February 11, 2016

General Membership Meeting Minutes 02 - 11

February 11, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8:50 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
Phone: (612)  280-8418

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass.
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present: Jean Howard (E), Margarita Ortega (E),
EPIC Members: Carol Hill-Kennedy, George Kennedy, Michael Green, Brad Pass, Lee Samelson,
Guests: Shirley Heyer (Midtown), Miski Abdulle (West Phillips), Leah Lehner(Habitat), Officer Gary Nelson (3rd Precinct)   

 6:45     Introductions:
  • ·       Greetings and Introductions.
  • ·       Approval of Agenda by consensus
  • ·       Approval of Minutes from January 21st, 2016
7:05     Announcements:
  • Alley newsletter is having a celebration  of 40 years: Friday, Feb. 12 at 5:30-7:30 pm at the Global Market.
  • EPIC Board Meeting, East Phillips Park, Sat, 10:00 am, March 5th, 2016.
  • EPIC Membership Meeting, East Phillips Park, Thursday 6:30 pm, March 10th, 2016.
  • Valentine’s Day – February 14th
  • Mexica New Year and Indigenous Nations-a weekend of events from March 11-13. Friday, Kick off -February 26th, 8:00-10 am, Minneapolis City Hall. Speakers from the Dakota and Mexica nations.
  • Bernie Sanders talking on “Black Lives Matter” at North Minneapolis event, Friday, Feb. 12, 3:30 – 7 pm. Tickets required, Capri Theater, Broadway
  • 2nd Annual Women’s Memorial March, Solidarity Shawls honoring Indigenous women, Sunday, Feb. 12th, 11:00 am, Minneapolis American Indian Center
  • Minn. Report back from United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Feb. 12th, Friday, 3:00 -5:00 pm, Sabathani Center, Rm 218
7:20      Update on Police Bikes, Officer Gary Nelson. Motion?

Most bikes used for special events, and for patrolling downtown. Downtown is often congested and they are very useful there. Bikes can be a very effective patrol tool. In the mid-90’s it was an occasional use with random bicycles. It has become a very organized program.

Rapid response team: muster a lot of officers quickly; friendly but also able to manage crowds/demonstrations.
Bike cops for kids: ride around and engage community; do fun things with kids;

Bicycles used now are very high end Volcanic patrol bikes; just purchased 30 for $50,000. The bikes have a lifetime warranty on the frames. The program has evolved a one-week patrol bike training with certified instructors. Maintenance training is also provided, as well as repair tools. Challenges are maintenance of bikes: bent rims, etc. It can be challenging to get bikes fixed as there is no maintenance budget. Repairs have been funded by “go fund me” donations.
Dept. doesn’t really need bikes – but would appreciate maintenance funds. If desired a small group could come and visit the maintenance shop. Another valuable way to fund bicycle officers would be to fund the Bike cops for kids program.


1.     Can EPIC ask for Bike cops for kids to work with children in East Phillips. (Yes, very feasible.)
2.     Can we fund officers to patrol on bikes in EPIC area? (Once officers are trained they will have a very visible presence in the Lake St and Franklin corridors. With trained officers in 3rd Precinct we can look for special funds to use these officers on a buy-back basis to attend events and for directed patrol.)
3.     How can we help with the problem of the lack of maintenance funding? (That is a political matter; funding is based on a priority basis. Much of the “extras” in the bicycle program are donations. Agree there needs to be more of an investment by the city.)
4.     Who can we lobby for maintenance funding? (gary.nelson@minneapolismn.gov.)

EPIC will ask for information about cost of maintenance annually, who to lobby for annual maintenance funding, how to rescind or amend our previous motion approving purchase of the bicycle, and set up a visit to the maintenance shop.

7:35     Progress:  New Home Construction - Noah Keller, Construction Manager for   Habitat, Coming Ground   Breaking and Habitat's home Ownership Program
Groundbreaking is scheduled:

  • May 1 - 2441 16th Ave
  • May 8 - 2435 16th Ave
240 applicants are on the list; letters are sent. Preference is given to someone who already lives in the area. The properties will probably be matched to buyers for June/July. Between the 3 zip codes in EPIC, there are 16 qualified applicants on the list.
Handouts: 2016 income guidelines; financial coaching program criteria. 
New program is starting July 1st
CHECK OUT HABITAT WEBSITE:   http://www.tchabitat.org/homeownership

Habitat always has more applicants than houses so they are setting higher goals. They have increased the range of households they can work with. They have partnered with 9 other agencies to expand opportunities. Twin Cities serves the entire 7 county metro area. 
Coming soon: Buy a home on the open market. If the home needs rehab, TCHFH will help with financing and the rehab.

  1. Where do funds come from? (Private donations, foundations, smaller amounts from government grants.)
  2. Do all homeowners do some “sweat equity”? (Yes, but the number of hours is being reduced.)
  3. Regarding open market houses, does Habitat have to approve the rehab? (Yes, the project manager would have to inspect the house against Habitat criteria/regulations, and would then assist in planning work if approved.)
  4. Would Habitat do large-scale rehabs? (For this program, for houses on the open market, only smaller projects would qualify.)
  5. What kind of mortgages are provided – fixed rate? (Yes.)
  6. What kind of follow-up does Habitat do to ensure the properties are used in the manner intended by Habitat and the funding partners. (Little follow up, but would investigate if a complaint was registered about a property. There are different courses Habitat could take, but none have “a lot of teeth”.)
  7. How to apply? (Start now; go on the website and sign up for the orientation: tchabitat.org/homeownership. You can look at the guidelines, and sign up. Contact one of the Partner/ Referring agencies and begin financial counseling. African Development Center; PPL, Bii Gii Wiin, Build Wealth MN, Comunidades Latinas Unidus En Servico [CLUES], Hmong American Partnership, Lao Assistance Center of MN, Neighborhood Development Alliance [NEDA], Neighbor Works Home Partners.
7:50    Progress:  Speed Bump project for 2400 block of 18th Ave & 2900 Block 16th Ave - Shane Morton CPED.

Most speed bumps are installed after funding is raised. If funds are not raised in advance, the city will assess the property owners individually (over 5 years.) Property owners can opt out of paying. The city will work to implement a simple assessment plan for residents willing to pick up a portion of the cost. 

Step 1: Contact all the neighbors with petition (need 75%).
Step 2: Figure out the financing and present to neighbors.
8:10     Progress on the Swimming Pool; Info from Mpls. Swims, additions to plan
New drawings were available. They will break ground in the fall
8:20     Progress:  Public Safety Cameras - current situation, a Camera for Cedar Field?

Camera’s are less expensive now and we could actually do 2 cameras on Lake St. and one at Cedar Field. We could put a camera on Julie Engebretson’s building, but the city would have to get permission to go in the building and make any repairs. The building owner pays the electric bill. If there is a suitable light pole nearby, it may be the better option.

We need to find out if Cedar Field has a suitable light pole; otherwise we will have to ask the city to have a pole installed.

BP has observed police cameras on private buildings. Neighborhoods may reimburse property owner for electric (perhaps annually).

CP: Neighborhoods retain ownership of the camera (and provide all maintenance expenses), and lease to Police by agreement ($1 per year, for x years, etc.)

The board will review the contract and report on the lease to Police and EPIC members.

MOTION: EPIC will purchase up to 4 cameras within the existing safety budget. CP, RC, Approved.

8:35     Future Changes in our Park - Maps to consider. Responses??  MOTION?

The Park Board has created a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to develop a “master plan” for city neighborhood parks. BP distributed drawings:
  1. Existing Park
  2. Concept A would add a couple more soccer fields at the expense of the baseball diamond and sliding hill. The dashed lines around soccer field indicates a domed field (to be used year-round) but tis goes over the gas main and may not be possible.
  3. Concept B would eliminate the two existing soccer fields and build a sledding hill and open lawn, and move the premier soccer fields on the north edge.
Challenges: lack of parking for year round soccer; this is a pedestrian neighborhood and lack of parking might allow more use by East Phillip people. Also people who are making decisions need to know there is a major north-south gas pipeline buried under the center of the park, which will prevent building  over it..
  • Non soccer players wouldn’t mind the walking path
  • More picnic tables, barbeque pits
  • Small picnic shelter, small slab, electrical outlet
  • This is a “neighborhood” park (not regional); focus on neighborhood needs, and safety.
  • Not underused…the baseball diamond “couldn’t be used” for first two years.
  • It would be wasteful to prematurely remove any components of this recently completed park.
8:55     Annual Meeting - Date April 23 or 30?

Park is available on April 30th. Let’s make the reservation.

8:57     Summer Fest - time to start thinking,  June 12th 

Park “program planning meetings” are held the last Tuesday of the month, 11:30 am including lunch (this is the “Programming Partnership” meeting).