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