September 13, 2012

General Membership Meeting Minutes 09-13

September 13th, 2012, 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

EPIC Members: Maggie Ewing, Brad Pass 
Board Members Present: Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass, Jenny Bjorgo, Linda Leonard, Chiffon Williams
Board Members Not Present: JoseLuis Villasenor, Earl Simms, Steve Struthers, Rosie Cruz
Guests: Nikki (student at Saint Mary’s) attending to gather information about health assessment needs. Lorretta (Banyon Center), Doug Wise, EPIC Housing coordinator

6:45            Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introductions.
·       Approval of Agenda; BP, JB; approved.
·       Approval of Minutes from EPIC 8/9/2012 General Membership Meeting; BP, JB; Additions: GS said that the city had no existing way to measure vibration; he also said he had received no complaints about vibration since March 2012 when he sent out a letter about the situation; he said his staff reads his email; he confirmed that the Alliance project doesn’t have adequate funding to move ahead.

6:55            Announcements:
Ø  Special Opportunity – Last chance to pre-register for Women’s Environmental Institute’s 3rd Annual Growing Power Training Weekend with Will Allen and his Milwaukee staff, talented instructors in sustainable urban farming techniques. $250.00, This Saturday, Sept.15 &16, 8:00 am, all day, Sun 5:00pm. BUT you might be able to register late…Call 651-583-0705 or email at: Scholarships from EPIC??
Ø  The Rembrandt Exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art will end Sunday.
Ø  Raptor Night at the new Waite House, Special presentation by U of M Raptor Center, Thursday, Sept. 27th, 6:00 – 7:00pm  (Bilingual Presentation)
Ø  Clean Sweep – October 13th, 9:00 am at Welna’s Parking Lot, 24th & Bloomington Ave. Help Clean Up the Whole Neighborhood…Free incredible T-Shirts!
Ø  Phillips Criminal Justice& Community Partners Meeting Lutheran Social Services 2400 Park Ave. Wed. Sept. 19th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Ø  EPIC Community Garden Harvest Party, October 20th, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

7:10            Discussion and sharing ideas on marketing our Housing program. Update on Phase II Housing Contract with CEE – Doug Wise presenting

The agreement is now at CEE, they are reviewing it and if they sign it, we will then proceed with providing the agreement to the city for approval which will not be a problem. EPIC’s responsibility it to MARKET these deferred loan opportunities. We need to set up a meeting fairly quickly so we can get information about this out right away. Contact CP if you want to help with planning the marketing (plan to meet during the week of 9/17/2012.) Basic marketing materials would be a brochure/flyer for example. Do we need to market to renters? Are people willing to help distribute materials? Can we do this via the internet? Doug W. recommended meeting in person.

7:25            Land Use and Development Update: The situation so far. Updates on

Ø  Alliance Housing, 2600 17th Ave.
CP Update: This is a project for housing 20-22 homeless men in studio apts. This is not an appropriately zoned area for this building. If we don’t keep an area for low-moderate income housing, it will disappear from the city. Adjacent to the site, are a series of immigrant homeowners who made their investment on the assurance of the city’s zoning plan. They have voiced their opinion a year and a half ago, opposing this development on property value, re-salability of their homes, concern for the many small children there, inappropriate zoning and the negative precedent of ‘spot zoning’. Alliance Housing still has exclusive rights to the site; but on the grounds of false information regarding funding (the false claim of $750,000 Met Counsel grant) the best thing EPIC can do is to find an alternate site for this project. Alliance could do appropriate housing on this site.

Ø  Abbott Hospital air quality permit.

MN has the only law in the country that requires a cumulative impact study when considering adding industry that contributes to pollution. Abbott conducted a study, which was rejected because the study did not meet the standards of the Clark Bergland Environmental Justice Bill. We need to check back.    

Ø  Smith Foundry and Bituminous Roadways.

The city told EPIC that they couldn’t monitor the air quality in this area, so EPIC contacted MPCA (two months ago regarding the Abbott issues). Since then we have learned that MCDA, along with MDH and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe DNRE, are planning to monitor PAHs in the air around Minneapolis. EPIC should partner with Little Earth to communicate about the location of these sites. The Midtown Greenway “pit”, the Longfellow Avenue stretch between 28th and 26th (the parking lot of Roof Depot, behind Smith Foundry).

Handouts: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS); Risk of cancer/illness from asphalt.

7:50            Report on Leadership Conference – Brad Pass

BP attended a four day conference on the “Art of Hosting” given by The idea is that there are many world views (certainly in this neighborhood), there are lots of different methods of doing things, and all of these need to be melded together into a practical plan and path forward. The training is very good and they do an amazing job. The training helps communities learn how to lead together to find a shared vision for solving local problems, and meeting local needs.

7:58            Report on Hi-Lake Triangle Apartment development project

CP attended the city council meeting, was 3 minutes late and missed the whole thing because there was no one present. There are going to be balconies to deter crime. EPIC sent a letter to the Minneapolis Finance & Property Services Dept. with 8 recommendations. Steve asked what we really want to happen at this corner – if we are worried about seniors living in a high crime area, could they build something else that would be profitable, and also improve the area. Wellington has their funding together and this project will probably happen. We have learned that there are variances under discussion with the city: sidewalk set-back and parking. We believe GS will support a variance because this site is in the midst of transit oriented development.

MOTION: PAT, CP; Passed.
EPIC is opposed to a parking variance unless a shared parking solution is worked out between Wellington, the businesses, and Corridor Flats Residents that will address everyone’s needs and concerns as pointed out in EPIC’s Letter to the mfpsd ON 9/7/2012. 

8:25            What should happen to the Waite House Building? Report on first meeting. Discussion and idea sharing. See Minutes.

As a matter of record, the “Waite House” no longer exists. The property at 2539 13th Ave S is now known as “a building owned by the MPRB. The Waite House programs now exist in another site. The MPRB has decided to sell the building; they went to Midtown Phillips in mid-June and ask the residents to deal with the RFP’s that are submitted for the building. Neither Midtown nor the MPRB informed anyone beyond a few people on the Midtown Board of the start of this process for almost three months. This is despite the fact that the initial RFP stated that there was to be representatives from all the various constituencies of the neighborhood. This requirement late vanished from the Park board’s RFP requirement.  The loss of time created an almost impossible time crunch for anyone who may have wanted to submit a proposal. Midtown decided to form a subcommittee in their housing committee to serve as a task force to evaluate these RFP’s.

Dawn Siggelkow is the park person who is working with Jennifer Naglak, who appeared to be chairing the process. The one of the very few decision-making committee members, Mark, is a Banyan volunteer. I was told that someone raised the issue of conflict of interest, but was told by Siggelkow that that was not a conflict.(see Linda for list). To be on the task force, you must be a voting member of the Midtown Association.

The park board seems to be convinced that the people who live on the block and in the immediate area should have the most say about what happens there. BP raised the issue that the building was bought w/ Federal money so the public should have a say.

The claim is that there are others who wish for time to put together proposals and want the building. We don’t know who they are because they haven’t had time to put anything on the table. The MPRB is not allowing the property to go for sale. The RFP has not been posted yet, but will be soon. In the meantime, the task force is charged with engaging the block, and immediate neighbors to assist with developing requirements from the community (preferences, etc.) to help decide who the new owners shall be.

All proposals will be due Friday, October 12, 2012.

Contact MPRB or Midtown Phillips if you have a group in mind that should submit a proposal.


8:50     Update on the Pool and Mpls. Swims (Hannah Lieder)

EPIC guaranteed the first money going into this project made a huge difference in this project. Funds have come in from Mpls. Swims, and Ventura Village. The task force is now assembling a design team, and if all goes well the process should move forward and be completed by the end of 2013.

8:55            New Business (if time permits) – table for next month.
o   Direct truck traffic
o   2830 Cedar, late night party parking lot in rear.

8:55            Adjournment

September 1, 2012

Board Meeting Minutes 09-01

September 1st, 2012, Saturday, 10:00 am
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center
2307 17th Avenue S.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Present (board): Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Jennie Bjorgo, Earl Simms, Chiffon Williams, Rosie Cruz, Carol Pass
Members: Brad Pass

10:00             Introduction:
·     Approval of Agenda
·     Approval of Minutes from 8/4/12 EPIC Board Meeting

10:10    Announcements/Reports: 
·      EPIC Membership Meeting:  Thursday, Sept. 13th, 6:30 PM, the East Phillips Park Center,
·      EPIC only funded 5 NNO parties. But East Phillips had 15 of the 30 parties in all of Phillips.
·      Hi-Lake Apartments: Comments due by noon on Monday, September 10, 2012. Send to:
Matthew Hendricks, Development Finance Analyst
Minneapolis Finance & Property Services Department
105 5th Avenue South, Suite 200
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
(612) 673-5236
·      PUBLIC HEARING -1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 in Room 317 City Hall.  The City Council is expected to consider the Plans at its meeting on Friday, September 21, 2012.

10:15    Update on Housing Program Contract-  The Contract for the  Program is at City Hall. We can begin work on a marketing plan next week. We will create a Brochure listing the programs and start disseminating them as soon as CEE has the requisite paper work available.

Note Need to know how the $17,000 is moved into this process. August motion: Board/Community Motion: Whereas these funds are already in an appropriate Phase I strategy, EPIC will use this money (from the old CEE contract) to provide Admin dollars for the new CEE contract. (CP, LL; Passed)

Task Force (Need a few members):  Doug Wise will meet with us in the form of a task force next week to work on a marketing plan. Time to be arranged.

10:30            Update on the Pool – Money for the preliminary concept drawings and schematics is complete. Money came in from EPIC, Ventura Village and Minnesota Swimming. Dean Dovolis will be the architect.

Proposal from USAquatics, Contract signed.
Design Team Membership for EPIC is an opportunity.

Proposal from USAquatics, Contract signed.
Design Team Membership for EPIC is an opportunity.

10:40            Assistance for Somali Outreach- Youth Soccer Budget , EPIC was funding this through a CURA/NPI Grant from the U of M. We no longer have that grant.
Motion: Youth Soccer Budget- CPP - $1000 for field rental, balls, etc. Stipend for organizing/Coaching

Look at how to fund this in the future. Add pieces to this- An academic requirement.
11:00            Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments- Requested Gary Schiff to press for balconies, crime control issues and deal with Parking. Help with Notification of Hi-Lake Businesses.

11:15            Moving ahead with Phase II NRP and CPP 2:
            1)            Evaluation of 2011 almost complete, we need this and the following to receive and use                                     CPP funds, which we decided to use for Admin for NRP Phase II.
            2)            CP will create a Community Participation Program Submission to be worked from by the                                     Board and Task Force members.
            3)            Need to look at NRP Phase II Non-housing part. This is a very general plan…What should             we do?             And How? What we envisioned.
            Then, this is our motion from August:
Board Recommended/Community Adopted Motion (passed with one abstention): EPIC will budget and spend remaining CPP1, Equity Funds and CPP-2 funds as follows: passed with one abstention

1.     The CPP-1 leftover funds (about $30,000 as of June 30, 2012) should be rolled forward and budgeted/spent in 2012-2013 in accordance with the CPP-1 budget as previously determined by EPIC membership. The intention is to spend these funds according to CPP-1 requirements (e.g., participation, organizing, and administration). A new contract with NCR for 2012-2013 will encompass these items.
2.     The NRP Equity Directive Allocation funds ($29,000) should be rolled forward into EPIC’s CPP-2 Priority Participation Plan. The intention is to spend these funds on community participation, organizing, and administration).
3.     The funds available from CPP-2 funds ($123,000 for 2012-2013) should be temporarily allocated proportionately to EPIC’s NRP Phase II budget as previously determined by EPIC membership. The intention is to contract these funds according to the goals and set aside for neighborhood priority plans, including strategies of NRP Phase II and new priorities since the Phase II plan was approved, and to adopt the Community Engagement Process which was completed for NRP Phase II as part of the process for EPIC’s CPP-2 Priority Participation Plan:
a.     EPIC ‘s first focus should be on contracting/spending existing Phase II NRP funds.
b.     EPIC will engage in additional community engagement to monitor the needs, priorities and opportunities before making specific recommendations for possible projects and contracts for CPP2, recognizing that big changes and needs occur and some will have been satisfied by EPIC’s  NRP Phase II Plan and that a new Priority Plan is due each year. Effort will be made to revisit these present recommendations present before EPIC’s 2013 annual meeting.

11:40            Concerns pending:
            Bituminous Roadways, Smith Foundry , Abbott Hospital– Task Force on Environment needs  to meet. Petition?

12:15   Adjournment