partnership with Common Bond in managing the building over the next 40 years. Once the original agreement is over, the partnership typically owns the building and follows up with "sustenance funding" for replacing the roof, and other major repairs to sustain the building into the future.

AICDC likes the design of the original VIP plan and wants to maintain the architectural idea and is working with the original architect.

PRG and AICDC are meeting with Midtown Phillips on the 23rd to talk about AICDC's interest in the west side of Bloomington Avenue, and their commitment to work with the neighborhoods to build projects that enhance the neighborhoods.

Linda reported on previous presentations from Common Bond where they discussed  about the many different ways they can work with a community to build partnerships between the developers and the residents. She encouraged AICDC and Common Bond to think of ways to build bridges to the closest residents, the townhome association.

Mike would like to receive a motion of support for AICDC but didn't come expecting this. We discussed ways that more information could be presented to the townhome owners in a written format so that association members can be informed about the proposal and prepared for a personal presentation and meeting AICDC.

Carol pointed out the EPIC board members and long time participants in the VIP plan tend to view the opportunities that come in terms of what fits best with the original plan and meet the needs of the community in spite of all the challenges that we are confronted with. EPIC would prefer to wait until we can bring more townhome owners into the process.

Midtown Greenway
Margaret Kirkpatrick presented a report on the Xcel Hiawatha Project.  There was an update at the coalition meeting. The Utilities Commission accepted Xcel's application as complete (which is questionable). Midtown Coalition has one member on the commission to study the Xcel Plan. Each neighborhood touching the line gets one member on the committee, city council members will probably serve on the committee, along with a number of other relevant groups having a rep. There is going to be a very large committee - 15 or so.

June 18th will be the first big public meeting about the application from 6-8 pm. We are encouraged to get a lot of people to attend this meeting which will be held at the Midtown Global Market. Our effort will be to help define the "table of contents" on the environmental impact station. People should come and tell their story, bring petitions explaining their position (EPIC and other groups.)

Main points: underground, not on the greenway, location of the substation. the more consensus we can get among the neighborhoods the better, as consensus will tend to be adopted if widely accepted. This is the start for building consensus.

Linda noted that her HP Printer (recently purchased) that if your printer is operated under high power lines, your print product may be diminished. She also asked where Allina's reports are on the impact of this on people's health. As they are the primary customers for the Xcel power generated by this line, why haven't they presented information on the health factors.

Tim will distribute talking points from the Midtown Greenway Coalition point of view and possibly petitions also.

Urban 4H
Meeting every Saturday in the garden from 10 until about noon. All EPIC neighbors from 5 to 20 years old are welcome to participate. Parents of children must be involved. The group has a plot and has planted vegetables and flowers. By the end of the summer the group will decide whether to incorporate as a 501(c)(3) organization. Sara is the groups unofficial leader and all the parents take turns helping. There are also some volunteers. The club focus is urban 4H and gardening.

Anyone interested in being an urban 4H volunteer can contact Sara (612) 810-7581. Sarah has children participating in the program. The kids have been meeting for about 6 weeks.

EPIC (owner of the East Phillips 17th Avenue Community Garden) requires that anyone writing grants for programs going on in the garden must first get approval from EPIC. EPIC is ultimately responsible for the performance expections of any grant. Brad pointed out a grant program for 2010 up to $1,000 from Home Depot. The grant would be a perfect fit for the Urban 4H group.

Meeting Adjourned 8:50 pm.

May 11, 2009

General Membership Meetiing 05 - 11

EPIC 5-11-2009 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Holy Rosary Conference Room

Present: Jennie Bjorgo (JB), Linda Leonards (LL), Earl Simms (ES), Brad Pass (BP), Aden Awil (AW), Mary Gonsior (MG), Deb Ekener (DE), Rosie Cruz (RC), Carol Pass (CP),

Guests: Kathy Wetzel-Mastel (KM), Mike Goze (MG), Dean Dovolis (DD), Heidi Quezada (HQ)s
6:50 meeting called to order. Introductions

Approval of Agenda: (BP) Motion to approve agenda passed by consensus.

Approval of Minutes: Motion to approve minutes from April Annual Meeting passed by consensus.

Carol went over some highlights from the Annual Report that was distributed at the Annual Meeting in April. Highlights included improvements in homeownership, replacing lost housing and reducing crime.

Penta Power Poles bill.
Rep. Clark’s bill HF 1993 addresses the toxic emissions that are a result of the utility poles that Xcel Energy and other utilities are using in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

Funding for EPIC programs – see agenda.

East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center
Dean Dovolis reported that there is a lobbyist in Washington who has volunteered to work the system to see if he can find the $1M needed to support the Dovolis design; will be investigating Federal stimulus funds. EPIC was shut out of the process for several months and has since been able to work with the Park Board to implement a plan that meets the needs as expressed by the EPIC community. Things seem to be going pretty well now, and we are continuing to work to raise the funds to add on to the south end of the building, to add a community room and a full-commercial kitchen.

Public hearing on May 20th is a final endorsement of the EPIC proposed building. Once this meeting goes forward, then the project will proceed to drawing actual building plans.

There is still one plot available.

2931 Bloomington Ave
We have a building that EPIC has been trying to build as part of East Phillips Commons Phase 2 since 2003. This project took a long time, and acquisition of the property was difficult. The developer (Sherman Assoc.) acquired the property and with EPIC set about to proceed with building two Live-Work units in this project. Together, we held many meetings with potential families. Eventually, we found two buyers. After putting down a large deposit, both dropped out. To date, the remaining land has been purchased and two basements are already constructed on the property. A full year was lost just from working with these two buyers. Subsequently, the economy took a downturn. Since then EPIC endorsed using the same design for rental housing instead, given the current downturn in the home owner market and the current need for rental housing in this area.
At this time, EPIC has a city and neighborhood-approved design, the foundation is laid, and Sherman Assoc. will manage the property along with their larger apartment building on the same block. This larger building has had a very positive effect on the area and has remained crime free without police calls. The property can be built using the existing design. However, CM Gary Shiff has recently become opposed to this plan, though it enjoyed his support in the past.

Discussion followed regarding parking issues, now less of a concern,  and the exterior of the design, and conversion from Live-Work to rental.

Heidi, CM Shiffs aide, requested timely notices. Linda apologized for the late notice, however, EPIC is at the mercy of “available” space. The space was found only on short-notice.

Gary does not oppose the plan to change the design from Live-Work, however, Heidi reported that the city attorney is looking into a violation of the contract. Heidi reported that Gary informed the developer of this violation, and explained that if the contract is found to be a violation, and if there is land that was owned by the city, the land would have to go back to the city, and new RFP’s considered. There were differing accounts of this issue. CP stated that this precedent would have to be applied citywide to avoid a charge of unfairness and also that Sherman Assoc. now owns the land and has begun to build. She stated that if there were complaints they should have been lodged before the time and financial investment of the owner of the development site.

Dovolis suggested that perhaps the neighborhood could “amend” the contract.

Rosie reported that since the primary, Gary doesn’t say hi, and hasn’t responded to emails from EPIC. Heidi responded that the staff at Gary’s office responds equally and fairly to all. She stated that because there was a legal issue, she was not able to respond to inquiries about the project. Carol responded that a response of “there’s a legal issue” is at least a response and that she has received no response to several request for information regarding why the sudden opposition. Linda acknowledged that no one present is criticizing Heidi’s work, but mistrust has developed as a result of a lack of timely communication from Gary’s office and the sudden opposition to EPIC’s project without any explanation.

Two arguments: why not cancel a contract when the developer doesn’t meet the contractual agreement, and open the site for an RFP process? Dovolis stated that after sitting through financing meeting over and over with many bankers, and with the current economic climate, a new RFP process is no “silver bullet.”

It was also remarked that city litigation against a developer for failing to complete a project in the allotted time would establish a precedent, which would apply to many developers in the city, and if fairly carried out, would send a chill through city developers.

When did the investigation by the city attorney start? Heidi stated it was unknown.

LL (RC) Motion requesting that EPIC president meet with CM Shiff, Sherman Associates, Dean Dovolis, Rep. Karen Clark, and an EPIC board member for the purpose of working out an amended contract so that this project can move forward. Motion passed. No votes opposed.

Carol noted that the EPIC board passed a motion to recommend that the EPIC neighborhood accept the change to rental on this project. It was noted that the board passed this motion without having the knowledge or explanation of why CM Shiff opposed the project.

LL and RC accepted a late amendment to invite a representative from Midtown to the meeting with CM Shiff.

VIP Project Area - Franklin Station Town Home area
Kathy Wetzel explained the situation and perspective of PRG regarding the VIP Project as follows:
PRG has been working to find a developer to own and operate Phase 1B (rental properties at the corner of 24th and Bloomington Ave.) After the neighborhood declined one group, Common Bond developed a plan and presented it to EPIC in August 2008. After running the numbers again in January, they found that there was a $800,000 gap in their funding. They found that many of their projects had similar gaps, and deciding to focus on their own projects, Common Bond withdrew from the development.

Kathy stated PRG then went out and met with many developers (Sherman Assoc. etc.) Recently, AICDC contacted PRG about the project. PRG shared the history and challenges of the project. Feeling that the AICDC project would be a win-win situation for EPIC and PRG. Kathy believed the project would bring about rental housing consistent with the architectural plans, and the constituency of the project (senior housing) would appeal to the EPIC community. PRG’s investors would receive their funding back (which was spent on architecture, etc. in the process of planning.)

Mike (office in Powderhorn), formerly part of POP, all-nations church, a long-time member of the community. His involvement with AICDC began in June 2008, as CEO/director. The native community has always talked about an “elder housing” unit in the neighborhood. Mike went to the elders and asked if they would support AICDC in developing senior housing. HUD provides about 80% of the cost of building and the maintenance of the housing is also highly funded by HUD. Generally, you need to have a sponsoring agency (often it is a church.) The sponsoring agency partners with a development agency with experience working on (202) buildings. This is not a “money-maker.” AICDC has been looking for land on which to develop this housing. AICDC has met with Common Bond who has a long history of 202 housing experience. Those talks are moving toward a contractual partnership.

AICDC wants to build a 30-unit building on the East side of Bloomington. There is currently no plan for developing the West side of the Bloomington.

Dovolis calls the HUD 202 Elders Housing is a specific program that runs for 40 years. It has a “good, quality, very strictly-managed” housing option. Any project is only as good as the manager – Common Bond does have a good reputation for this. We are somewhat lucky to even find a developer. HUD allows an initial marketing plan to “core” constituents, but the housing is “equally open” to all.

Mike reports that marketing to able-bodied seniors who are able to live independently; would not have a high impact on the neighborhood. It wouldn’t bring in a lot of kids. The design would be four stories, and would have an elevator.

DE, town home representative, pointed out that Town Home residents are concerned that their investment will be stressed. In addition, home ownership would be the ideal, as a stabilizing force for the neighborhood, and the block in particular.

Dean estimates that the housing market will not recover for another 3-5 years. He also noted that Minneapolis rental laws don’t apply to condo owners making them actually more difficult to manage than rental housing.

Carol Pass concurred with the management difficulties of condos.

Linda noted that this neighborhood desires to build “multicultural” community design, and ways to bring the community together.

A question was asked: What happens to parking? HUDS are very tight on budgets. We did add another entry in the center of the building. The original design brought it all the way to the corner. Dean recommends that the neighborhood begin a “design process”, including the Town Home owners, to look at the design.

Kathy was asked: Why the rush ?– a decision to say we have financial obligations, others have a stake in this. Is this enough reason to go ahead with this project?

PRG responds that this doesn’t feel like a rush to them – they have notes going back to 2004 and their funders are calling in their notes. After granting repeated postponements in an effort to find a workable plan for building on the site, these funders are no longer granting extensions. Kathy noted that PRG has over $110,000 in time and money in the project, that is not even going to be covered – they are not making any money in this.

Kathy stated, “The city owns the land”. What can happen to this land in terms of our project? Dean recommends the best way to serve the neighborhood is to begin a community process so that all the information is on the table, all the neighborhood gets to air their concerns, and try to build something that conforms to neighborhood desires as much as possible.

PRG is willing to “work with the community, to take into account that there are concerns, and that there is a lot of financial investment concerned” but can’t speak for AICDC.

PRG has site control contractually, and therefore, there is not actually an “open opportunity” to redesign the project, however, there can be an opportunity to present different options to the community. AICDC plans to submit an application for HUD 202 Elder Housing funds in 2009. Their proposal could be skipped over the first year which is often the case.

Kathy noted that Sherman Associates has entered the process to verify whether they can make the project viable, but predicted that they will come up with the same $800,000 gap that was found by Common Bond. Mike confirmed that there is no money available for workforce housing, as AICDC has found in projects they are currently investigating.

CP asked, what happens if AICDC tries to do this, is the land then permanently locked up? Can any other planning go on in the meantime in case this option does not receive funding? She mentioned the neighborhood does not want to be left without a project in any case. The developer, PRG, has control over how long the land can sit vacant. Minneapolis hasn’t gotten any HUD 202 funding so it is highly likely that a Minneapolis project would be funded.

DE, town home representative, continued to point out the value of home ownership and that if the development would take two years to garner funding anyway, asked why they could not wait to see if the market would support homeownership at that time.

Meeting adjourned 9:18 PM.

April 25, 2009

EPIC 2009 10th Annual Meeting Minutes 04-25

April 25th, 2009
Oliver Presbyterian Church, 2647 Bloomington Ave. S.

9:30 – 10:10   MUSIC/FOOD
10:10-10:15     Introductions Occurred
·      AGENDA was approved
·      BALLOTS were explained
·      NOMINATIONS were explained, there were no new nominations



10:40 – 10:50   TIM SPRINGER spoke Re: XCEL POWER LINES

                          DOOR PRIZES given out 

10:50 – 11:10 THE ELECTION PROCESS was explained. NOMINATION SPEECHES were offered by Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior,   Chiffon Williams, Earl Simms, and Rosie Cruz
11:10 -  11:30     VOTING took place

                           MORE DOOR PRIZES given out

passed unanimously
passed unanimously.

                            MORE DOOR PRIZES given out

                         passed unanimously.

                          PROGRAM) Loss of Neighborhood Funding & Decision-making

12:00               VOTING RESULTS were that Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Chiffon  Williams, Earl Simms, and Rosie Cruz


April 4, 2009

Board Meeting MInutes 04-04

April 4, 2009

Welna’s 9:30 am


Attendance: Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass, Earl Simms, Linda Leonard, 

Approved agenda: annual meeting; elections; Xcel

Minutes: unavailable

Annual Meeting

Food……needs to be prepared in the church kitchen with food purchased from grocery.
Earl will help at the meeting table

Time:  set up 8 am
Earl will help set up, cook

Margaret Kirkpatrick arrived to discuss the xcel greenway conversation about the substation. We should probably be talking with Longfellow. They don’t want it of course. The Greenway doesn’t want to lose their green space and the plans made for the park. Longfellow has already invested in plans. Carol and Margaret will talk with Longfellow leadership about a community walkaround or community meeting of some kind that would invite business owners/managers. Mary proposed them forming a task force from EPIC to deal with the Xcel question.

Annual Meeting

People have to have attended an EPIC meeting to be able to run for office. We have to check the attendance list. We need to print the application forms.

Annual report…….Carol will write it and try to incorporate it into the Phase 1 review. We could summarize the ten years and Kendra’s survey. Mary will edit it. The Home Block Nursing nonprofit might be resurrected because Norma Renville might be interested.

Mary moved/Linda seconded changing the annual meeting budget to $700. The annual report and phase one report combined have another $400 for printing.
Rosie arrived and we passed it.

  1. agenda carol/Linda: excel; park; urban 4H
  2. set up  brad sherzad alfonso, jenny, earl
  3. clean up crew  brad, jenny, earl, others
  4. Food  mary, rosie, earl
  5. greeters/sign in table, membership list Mary
  6. MC brad
  7. invitations….use park building materials, flyers; brad/carol; List: Peter M; scott v and other commissioners; mayor; gary Schiff; keith Ellison; Karen clark; Linda b; Leon Oman; Midtown; holy rosary; jay clark; amy arcan;
  8. audio visual: brad
  9. decorations, themes: Mary
  10. election: ballot counter, preparation of slate, contract and printing out forms
Maybe Jana can count…….carol’s to do.

  1. door prizes, tickets……brad
  2. entertainment: kids/guitars at Holy Rosary
  3. slide show? Brad
  4. security     Brad
  5. annual report…….Carol will try to combine the phase 1 report with the annual report

Meeting adjourned at 11 am and Mary left. Post discussion about misc. concerns.

March 26, 2009

General Membership Meeting Minutes 03-26

March 26, 2009 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.,
Holy Rosary Church Basement, 24th and 17th Ave S

6:30      Social Time

6:40      Meeting Called to Order – Introductions
  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval Meeting Minutes from February 19thth, 2008
·      Announcements: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will convene an informational planning meeting on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 9:30 AM for the purpose of receiving information from representatives of Xcel Energy on Xcel's SmartGrid City project in Boulder, Colorado.
·      Phillips Park Patrol: New mobile radios and vests, Starting soon, Check with Jenny Bjorgo

6:50      PARK CENTER : Discussion of next steps.  EPIC endorses the following MOTION: that DJR be subcontracted       by LHB and that DJR have full responsibility  for design and construction of the EPPCC Center and that LHB take responsibility for environmental and LEED factors, that contractual responsibilities are defined  and separate and that EPIC engage DJR to assist EPIC and the Design Team  in fundraising and community process.

7:30      Funding for EPIC Programs: MOTION: East/Midtown Phillips Youth Sports:
 $5,000 for the Soccer/Tutoring Program, and $5000 for the  Liga Hispana de Beisbol field rental. Review for vote. This money for these two amounts must be moved from EPIC’s NRP Action Plan Admin. line item to a changed Lifespan Goal 2, Strategy 2, which needs to reads: Explore the feasibility and create a neighborhood community center for youth and families that may operate 24 hours a day and that  will provide multiple programs and services to neighborhood youth, individuals and families both in the future Center and elsewhere. (The bold words were added to this Goal in November, 2006,  when we voted to spend the money for the Park Center. The new part now is in red)
Our motion will be in regard to both approving these funds and moving them from Admin. to the newly-worded Lifespan Goal 2, Strategy 2. This action will provide for the Plan Modification needed in this case.

7:40     XCEL Substations and Power Lines: Information, Carrie Ann Johnson’ss Face book  

7:45   Rep. Clark’s bill HF 1993:  to deal with the toxic Penta/dioxin pressure treated utility poles that Xcel and other utilities are using in Minneapolis and elsewhere. Motion: Support Bill

7:50     ANNUAL Meeting – April, Saturday 25th
8:15     Adjournment

March 12, 2009

General Membership Meeting Minuts 03-12

March 12, 2009 
Holy Rosary  Conference Room

Jennie Bjorgo (JB), Brad Pass (BP), Carol Pass (CP), Chiffon Williams (SW), Tom Malloy (TM), Linda Leonard (LL), Sherzad Kordian (SK), Rosie Cruz (RC), Aden Awil (AA), Earl Simms(ES)

JB Chaired and called the meeting to order 6:48

MOTION:   Approve the agenda. CP Moved, BP Seconded Motion Passed

BP Point of order: Since there is not a quorum shall we proceed as a committee of the whole?
MOTION: To proceed as Committee of the whole, passes

MOTION:   Approve the Minutes. CP pointed out that under “Funding for Programs” on page 2, the three organizations are not identified. East Midtown EMPY
Motion passed with addition of the 3 organizations.

Earl Simms arrival creates a quorum
MOTION: Proceed as a normal meeting, approve agenda and Feb. Gen. Membership minutes

Xcel meeting on Smart Grid tomorrow at 9:30 AM
Community of Phillips Patrol (COPP) patrol is cranking up with compatible walkee- Talkees with Little Earth Patrol.

Park Center:
Reviewed PowerPoint and figured Money.

Funding for EPIC Programs:
$5,000 for EMPY,  $5,000 for Liga Hispana de Beisbol,  Discussion: Linda: will the CURA Grant take us far enough to continue program, since this NRP money takes so long?  Brad: We might have to carry it for a month and be reimbursed. Hope not.
MOTION:   Moved to support the proposed funding and Plan modification with language change forward to the Annual Meeting. Passed

Don Greeley provided ID cards for COPP

Xcel Substations:
See Carrie Ann’s Web site for info

Rep. Karen Clark’s Bill HF 1993:
MOTION:   Support Bill Motion Passed

Annual Meeting Saturday, April, 25th:
Terms are up for Mary G, Linda, Earl & Rosie – may run again. Returning are Carol, Aden, Jennie and Sherzad.   Prospective New Board Members Chiffon, Cedric,

Agenda:                       Carol
Food:                           Rosie, Jennie, Continental Breakfast, tomallies
MC:                             Brad
Set-up                          Brad,
Door Prizes:                Jennie, Brad
Entertainment:             Holy Rosary Kids Guitar Band
Flowers:                      Annie???
Adjourned at 8:56      

March 7, 2009

Board Meeting Minutes 03-07

March 7th, 2009

Directors Present: Jenny, Carol, Linda, Earl by phone


We accepted the agenda and minutes as committee of the whole.
Reports as per the agenda:

Waiting for 10K for soccer
NRP has other bills in the works. One is for statewide applications.
We suggested Chiffon as a board person to take the place of Juliet who resigned.
We discussed meeting at Holy Rosary on Mondays, not Thursdays.
Jenny took the list that Carol made for the annual meeting and Jenny will start to get people to help.

We might use a Quit Claim deed and transfer the title of the garden.

Common Bond dropped out of the Village Project. Sherman might help build the project for us with PRG. Carol will meet with them next Friday. We want to recommend Sherman.

Annual Meeting: we should have an annual meeting planning meeting for April 25th.

Xcel: Karen Clark is working on a bill regarding density and power lines.

EPIC board censors the park board for freezing the Design Team out of the redesign process and expects the final design to meet the approval of the Design Team.

February 19, 2009

General Membership Meeting 02-19

February 19, 2009

Meeting called to order at 6:43
We convened a committee of the whole with no objections.
Margaret, Chiffon, Brad, Alfonso, Mary
Board: Carol, Linda, Aden, Sherzad, Rosie, Earl

Agenda: We added NRP and Housing and approved the agenda.

Minutes from November were approved.

Comments: The Berglin/Clark bill spared us the paint shop, the asphalt plant, and the burner.
Tomorrow is an Xcel Mtg at 3 pm at the NELC to determine next steps in regard to the project.

6:52 EPIC Financials
2009 Budget and 2008 expenses explained. Filed with the minutes. Possibility of funding our two sports/tutoring programs. There was agreement that it is time to work on greater support for Phillips youth, especially the ethnics that have no programs specifically for them. Admin. funds not needed.
We could finish out phase one funds with program support.
7:00 quorum reached with Rosie.

Rosie talked about 45 kids to play soccer and a tutoring program at Anderson. The background checks will be done. The kids in the soccer league who have academic problems are welcome even if they don’t attend Anderson school.

Linda moved/Chiffon seconded the proposed 2009 budget. Budget adopted without opposition.
Earl arrived.

Chiffon moved and Aden seconded a motion to the effect that EPIC take a request to the county commissioner to include support for the pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha connecting East Phillips Park to the Franklin Light Rail station. Passed.

7:22 Xcel
Margaret pointed out that if/when there is streetcar service on the Greenway, it would be very difficult to work around power lines. Carol reported that xcel plans to crisscross these big wires which will disrupt all sides of the Greenway. We don’t know what motion the Greenway folks want us to support.  The next meeting is tomorrow and people should come. There was a meeting at Little Earth, but there was no follow-up plan. Carol Pass wants to ask Karen Clark to introduce a bill for Minnesota that would tie the power line issue to density of population, especially in an urban area. Margaret concurred. Carol and Margaret are working on the issue and will report back.
CP passed out Xcel’s data sheet on the spread of Magnetic flux of underground as opposed to overhead high voltage power lines. The underground application is dramatically better as far as the spread of magnetic flux.
BP compared today’s lack of information on the health effects of Magnetic flux to the health effects of Arsenic on the population in the 1930s. Today it is clear that arsenic is a huge problem. It is unconscionable that we are considering exposing this underprivileged population to something that 30 years from now may prove to be as egregious as arsenic and lead.
BP suggested coming to the 2-20-09 NELK information meeting with a motion which is similar to the Greenway Coalition’s motion in opposition to the project.
CP not much happened in opposition to the Burner until people showed up with signs and banners. Perhaps we should consider a sign.
The City council has no legal right to stop the powerline. It is up to the PUC.
MK pointed out that the PUC could say to the city – “if you want to pay the extra $15 million to put the line underground you can do it”.

Funding for Programs:
Covered in discussion on financials. These two organizations, Liga Hispana de Beisbol and the Soccer/Tutoring program have been put forward for additional funding. Motion for review of funds and support for the programs and proposed language change, see Agenda for motion. Passed unanimously.

Park Board authorized LHB to phase the building with a redesign using the 4.136 million we have. If and when we raise 3 million more we can add phases. Most commissioners and LHB probably will promote a one story building. John Gurban sent commissioners a letter saying he doesn’t want the building on the west side of the park and wanted it to be reconsidered. Most commissioners were incensed and reminded him that a 7:1 vote was to be west side. Later Gurban sent Brad a note indicating that all communications about the project were to go through him and him only. Brad went down to a meeting at Keith’s office and saw Mike and others who refused to speak with him about the project because of Gurban’s gag order. There will be a report March 4 at the Park Board. One of the commissioners made a motion at a meeting to return all the funds.

CURA Grants: One in midtown is to study the different park buildings and resources and use and programs.

We’ve been told that our plans are competing with the gym/pool building. That we have duplication of services. EPIC will continue to ask for funds and submit grants. We wrote a letter in support of public art in the park.

EPIC supports a redesign that will utilize the full amount of money raised and it will approximate as closely as possible the design approved by the neighborhood and park board in May, 2008. This plan must facilitate and not preclude the addition of the second floor plan as accepted in 2008. Brad made the motion and Mary seconded it. Passed.

Linda made a motion and Earl seconded:
That the request for public art for the building reflect the cultural diversity of East Phillips and be intergenerational in nature. Passed

Park Patrol: Little Earth suggested that we get compatible equipment and we did. One training has been completed and about 8 people were there.

Annual Meeting: Will try to find a space for one of the last two Saturday meetings in April.

NRP. It was not Davney that introduced the NRP bill. It was Karen Clark, Torres Ray, and the neighborhood. Gary misrepresented the history in his mailings. It was Davney and Dibble who split the bill in half in committee giving the money to the city to manage and the neighborhoods lost out. The money we lobbied for at the legislature has essentially been removed from the program it was designated for. The new money might only be able to be used in the areas where the taxes are raised. This means it would all go to the downtown where the  tax increment would be accrued. The city said NRP couldn’t go back to ask the legislature for clarification, but some NRP people still do intend to go back to this session to correct what has happened. The money is going to be limited to buying office supplies, but nothing for housing or organizing or building. We agreed that if there is no money to manage, there’s only limited reasons for meeting. The only available big bucks will be competitive and that will make it hard for neighborhoods like ours.

Meeting adjourned at 8:33 pm

February 7, 2009

Board Meeting Minutes 02-07

Board Meeting Minutes 2/7/2009
Welna's Hardware Board Room

9:46 Meeting called to order.

Shirley Heyer is a guest. Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Jenny Bjorgo present.

Committee of the whole without a quorum.

Agenda approved.

Approved the minutes.

Financial report: Carol distributed last year’s budget; this year’s projected budget; and last year’s expense account reports. She also distributed a statement of activities and a statement of functional expenses.  There is also a balance sheet with $7,184 plus some deposits.

We focused on the next year’s budget. We  have some unrestricted money to pay the garden property tax.  CDBG is less than before. We changed some features to clarify the statement. Carol is going to update the statement and send new ones out based on actual invoices. We have about $37,000 but most is for NRP consultant and CURA sports/youth grant expenditures.

NRP Issues: We have a community engagement board and an NRP board now. David Rubidor from PRG was hired by the city office. There are duplicate functions with NRP controlling one with Phase 1 and 2 monies, but the community engagement board having only advisory roles, but no power. Each neighborhood only gets a small part. We will get about $300,000 but most has to be spent on housing. Maybe we should do something positive with Bloomington Ave in the 2600 and 2700 blocks.  We need to probably hire our consultant another year  to help with the community center project. We could use some money for a revolving loan “due on sale” to improve buildings. We can get a match from the
federal gov’t IF we can get another neighborhood to go with us and get 300,000 for housing.  Midtown only gets $170,000 this year. Shirley and Carol discussed options for deferred loans.

Park Center
Karen Clark met with the MET COUNCIL this week and Brad Pass sent a letter of clarification. We have until 2011 to get the project contracted and ready to go. Brad and Carol met with Ellison’s staff person as well as Klobuchar’s office and the metcouncil tax bonding meeting.  We need a statement from the MetCouncil for the Park Board to document clarifications. Unfortunately Keith’s staff gave misinformation from the House side.  Senator Klobuchar’s staff person explained that it had to be in both the House and the Senate in Congress. Appropriations for 2009 are due Feb 20. Keith’s office made a mistake and didn’t write that the building would be owned by a gov’t agency. Arthur and Carol are going to try to correct last year’s request and submit requests under programs this year. 
Kresge is interested in our project and wants us to reapply.
We received one $10,000.
Excel . There is a meeting Monday on land use and transit in the Midtown Greenway. Midtown Greenway needs a grant to stay in charge of the discussion. Carol will talk to Bill at Little Earth to let him know that excel funds the energy coop.
The Obama administration energy matching grants could be used for lines that will buy back solar and wind energy. Someone else is planning a new hydroelectric plant. We need a motion to push Excel to match federal money and to make new projects a 21st century project.  Carol and Shirley will craft a motion to bring to the membership of both neighborhood organizations. Underground, able to buy back wind and solar, and apply for federal funds, and put the lines down 28th.

PRG is doing the village project…Kathy is in charge. Caroline from GMAC has an interest in housing. There are addresses that Shirley has already. Edie Oats said applications are due Feb 17th and the programs ned letters of support from neighborhood organizations. By consensus we authorized Carol to write a letter of support for PRG.

Village Project. Kathy said that Gary Schiff told her that he does NOT support the project because there isn’t enough green space. He told her this at the meeting we endorsed Common Bond. Gary has apparently chosen to work with blocks instead of neighborhood organizations.  This tends to split the neighborhoods. Midtown and East Phillips both have a lot of money invested in the project. We also have a reserve fund for a total of about $500,000. Kathy said Common Bond is getting cold feet about managing it. We are looking at the possibility of another developer who might be interested.

Sherman and Associates are going to change the live/work units probably to apartments on Bloomington near Lake Street. He needs a letter of approval. Almost no one will grant a mortgage for such a project. We authorized Carol to write a letter of support. We should find out if the building next to the site is in foreclosure. 

Garden Purchase
Should PPL hold our garden? They wouldn’t be able to sell it for 30 years because of the conservation clause. Our problem is that some of the gardeners keep trying to control the garden or EPIC. PPL would need to have a contract with EPIC to manage the garden.

Jenny would be willing to manage our community garden.

Annual Meeting: We could maybe rent space in Sabri’s building. We might be able to be in Southside Learning Center. We need to have it in April. The 18th or 25th Saturday morning would be best.

Midtown’s annual meeting. Feb 17th at Anderson School. Potluck.  5:15 is dinner. Backyard Initiative report. David Rubidor is going to talk about the whole new department in Mpls and Phase 3 of NRP. Bob Miller is going to come and give counter information.

Ask Leon to borrow the earphones for simultaneous translation.

Midtown is going to submit a request for safety pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha from the light rail to East Phillips with Great Streets planning money. It’s due ASAP. Carol should do one for 25th and Bloomington for Great streets. EPIC could get 25th/Bloomington money. Open Arms could apply too. Shirley went to a workshop and said there have been changes 3 times. You could get 10 grand for a transportation consultant. Someone at CPED knows about this federal money.

Adjourned at 11:30