March 8, 2012

General Membership Meeting Minutes 03-08

March 8th, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Attendees: Board Members: Jennie Bjorgo, Mary Gonsior, Steve Struthers, Carol Pass, Linda Leonard,
EPIC Members:, Carol Hill, Maria Cruz, Renuka Humagai, Shara Motey Jose Luis, Brad Pass,
Guests: Monica Romero, Salomon Ramirez, Laura Canto,

6:45    Introductions:
·      Greetings and Introductions.
·          Approval of Agenda  (jb, cp, passed)
·      Approval of Minutes from EPIC 2/9/2012 General Membership Meeting, (approved with the language as read by SS and correct the minutes; (bp, ss: passed.)SS has the text on his PC. The additions are letter to the City regarding Bituminous and Smith Foundry

6:40    Announcements:
·      REPORT on 1rst Annual Community Connections Conference: Saturday, Feb. 11th, St.             Mary’s University Event Center, (Old Zurah building) 2540 Park Ave. S.  8 am – 5 pm.
·      1st Meeting of the East Phillips Garden for the 2012 Gardening Season, Saturday, March             10th, 9:00 am at East Phillips Park.
·      South Minneapolis Housing Fair, Saturday, March 10th, South High School, 3131 19th Ave S. 10 – 3             Information on energy smart homes, solar power introduction  at    
·      Block Club Training, Monday, March 12th, 6:00 pm Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park  Ave.
·      Next EPIC Meeting:  April 12th, 6:30 pm – 8:45 pm
·      Annual Meeting will be at the end of April. A candidate must have attended at least one regular EPIC General Membership meeting beforehand and fill out an application to run.  See  Carol Pass (612-280- 8418) for details & if you want to be part of the planning process.
7:00            The Opening of the Garden – Brad Pass

There are 35 garden plots; they are kind of small but you can fit a lot into them. There is a fee of about $30-35 per year to pay for water, tools, taxes, insurance, etc. There are some scholarships available, so you may not need to pay the full fee.

7:10            Circulo de Amigos Child Care - Maria Perez Gali and Monica Romero, Latino Economic             Development Center (LEDC) will discuss the new child care center at 2830 Cedar Ave.

The project will cost over $700,000; construction will be over $450,000 plus 20% for unforeseen costs. The remainder is for working capital, landscaping, and equipment and furniture. There are two lenders involved for $150,000 each through LEDC and another nonprofit; but all is held up waiting for final approval by the main lender (a bank out of state.) The benefits of bulding this child care center include putting this building back into use, as well as the many family and cultural related events and activities that the owner, Maria, makes an integral part of her work as a child care provider. Maria is committed to building a green, environmentally healthy building, and teaching children healthy and responsible habits using natural and organic products. The financing package that has been put together would  permit Maria to operate even if she is only 60% capacity, so the sustainability of the project is very high.

CP asked:  When could your  project open? What can EPIC do to help you with this project?

Originally thought that all the financing would be in place by the end of 2011. CPED has also  approved her for $75,000. Estimate that in 2 months the financing will be finalized. Hopeful that the center could be open in early
Fall, 2012. LEDC would love to have a letter recommending this project for the lenders, and the Henn. County licensing office, and the City of Minneapolis.

MOTION: EPIC continue to the Circulo de Amigos Child Care and will send letters to the lenders, the city of Minneapolis, and the County and/or State, as being committed to building a green, environmentally healthy building, and teaching children healthy and responsible habits using natural and organic products, contingent on their continued progress (JB, BP: passed.)

7:40            Our Housing Rehab Program - Doug Wise presenting

Addressed at last housing meeting:
1. Emergency loan program, up to $5,000 at 3%; no interest if paid back within 5 years.
2. Loan program, up to $8,000, pay back when house is sold.
3. Home-buyer assistance, up to $5,000 for down payment assistance for a home purchased in E. Phillips; repaid at the time the house is sold.

Not addressed yet:
1. Foreclosure assistance
2. Funding to help with the Greenway Heights project (proposal to build an apartment building; project is moving ahead and we have received 525,000; EPIC already put in $100,000 for the land and the plan.)

Next Steps:
1. Housing committee to meet and firm up the final proposal.
2. proposal must go to the general membership meeting for approval.
3. Write a contract with Center for Energy and Environment
4. City would have to approve the contract.
5. Work with CEE to open the period for applications.
6. EPIC will announce and have a big party.

8:00            Redistricting the Wards:
Where are we now?? EPIC Board and Task force members have worked hard on new Ward Boundaries. Some boundaries will be with us for ten years. We want to be happy with how this turns out and we have tried to keep important groups together. It appears that East Phillips is back together in the 9th Ward, but there are other very serious concerns.

We will have the latest maps and you can express your ideas and critiques. I have received comments from various interest groups and have forwarded them to the Redistricting group.

We need to get our comments in and it would be good if the neighborhood can speak with one voice. But if not, we can each respond with letters of our own….or both.
Jose reported that Neighborhoods and 501(C)(3)s have not been organizing the Latino community; instead they community has been organizing themselves.

8:25            Margaret reported from the Greenway: She has been appointed to the design team for the             Xcel Energy substations at the East and West ends. Sabo bridge ongoing investigation.

8;30            The Annual Meeting- Plans, Do you want to run for the EPIC Board? Saturday, April 28th???
            Call EPIC Board Chair, Carol Pass, for information: at  612-280-8418.
1. Reserve room- Brad will reserve the room
2. Design a flyer-Carol
3.flyer the neighborhood- Jenny & Team
3. figure out the food - Shirley? Chiffon?
4. Music- Holy Rosary – Children’s guitar orchestra
8:40             Adjournment