March 8, 2010

General Membership Meeting Minutes 03 - 08

March 8th, Monday – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.,
Holy Rosary Church Board Room, 24th and 17th Ave S
6:30             Introduction:
Board Members Carol pass, Mary Gonsior, Aden Awil, Earl Simms, Rosie Cruz, Linda Leonard.
Members:  Kevin Lieder, Alfonso Cruz, Shoui Tsai, Walter Nugru, Maria Perez Gali; Andrew Fahlstrom; Brad Pass, Margaret Kirkpatrick
Guests:Shirley Heyer , Bob Albee, Joseph Spangler
·          Approval of Agenda--approved as amended
·          Minutes from February 8th, 2010--approved
Brad Pass made a motion and Linda leonard seconded it to accept the committee of the whole motions made last month about the G4 site.  Carol suggested that we modify that with a friendly amendment by Carol Pass. to strike the first sentence of that particular motion. PASSED

Further discussion about a southern bike connection ensued. Shirley said she is opposed. Joseph asked if he is going to present. Carol said she'll contact him. People can call Shaun at 612 333-2450 and ask for information.

Linda made a motion and Carol seconded it that we read the announcements silently for three minutes before any discussion. Passed.

6:45    Announcements 
·           Xcel High Voltage Transmission Lines, PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ends March 10th, GET COMMENTS IN!! We need to show our concern and opposition, especially to the overhead lines. SEND TO: Bill Storm, Minnesota Dept. of Commerce, 85  7th Place # 500, St. Paul, MN, 55101-2198  or
               Brad and Carol reported that the House Energy and Environment Committee passed the Housefile 1633                requiring them to do a study that might take up to a year. Mark Soulander and Brad found minutes from             power organizations that show this is part of a twelve mile project from 62 where it crosses 35w through             Phillips across Seward across the river to where 280 joins 94. So the presentation included this information that shows how it goes down 35 W and it ends up being all the way to Penn. It's a continuous route and they  are trying to avoid a certificate of need. This process might slow the construction down long enough for  Clark to introduce legislation to prevent overhead lines. Great River Energy/ Excel and NSP had this in  their two year plan.
·          PUBLIC HEARING concerning the proposed route alternatives will be held before Administrative Law Judge Beverly Jones Heydinger in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 5 and April 6, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at Plaza Verde, 1516 East Lake Street.
·         PUBLIC COMMENTS concerning the proposed route alternatives may also be submitted in writing to the Administrative Law Judge and must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 11, 2010. Public comments may be sent by United States Mail or by e-mail. The e-mail address is:
The mailing address is:Beverly Jones Heydinger, Administrative Law Judge
P.O. Box 64620
600 North Robert Street
Saint Paul, MN 55164-0620.
·           Garden Steering Committee Meeting Saturday April 3rd at 9:00 A.M. - Welna Break Room.
a.     EPIC must appoint Jenny Bjorgo or another Board Member as Garden Steering Committee Member
b.        EPIC must appoint a Board Member as Garden Steering Committee alternate to replace Chiffon Williams.
·          Garden General Membership Meeting Saturday April 10th at 9:00 A.M. in the Garden.
·                                           EPIC ANNUAL  MEETING, Saturday, April 17th, 9:30 am, Oliver Church, 27th St. & Bloomington
·                                           Shirley heyer mentioned an announcement about a grant for lead abatement. She and Carol Pass will meet to see if they should submit a proposal.
·                                           Carol and Shirley wrote a planning grant to get $50,000 for Great Streets. Bloomington Ave and an intersection from 29th to 24th could be tied in to the Village Project, Bike routes, and a bridge from the park over to the light rail.  Local people could do the interviews and run meetings. Bloomington and E 25th is now a commercial node.

Shirley received a call that the grant was submitted on time but without the required 5 copies. However the city will consider it anyway. We could have a decision in 30-60 days.

At 7:15  Circulo de Amigos Day Care Center
Motion to move the day care presentation up in the agenda . RC, BP – Motion Approved.
Maria Perez Gali is planning to open a day care that is Spanish immersion. They just purchased the building and are involving an architect. Ms. Perez-Gali’s current daycare has many demand for placement and is out of space. More parents are asking for expansion. The plan is to serve 80 children. Joseph suggested strengthening the drop off space. They intend to hire licensed teachers and aides. She currently offers home cooked meals and has high ratings with families. Further info at
MOTION: EPIC aupports the new daycare at 2830 Cedar and will write letters of support  RC,BP passed

7:30  Phillips Community Parks Initiative:  Planning for a unified response to use of all Phillips Park Facilities.
            Bob Albee and Brad Pass, presenters.
            Bob Albee gave a history of the building and noted that the building has been underutilized since the Boys                         and Girls Club left. It is the largest park building in the system. There were only 60 kids a day. Bob has been talking             with clinics about food prep and diet education; adult exercise; etc. for wellness and health issues. He sees doing this             in tandem with the East Phillips Park Community Center.
            Motion made by Brad pass and seconded by Rosie Cruz:
Move that EPIC support efforts by Robert Albee to lead the Phillips Community Parks Initiative in efforts to re-define and re-open the Phillips Community Center (formerly the Boys and Girls Club) in a manner compatible with the diverse interests of the residents and stakeholders of the Phillips Community.
Further move that EPIC’s Carol and Brad Pass continue to work closely with Ventura Village’s Secretary, Robert Albee to lead the Mr. Albee and representatives from Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association and Phillips West Neighborhood Association in efforts to ensure that a sustainable set of programs be developed to serve residents of all ages in this important community facility. In this capacity, verbal and written monthly progress reports to EPIC will be presented.
We further move that every effort be made to ensure that the existing swimming pool inside the facility be maintained as a pool and that benefactors be found who will support the pool’s reconstruction to serve current and future residents. 

Discussion:Joseph asked about the Park Board's stance on the building. Bob said Dick Mammon reports that they are reroofing and replumbing with money from the city.  Joseph referred to a big plan and Shirley explained that it was a big proposal for the stimulus money but it didn't go anywhere. Based on a survey during December last year the Superintendent collected data to push his own agenda.

Point of information is that there is a youth leadership group forming at Stewart park under Steve's leadership and these youth leaders will be making recommendations about programming.

Point of information from City Pages reported by Rosie Cruz about the Park Board and taxes for concessions or about space rental.

Carol and Brad both spoke about the importance of the four neighborhoods sticking together on these issues or the Park Board will "divide and conquer".

Kevin Lieder said that Hannah could be contacted about the pool and she would be glad to advocate.
7:30     Circulo de Amigos Daycare- Maria Perez Gali:  (Was moved up on the agenda) Announcing a new daycare center in East Phillips.

8:00 PM  Shaun's presentation about the bike connection. He distributed maps involving Bloomington Ave and 18th Ave. It came from a 2001 city master bike plan.

Joseph said his review of plans suggest that these were not major plans, but they might be contingent on funds available. Mary said she hadn't heard about any master plan. Joseph questioned the involvement of neighborhoods at the time.......and doubts that many folks were involved in the past.

Shaun suggested that if plans were made by the City without much community involvement and a comprehensive approach, then we should we do the best thing we can now. He doesn't know the history.



Brad ... What are the laws about that you are required to do as an auto driver with bikes? You must give them 3 feet.
Linda noted the amount of diverted traffic when there are accidents and emergency vehicles  on Cedar; the number of accidents on 18th in hit/run/police chases; we have cultural issues of "attitude" so bikes and pedestrians defy drivers

Earl : we need bike police.

Kevin: He thinks 17th would work well; It might be good to have cameras on the street where there are bikes.
Aden: 17th is wider for two blocks and it is narrow in many places; there is a block on E 25th St to keep people from cutting around the stop light;
People leaving Little Earth turn north on 17th to get to 24th and out of the neighborhood.
There is lots of traffic around the church on Sundays.
Margaret is on 17th and would have no objection. Thinks Bloomington isn't a good idea.
Andrew: As a biker he took Bloomington to get there faster........traffic is something he was used to. Potholes were the danger! He thinks Bloomington would make more sense to a biker.

Shaun said they have ways to mark busy streets like Bloomington work. There would be bike lanes on both sides of the streets.

Spoke about a round about that had been planned for 16th in the past. Crime against bikers is more likely on the residential streets and less so on Bloomington or cedar. No clear preference, but maybe 16th would work if we could close the street.

Carol spoke about a bike/pedestrian bridge from the park over to the light rail.
Mary seconds the Village in Phillips plan for 16th and 25th. They will get it  for Shaun.
7:40   Parking and zoning.........Joseph

Report on Today’s XCEL POWER LINES PUBLIC HEARING - Rep. Clark’s Bill: Carol & Brad Pass & others           
Notes under announcements

8:00   NRP Report:   Review of Phase 1 – Phase 2 planning Parameters, Amount of funding, Planning Process
8:45 Carol reviewed our projects and spending. We have to resolve what to do with the property along the greenway. We could easily lose control because we have no developer. The costs of raising a building is lower now because of competition. The next round of funding requires 70% to be spent on housing. We need a group to offer options about housing to the neighborhood. We also have to do a review of phase one but ours could easily be written from documents we already have.

We could do a survey at the annual meeting. Do we want to preserve our Greenway/Bloomington Ave. investment? Or do we want another home renovation grant program.

8:15  Housing and Redevelopment: VIP Refocus, Board Recommendation. See Hand out.

8:20  EPIC ANNUAL MEETING:  Mary Gonsior, Plans…Want to help???
People asked for an update in April about whether or not to correspond with the judge about the Xcel power line.
Survey on Table for future  - phase 2. Dot-mocracy on the past. Focus Group meetings after Annual Meeting.

8:30    Adjournment