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