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.