May 10, 2012

General Membership Meeting Minutes 05-10

May 10th, 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: Mary Gonsior, Jennie Bjorgo, Linda Leonard, Jose Luis Villaseno, Earl Simms, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz, Steve Struthers,
EPIC Members: Peggy Clark, Brad Pass,
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Doug Wise   

6:45    Introductions:
·      Greetings and Introductions.
·      Approval of Agenda (SS, BP) approved.
·      Approval of Minutes from EPIC 4/12/2012 General Membership Meeting, (BP, JB) approved.
o   Add attendance for directors: present/absent
o   Separate guests/members
o   Correct adjournment time to 8:50 pm.

6:40    Announcements:
·      EPIC Community Garden Meeting; Saturday, May 10th, 9:00 am in the Garden; followed by a community work hour.  2400 block of 17th Avenue.
·      GRAND RE-OPENING of the PHILLIPS COMMUNITY CENTER; This Sat. May 12th, 10 am – 3 pm, Music, Food, Tours and Fun!
·      13th Annual Little Earth Mother’s Day PowWow; This Sat. May 12th & 13th, 11 pm to 6 pm, Sun.1 pm, Cedar Field at 25th St. & 18th Ave.
·      May Day 2012 Parade; May 13th, This Sunday, 12pm to ? Bloomington Ave. to Powderhorn Park.
·      Xcel substation; design. There will be a design charette in mid-June.
·      Midtown Greenway; party all night. June 9, 6 pm to Midnight, Light up the Greenway. Raises money for Greenway services. Reg. req’d for the bike ride.
·      Diabetic breakfast; working on healthy food. Located at Phillips Community Center; May 31, 8 am; Free.
·      Block Club May Reunion Events; receive $50 for block club meetings held in May; funds are still available; contact Don Greeley for pre-registration.
·      Abbot-NW air pollution walk-through; May 31, 6 pm; St. Paul’s Lutheran; Allina wants to change their fuel oil, which they claim will clean up air pollution problems. Download documents from
7:00   Report on the Annual Meeting
Jose Luis V. is EPIC’s new board member, elected at the annual meeting. The other board directors elected are returning to service. Brad expressed thanks to those who pitched in, and helped with all the tasks. A good time was had by all.

7:20   Update on EPIC supported programs & Minneapolis Swims: The POOL & the Bonding Bill
Appreciation was expressed to Hannah for all her hard work to save the pool at the PCC. One year ago, we got the contract to save the pool. Since then, the job has been to raise the money. Where to begin? Mpls. Swims and EPIC met with Karen Clark and wrote a bonding bill – which has now been passed. Jeff Hayden was also very helpful with supporting the bill. There is still a lot of money that needs to be raised, and this with all volunteers. Mpls. Swims has been asked to provide swimming lessons to urban youth so they can participate in a swimming and sailing program with the Parks. They need to raiser 25% of the endowment by the end of the year.

SH suggested that we work on changing the priorities of the MPB. HL responded that the MPB are spending $400,000 on one wading pool (used only in summer), when it would take only $280,000 to fix the indoor pool at PCC. We need to educate MPB and the Mpls. Schools.

7:30   EPIC/ NRP/ CEE Phase II Housing Program
·      Progress report on Greenway Heights; 2845 Bloomington Ave. S.

CP distributed elevation drawings on these buildings. The building is a 4-story, all apartments include balconies; there are 45 or 46 units, including 3-4 BR units; parking underground.

·      HomeOwner Rehab support – Doug Wise

The minutes contain an up-date on this project through April 12. There were some questions on that date and we have some responses to report.

1.     Lottery: CEE says they can’t do a lottery; they must process applications on a first come, first served basis. They didn’t respond to the question of whether the neighborhood can run a lottery.
2.     Loans to be repaid if the property owner refinances. CEE has had problems in the past with asking owners to refinance; they felt it wasn’t fair to owners as they feel that they are still “improving” the neighborhood, and others who received loans do not have to repay.
3.     Budget and cost of loans; some fees may be equal to the loan, or even exceed the loan (in the case of emergency loans.) CEE said that their costs are the same for each loan, no matter the amount of the loan; they will not change this. We could raise the minimum for loans; we could move some funds into another program as grants (who would administer?); we could check with other neighborhoods to see how they are funded.
4.     Budgeted $15,500 for CEE fees; is this a cap? Response is this is an estimate; not a cap.
5.     Emergency funding – agreement should state that CEE should funnel people into other programs if they qualify. CEE is fine with adding this into the agreement.
6.     Timeline to wrap this up. EPIC needs to decide on the final guidelines. Then a contract would be drafted for approval by EPIC (board and membership). Then it would go to the city for approval (takes about a month.)
7.     One more question: $6 fee; is this a fee on repayment loans? Or what? Would there be only one $6 fee if the loan is repaid in one payment?

Doug will send updated draft agreement to CP for distribution to board for next board meeting.
·      Foreclosure intervention coming soon…

CP and Doug met with PRG to discuss foreclosure assistance; what would be the most effective way to use the $20,000 EPIC has set aside. Doug will send presentation to CP for distribution at the next board meeting.

8:00   Land Use and Development Issues:
·      Alliance Housing Project – 2600 17th Ave S. 15 Land Use Issues: Petition Progress
CP has all the petitions that were signed at the annual meeting. There are a few petitions still floating out there. EPIC had hoped to get this done sooner, so everyone needs to help get as many signatures as possible. CP will distribute extra copies of the petition. Get them signed and return them to Carol, asap.

·      Smith Foundry, Bituminous Roadways, Allinas concern with the Clark/Berglin Environmental Justice Law
We need to consult with Karen about this drive to change the law, and figure out what to do. For these polluting companies to make any changes, they must do an expensive study. Now they are talking about changing the bill. We may need to act on this quickly.

8:10   Crime – Progress or Regress?? New difficulties, problem houses.
·      Drug dealing reported on 13th Avenue behind PCC. Really bad; reporter believes the neighbors are calling 911. Residents present have also heard about this problem.
·      Heavy prostitution reported on 25th St. east of Bloomington Avenue next to the SA. Police are working on this.
·      Drug delivery has been observed at Little Earth.
·      There was a severe assault on 15th Avenue and 25th St.
·      Residents can receive a list of all the crimes in the 4 blocks or so surrounding their home. Contact Don Greeley.
Can we get the driver vehicle lookup.
Talk to Chris Arneson if our account doesn’t work anymore.
Collect problem addresses; send to CP or BP.

8:30   Adjournment