July 16, 2015

General Membership Meetings Minutes 07-16

July 16th 2015, 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 Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass, Gloria Reyes,
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass,
Board Members Not Present: Rosie Cruz (E), Jean Howard (E), Linda Leonard (E), Margarita Ortega (A), Gloria Reyes (A)
EPIC Members: Michael Green, Brad Pass, Kim Hayden, Troy Mengerdez, Laura Dale, Shoui Tsai, Clara Emma
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Aisha Gomez

6:45     MOTION: Meet as a committee of the whole (JB, MG) Approved.

6:55      Greetings and Introductions

·       Approval of Agenda: Accepted as amended.
·       Approval of Minutes from EPIC June 11th, April 9th Minutes need to be tabled again. Need to watch whole the tape (JB, BP) with corrections. Approved.
      Also…meeting with residents; and …insert, MGr asked about a follow up meeting as promised by CM Cano at resident meeting, nothing was done about the follow-up meeting…directly affected by the water works between Cedar and Hiawatha.

6:55     Announcements:

  • Report on SummerFest (Brad)
  • We received the $25,000 CIF Grant Collaborative Native Youth Arts Collective; Still needs to be approved by the full council next Friday. Ventura Village/APOD received a grant for improvements at the Phillips Community Center; and Midtown Phillips received a grant for the Somali radio station.
  • National Night Out on August 4th, 2015; EPIC will reimburse block clubs up to $100 for block parties; receipts are required (food is NOT included.)
  • Read the Alley Articles
  • Board will go on a retreat for next Board meeting on August 1st. Ellen McVeigh will do training
  • General Membership Meeting is on August 13th
  • Midtown Phillips Festival; open to everyone-would love to have EPIC residents attend. July 25th., from Noon to 8 pm, at Stewart Park.
  • CM Cano’s office holds a monthly conversation series, will hold a conversation on Wed. July 29th on prostitution and trafficking located at 16th Avenue between Lake & 31st St.

7:18     The Roof Depot site and the Water Yard

  • What is the history of the current Phillips struggle
    • Our goal is to find a new buyer for the property, who is able to fund and develop a better plan; one that will reduce pollution, and create a property that benefits the community.
    • Our goal is to “be involved” in these decisions.
  • Current Progress?
    • EPIC revealed our new banner for use in protesting the city decisions on the Roof Depot site.
    • Report on the Water Works proposal meeting: Board Members & Neighbors went to Ways &Means and City Council and spoke for our Plan. We were not listened to, Rep. Karen Clark was not allowed to speak. Security was there because one member of EPIC sent an email saying we would disrupt the meeting. We did insist on voting ourselves before the Council voted.
    • Aisha reported that she and CM Cano met with Greg Goeke with property services for the city. He is completing a light version of an environmental impact study – they will take a few months to complete. He has hired someone to complete it. The city and the agent for Roof Depot are negotiating right now. Much more will be known in about a month. If a price agreement is reached, the city feels that their plans will not trigger EPA involvement as no additional “emissions” would occur.
    • Karen’s law about increasing pollution – they claim it doesn’t apply because they don’t need a permit. Any new permits requested within 1 mile would trigger EPA involvement.
    • Discussed whether increased traffic would trigger EPA involvement.
  • Other comments
    • Pocket parks; there are tons of kids on the south end of the neighborhood, and there is no green “play space” for children and families.
  • What should we do to help make the community vision happen?
    • Find a group of people to approach and engage the owner in conversation
      • How can we work together to accomplish our goals for the future of this space.
      • Can the city tell us who the owner is? Owned by an LLC.
      • Listed as taxpayer: M. G. McGraph, 1387 Cope Ave E, Maplewood, MN 55109
      • Asking price is $8M (appraisal)
    • MHA Nation is interested in developing the space into an agribusiness.
      • Dean Devolis is a principle developer
    • Give this “controversy” more visibility; make the seller uncomfortable selling the property to the city; instead sell to a buyer who improve the property and benefit the community.
      • Press
      • Public, smart, strong, spot protests by residents to the City
      • Talk about the environmental issues
      • Gather a lot of people; more diverse and broader based

7:25     Proposal for Jama Mohamed to buy CPED owned vacant lots in East Phillips

·       EPIC put together a housing proposal several years ago, as part of our priority plan.
·       These lots are all already assigned to GHMC for development in our priority plan.
·       Our interest is that we increase the asset base of the people here, so we have approved funding for these lots to help subsidize these houses.
·       The money has been approved since Christmas.
·       EPIC has already contacted CPED and notified them that these lots have already been promised to GHMC.

8:00     EPIC and Waite House are hosting a Computer Give-Away. Brad…

Comes with the Free Computer Class. Register SOON!  Class starts on Monday   

A corporation downtown upgraded their computer system and are making laptops available to neighborhood organizations. Older, good quality laptops. Register NOW. EPIC will pool their allotment together with Waite House to give away 24 computers. Distribute flyer with more information on how to qualify for this opportunity.

8:10     Speed Bumps- How to get them…Rita

  • CP is proposing that EPIC consider a sizable grant ($1,000-$2,000) to blocks that can raise the remaining funds to install speed bumps.
  • SH suggested we also research how long these speed bumps last.
  • What are the rules about “funding all neighborhoods”.
  • We could add speed bumps in our priority plan; we need to “contract” our money asap.

8:20     Ruling of the EPIC Board Regarding Vacancies, the issues & ruling of Parliamentarian. Two positions open.   EPIC Process for filling vacancies

What happened?
  • One newly elected board member had to move out of the neighborhood. EPIC bylaws require that we ask for a resignation.
  • One newly elected board member was ineligible to run for the board; EPIC consulted with the City’s attorney who said that it was the board’s decision and that the decision was professionally made; the city put a lot of pressure on EPIC to accept the election results and seat the individual, however , Robert’s Rules state that electing a noneligible candidate would be a violation of the Bylaws.

What do we need to do?

  • We need to replace these two members in accordance with our bylaws.
  • We will announce the openings via email
  • We will announce the process and receive nominations (by application) until August 22, 2015; mailed or dropped off at 2536 18th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

8:40     EPIC Home Loan Program

We have our new vendor for home/rehab loan program (GHMC ) is finally under contract. We have been waiting a long time and everything is official now. Brochure was distributed. If you are or become a homeowner in East Phillips you are eligible for up to $5,000 for a down payment.

Minneapolis also has a $7,500 loan through PRG. Call PRG for more information. Ask for Mindy.

8:50     Adjournment