April 14, 2011

General Membership Meeting Minutes 04-14

April 14th, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center 
2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address: eastphillips-epic.com
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Our Second EPIC Membership Meeting in the 
new East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center

Directors Present: Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass, Jenny Bjorgo, Earl Simms, Linda Leonard, Rosie Cruz, Steve Struthers
Residents: Brad Pass, Chiffon Williams, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Pat Fleetham, Karen Clark, Hannah Lieder, Kevin Lieder, Bill Kingsbury, Kim Hadaway, Jason Rodney, Troy, Linnea, Kara   
Guests: Loren Brueggemann, Kathy Wetzel, Mike Buelow, John Gold, Shirley Heyer

6:30    Introduction:
·         Greetings and Introductions
·         Approval of Agenda (JB, CW) approved.
·         Minutes from EPIC General Membership Meeting 3/10 /2011 (JB, CW) approved.

6:40    Announcements:
·         NRP Task Force – If you want to be a part of this committee, Contact Carol Pass, 612- 280-8418
·         Meeting times will be announced, and will be arranged to match schedules of committee members.
·         EPIC’s 12th Annual Meeting April 30th, 9:30 Saturday morning, Treats, Talk and Progress

7:00    New Classes in the Park and Partnerships:  Linda’s ‘Tea and Talk’, Family night, Partner meeting next week,
                 Brad Pass

The doors have been open for about a month and a half. The partners are meeting next week and we are slowly ramping up our programming. The park board has put out bids for 4 additional basketball hoops, a divider for the gym, and finishing out appliances for the kitchen.

Linda's Tea and Talk sessions have seen some success with multi-cultural conversations (Sat. 1-3 pm.) Family night (Wed. 6-8:30 pm.) is popular, playing organized games in the gym, Wii was set up, people watching a video in the rotunda, and more.

Vending machines: we want to have healthy choices.

MOTION: Replace snacks and pop with healthy snack and beverage options. (CW, JB) passed.

Park Board has a fee structure for many things. EPIC will explore the fee structure and see if there is some way of mitigating these costs for local residents.

7:10      Phillips Community Center Partnership and Swimming Pool – Minneapolis Swims Update, Hannah Lieder
             Progress of the bonding Bill submitted to the legislature by Rep. Karen Clark. Q & A, Next Steps

We are hoping that the bill will be considered by the bonding committee and put forward to the legislature. EPIC believes if the neighborhoods put up some money, this is a strong statement to the legislature and other funders.  If the legislature did approve this funding, it is likely the governor would sign it.

7:25        EPIC Development: Greenway Heights apartments: EPIC’s completion of NRP Phase I project. Loren Brueggemann, Phoenix Development and Kathy Wetzel, PRG, neighborhood nonprofit.

Additional presenters: Michael Buelow from Phoenix, John Gold, project architect (BKV).

Presentation of a plan for a 4-story/40 unit building of workforce housing for the vacant property on Bloomington Ave & 29th St. Seeking support from EPIC in advance of the next funding round ---.

Loren Brueggeman discussed that the project is designed to accommodate community expressed needs for family housing, community friendly,  child friendly, green friendly, cost effective/affordable rents. The bulk of the units are 2 & 3 bedrooms, with a few 1 bedrooms included.

Drawings presented are the early stages of the concept for the project. The conceptual site plan was presented showing a very tight footprint, using the space very efficiently.

Concerns expressed: eco-friendly, energy efficient, pedestrian walkways, play areas, safety, etc. Concession of those attending this meeting are in favor of making the walkway to the south of the building, private for the building for the sake of safety and privacy.

MOTION: EPIC approves the project concept and supports applications for funding, with the understanding that the project will be in consultation with EPIC as the design develops. (CP, MK) passed.

7:45      Participation Agreement and Draft Phase II Action Plan: Business & Resident Survey, Review of Plan, Preliminary                 Approval Motion

In the last two years, one neighborhood went from 53 boarded houses to 144 (2009-2010.) NRP money could possibly have reduced this level of foreclosure, by helping to re-sell these homes. EPIC has created tax income from the housing projects that were created through using our NRP funds. While we are hoping that the legislature will support the bonding bill for projects such as the Phillips Community Center Partnership and Swimming Pool, the uncertainly causes us to set an aggressive schedule for completing our Phase II NRP plan before the close of the legislature.

NRP Survey findings so far:

Residents want to help people that are on the edge (emergency housing needs.)
Residents want us to offer foreclosure assistance.
Residents want us to do other things in addition to housing, i.e. kids programs, swimming pool, etc.

MOTION: EPIC approves  basic concepts and direction of the Draft EPIC NRP Phase II Action Plan. (JB, CW) approved.
Survey will continue to reach more of the neighborhood. Additional focus groups planned. Some with tiny ethnic groups.

Suggested that an addition to the plan would include a vision for transition to a post-petroleum society.

8:05        Food Resource Hub- Bill Kingsbury

Grow your own food - Minneapolis' new organization of neighbors distributing

8:10        Getting ready for EPIC’s 12th Annual meeting April 30th: Planning?? Volunteers?? Board membership??
                Shirley Heyer will be organizing the food for the morning. We will be providing a full healthy breakfast, in part coming              from Open Arms. They have offered a big egg dish. Also Tamales. Need volunteers

8:25       Crime Concerns and Other Livability Issues:

MOTION: EPIC recognizes the situation of heavy industrial bordering residential housing, and (SS, JB) By agreement, this motion was tabled to the next meeting.

There is a CARE grant through the EPA to identify toxins along the minnehaha-hiawatha corridor. Google Hennepin Cty website. for more information.

8:30       Adjournment: