July 14, 2011

General Membership Meeting Minutes 07-14

July 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

Board Members present: Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass, Earl Simms, Chiffon Williams, Linda Leonard, Steve Struthers
Members present: Margaret Kirkpatrick, Brad Pass
Guests: Jana Metge, Scott Vreeland, Bruce Chamberlain, Cliff Swenson, Al Bangoura, Elana Bowman, Dallas Johnson

6:30   Introduction:
·       Greetings and Introductions
·        Approval of Agenda (passed with addition of update on Mpls Swims; by consensus)
·        Minutes from EPIC General Membership Meeting 6/ 9 /2011 (MG, ES; Passed)
·        Minutes from EPIC Special Meeting re: Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments 7/ 7/ 2011 (CP, MG; Passed)

6:40    Announcements:
  • Fun Festival in Stuart Park, July 23rd, 1:00 to 7:00 pm, Games, Food, Music, Heart of the Beast Puppets
  • Take Back Peavey Park Initiative- July 26th 3;45-5;15, Inspector Gerold seeks help from the Community.
  • “Bridging Phillips” August 13th, Saturday, A Celebration of our Connections on our one Connecting Street, 24th St.
  • Soccer Sign Up for Fall Park League.
  • NRP Policy Board passed a motion to send frozen NRP dollars to Northside Neighborhoods for Tornado relief.
  • News: Citizens for a Loring Park Community, CLPC, (Jana Metge) is being evicted from their office for opposing the plans of the developer who owns the building.
  • Mpls Swims - $500M bonding bill requested by Gov. The pool is included in the bonding bill and if funded, the pool will be funded. Needed badly so that funding may be sought for operating expenses for programming. 2 events coming up. Sunday July 17 a group will be swimming for Mpls Swims at Lk Harriet. July 23, info booth with Wolf’s Den.

7:00        Report: East Phillips Park facilities: the wading pool, additional basketball hoops, & soccer fields.
            -  Jayne Miller, new Mpls. Park Board Superintendent, (not present)
            -  Scott Vreeland, Park Board Commissioner,
            -  Bruce Chamberlain, Asst. Superintendent of Planning, and
            -  Cliff Swanson, Director of Planning will discuss these new, yet to arrive facilities at East Phillips Park.

Bruce expressed thanks to Al B regarding vendor issues and getting things moving forward. Cliff covered some of the details that we are trying to get the contractor to complete. For a variety of reasons, some things aren’t finished. The subcontractor for the wading pool went out of business; put contractor on notice that their contract will be terminated if not completed in 2 weeks. A new subcontractor has been hired, materials have been ordered. The State of MN has to issue a permit; hopefully we will get the pool functioning asap.

Can the park provide sprinklers for kids to cool off? Can’t do fire hydrants due to issues with erosion.

Without a commercial kitchen, want 4 extra hoops in the gym, need extra bike racks (stolen bikes); signage isn’t installed; inoperable doors; some items have been priced out. We have money to do the kitchen, hoops and bike racks. Procedures are cumbersome, but they protect the public. Sign outside leaning against the building; Staff will inspect the sign outside the door; - is this a safety problem?

The next component of the improvements are for the fields. Park Board is investigating the cost of artificial turf (AT) so that the fields can be utilized to their fullest potential. Planners initially thought that there would not be sufficient funding to pay for (AT); so the community would be in favor of using (AT)

MOTION: (MK, CW) EPIC enthusiastically supports the use of (AT) for fields at EPPCCC. Passed unanimously.

Soccer field is now 90% of full-size; the baseball field is 95% of full-size. This is a result of a compromise in order to fully utilize both fields. If the design contractor is able to get 100%, great! The community has approved 93% of Little League regulation size (13 and Under.)

Scott expressed thanks to Hennepin County Youth Sports Program for partnering to provide a working wading pool and finished fields.

7:45      Elana Bowman with Power Brokers Energy Forum. Invited the community to attend a community meeting regarding a plan to address the energy needs and challenges of the community. Will also be providing free 1 hour workshops in homes to learn about saving power. Finally, offering savings on insulation services by “co-oping” expenses with neighbors.

7:50        Report and Discussion on Hi-Lake Apartments Special meeting, Council Action and Continued            Concerns. See letter presented to the Community Planning Committee on Monday, July 12th. It contains the motion passed at our special meeting on July 7th. Next Steps?? Motion?? --Carol Pass

EPIC wants to speak to the people who did the marketing survey. EPIC’s immigrant residents have expressed that they do NOT want to live alone. Landlord experience supports this view. Our residents who are putting down roots in this neighborhood, are “intergenerational” ethnic groups, and their lifestyles, cultures and traditions are important to EPIC.

What will happen if 68 tenants come into this building and bring 68 or more cars? Parking is a real problem in this neighborhood already and this site isn’t addressing parking adequately. How will this impact the existing business owners at Hi-Lake? Some expressed the view that there is sufficient parking; it is just on the west side of the lot.

Asked CM Gary Schiff why developers met with neighborhoods south of Lake St. but not north of Lake St.? The businesses at Hi-Lake were not included in the conversation about further development at Hi-Lake. Gary met with Senior Advisory Committee and reported that some want diverse ages in building; others want a quiet senior building with services in the building. He also reported that there are too many single-family home “rentals” on the market right now, and there is no need to build “family-size” apartments right now.

Next steps: Asked CM Schiff for assistance with talking to the developer, especially in regard to the features that everyone supports.

8:30        “Bridging Phillips” Progressive Festival – A Special Festival connecting & celebrating the Four          Quadrants and the Multi-Ethnicities of Phillips: Our Diversity, Our Unity, Our Community, All Down Our          One Linking Street, 24th St. Music, Food, Enchantment! Aug. 13th. EPIC Participation at E. Phillips Park
            --Dallas Johnson, presenter (from West Phillips)

Connecting people of the Phillips neighborhoods; dispelling misinformation; Will work like a progressive dinner. The day will be really fun, and interactive; not just for “watching”. Faith community has been invited to prepare the week before the event; going through the neighborhoods and praying, etc. The event will begin with a water blessing ceremony. Many participants will contribute ceremony and celebration at points between Cedar Ave. and 5th Ave. along 24th St.

8:40        Organizing for youth issues – Ideas?  Actions?? Tae Kwan Do?? Youth Soccer?? Big Brothers/Big         Sisters? Update on Somali Community Focus NPI Project. Mohamed Cali, --Carol Pass

Working to provide more programming for 12-15 year olds, at least three times per week; we need to attend to these “bored” kids. Helping residents deal with crime, speaking up for themselves to community police, city council, etc.

MOTION: EPIC send request to Edie Oates that the city office convey to Henn County tax forfeited land has been a problem property for  a very long time and should never  be redeemed by Alex, any of his associates, businesses, aka’s to EVER redeem this property again, from tax 2527 18th ave so. (LL, CP) Passed.

8:45      Crime Concerns and Other Livability Issues “CLEAN Sheets. Come prepared to discuss current           difficulties on your block. There have been significant issues lately. Tracking hot spots, problems and             police assistance. Letter from City re: Foundry problem.

MOTION: EPIC opposed any permit application from the foundry until they have dealt adequately with violations of codes (shaking houses; excessive noise), (SS, LL) Passed.

EPIC needs someone to provide leadership for crime concerns and other livability issues outside EPIC meetings, such as attending court watch, reviewing clean sheets, reporting to community at EPIC meetings, etc. Contact Carol Pass with ideas, suggestions and to volunteer.

8:57       Adjournment: