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