February 9, 2017

EPIC Community Meeting Minutes 02-09

02/09/2017, 6:30 – 8:50
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, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass.
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass.
Board Members Not Present:
Members: Brad Pass, Jolene Jones, JoseLuis Villasenor, Alfonso Cruz, Paul Pacheco, 
Hannah Lieder, Hahma Abdi, Pat Fleetham, Amy Pass, Gabe Pass, April Johnson, Crystal Rance, Steve Sandberg, Craig Seifert, Westin Martin, Sven Glades
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Peter Mclaughlin, Dean Michalko, Kyle Mianulli, Carrie Aspinwall

6:30     Social Time/ Greetings and Introductions

6:45     Approval of Proposed February 9th Agenda, 
            MG, LD, Approved 
Approval of General Membership Draft Minutes,
           JB, BP, Approved

7:00     Announcements:

o Next EPIC Board Meeting will be March 4th, 2017, Saturday at the Park 10:00 am to 12:00 noon;

o   Next EPIC Community meeting will be March 9th, 2017, Thursday at the Park 6:30 to 8:45 pm.
o   Nominations for the Board: Members of East Phillips seeking election to the Board of Directors, whether nominated by themselves or another, should pick up the eligibility papers, sign them and turn them in to an EPIC Board member in the next few weeks.
o   Hiawatha Campus Open House-Saturday, Feb. 11th, 10:00 am -  11:30 am, East Phillips Park, Informational meeting about the Hiawatha Campus Expansion at the site formerly known as the Roof Depot site. Please join City of Mpls. Staff, CM Cano and Representative Clark to share ideas; community should be engaged in this project.
o   CPED New Housing Guidelines for vacant lots. A whole new way of dealing with this has been developed, with new funds available, especially for the Phillips neighborhoods. There will be a meeting on Friday morning 10:30-Noon at the Penn Ave Urban League will focus on residents. 

7:10     County Transportation Department- Dean Michalko, Project Engineer and Kyle Mianulli,  communications

·      Presentation and Q and A

Peter McLaughlin
Reviewed the county’s contributions to Phillips neighborhoods, and continue to invest in this neighborhood. Here to discuss two bridges over the Midtown Greenway, one on Cedar and one on Portland. These are both over 100 years old. We would usually stage this more separately, but having to address large 35W reconstruction in 2018. There is no question that this will be disruptive, but these bridges need to be replaced.

Dean Michlko
Discussed what the bridges will look like, how you will get around during construction, what to expect. Six large illustrations were provided. May 2017 the bridges will close; will reopen in December 2018. There will be some minor closures of the Midtown Greenway for up to a week per time. Will try to minimize the disruption, will set up roadway detours (Portland to Lyndale; Cedar to Hiawatha). Trail detours are also planned (East 28th Street; 5th Avenue). More details are available on the website. Current bridge is a 3-span with 30’ spans. The corridor is listed on the National Register of Historic Bridges. The 3-span look is very important to them. The current piers are not actually structural requirements for the bridge. In spite of drawings, plans include 3-span bridges; spans will be a bit wider than current bridges.

Advantages by using a single contractor to coordinate the construction at the same time. Closures will be limited in length. Will have to do excavation to get the old bridge out; concerns about the effect of construction on existing properties nearby the two sites. Original bridges were built 1914-1916 and were low cost investments by the railroad. Improvements planned include widening the bridge by 12 feet. This will expand the driving lanes and the pedestrian sidewalks. Aesthetically, will work to make the bridge blend in with the other bridges in the sightline. Been very busy since July 2016 working with design and will move quickly to select a contractor in March.
   SHPO, CFU? Who are these orgs, and what do they do?

·      Q and A

  • Transitions: How will you address transition from wider lanes to narrow lanes again? Plans include making smooth transitions on each side of the bridge on Cedar Avenue.
  • 29th is a major school bus route: will you set up something for safety for the children? Will be sending out notifications about construction/contractors are working north of 29th and shouldn’t have vehicles or other construction equipment causing a problem.  Need to give at least a month’s notice. Some buses come from cities outside Minneapolis to pick up children (Edina, for example.)
  • 26th St and 28th St are already super busy and have lots of traffic congestion already.
    • In particular, intersection at 18th St and Chicago.
  • Advance signage (2 weeks) will be put up notifying folks that the bridge will be closed.
  • Consider adding some 4-way stops to protect local traffic/vehicles. Will observe and react to traffic problems, especially safety issues.
  • Concerns about large city trucks, safety, how new traffic from City public works site will impact neighborhood during bridge reconstruction. Have been working with the city – meeting monthly – as planning has progressed.
  • Neighbors who use public transit and Metro Mobility. What will happen with the buses? Haven’t seen their plans. Metro Transit is aware of the plans, and
  • Suggestion: invite traffic to visit EPIC next month.
  • Improved lighting; steeper slopes will be lit, and lights will be provided on the trail. Plan to eliminate the flat ledge at the slope/foundation.
  • How far down are the footings for the right and left piers? Plan does accommodate possible future streetcars, although not necessarily in the manner originally expected.

County will be sending out regular emails, so send email to greenwaybridges@hennepin.us, or sign up online at www.hennepin.us/greewaybridges.

8:00    Roof Depot and Hiawatha Campus
-Update $40,000 City Grant use of solar in challenged communities.   
EPIC would like pay-as-you go $10,000 contract w/ Professional Consultant Dean Dovolis
- Planning Group may seek organizer

EPIC has worked to be part of the decision-making process for developing this site. We want to hire two people to assist with this very challenging project. We have been battling the city about the site, yet the city recently obtained a $40,000 City Grant on our behalf.

The board of EPIC has recommended that EPIC set aside $10,000 to pay Dean Dovolis to serve as a consultant on how this site is developed. Dean has been working with CM Cano and others, working along with EPIC all along.

MOTION (Withdrawn when 1st vote at November GMM for $15,000 for review was pointed out): EPIC approves in concept, the retaining of Dean Dovolis as a consultant, subject to presentation of a contractual agreement with the neighborhood, not to exceed $10,000. PF, JB,

2nd VOTE, for Plan mod and conformity with Bylaws: See November GMM.
MOTION: EPIC will offer up to $15,000 to DJR Architect to advise and consult with EPIC on responding to EPIC’s interests and representing the needs and interests of EPIC with regard to the roof depot design project. BP, LL, Approved.

8:15     EPIC seeks to lease Office at Welna's building,  2433 Bloomington- We have determined what those structural issues are and believe this is the closest thing to a real possibility we will find.

EPIC has been looking for an office in East Phillips for 3 years. There is nothing that is handi-cap accessible. The board wants to create this office space by raising funds to make this property accessible.

Recommended by the EPIC Board (BP seconded)
MOTION: EPIC will secure a lease for the downstairs unit of 2433   Bloomington Ave. S. for up to $900/month as a temporary EPIC office until it either finds the funding to make it accessible or finds an alternate location for an EPIC office. Approved.

8:25     Karen Clark Updates

No bonding bill last year or the year before; nothing being spent for two years; reasoning – legislature wants to use these funds to give tax breaks. Hoping for a bonding bill this year (session ends in May).

·       KC discussed a bill that she would like feedback on. When someone commits a crime that requires a geographic restriction, breaking the restriction would go back to being an enforcement tool (parole violation). The City says that this helps the neighborhood (safer).
·       Other discussion:
o   City laws regarding minimum wage, sick leave, etc. are being curtailed by bills that would restrict cities from making these laws.
o   A bill to take away the Prairie Island created fund and others created to advance solar and wind power, and move it into an “energy” fund.
o   The real ID bill. MN has been one of the few states that have refused to join this program. The feds are moving toward this as a requirement by 2028. This impacts legislation affecting issuance of undocumented driver’s licenses.
o   MN AG and Washington Judge issued an order that stopped the Trump ban on immigrants which was successful.
o   Create a special fund to assist homeowners who want to insulate their homes but have asbestos in their walls or attic.
o   Efforts to “wipe out” state environmental regulations.
o   How to protect/help homeowners with lead-pipe plumbing.
o   Seeking funding for four “urban agriculture” projects, including the Roof Depot site.

8:40     EPIC needs New Board Members

Applications on line at EPIC website: www.eastphillips-epic.com. Turn in completed application forms to any EPIC board member

8:55     Adjourn