Armatage Neighborhood Association Meeting
Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by board president Denis Houle
ANA board members in attendance: Sarah Broich, Bri Keeney, Denis Houle, Judy Vecere, Steve Johnson, Jeff Forss, Laurel Luxenberg, Tara Brown
Others in attendance: Nikki Lindberg- ANA Coordinator, Nikki Frederich- Park Coordinator, Councilmember Linea Palmisano, guest from Save Our Minneapolis Parks (Margaret), 1 interested neighbor- Dave DeNamur
Save Our Minneapolis Parks
Guest speaker spoke about parks referendum:
Emphasized difference in neighborhood parks vs. regional parks- they are funded differently
- Neighborhood parks depend exclusively on property taxes
- Regional parks get a wider range of funding
There is currently a 15 million/year funding gap for neighborhood parks and a risk of closing these parks
Reasons to support referendum- 7,000 kids use these parks, quality of life, space for community gatherings, fairness/equity in maintenance/upkeep of parks
Current problem is getting this on ballot: need 7 members of city council to put on ballot. Would be an increase in property taxes, but group believes it is a good value. They are requesting that people encourage council members to support this on the ballot. If it gets on the ballot, there will then be a campaign to encourage voting for it.
The tax increase would translate to approx. $65 more per year for median price home
Guest distributed handout showing park information specific to Armatage Park
Visit website for more info: savemplsparks.org
The group is currently trying to send someone to each caucus to present this resolution
- Yesterday was Armatage ice rink final day (Lyndale Farmstead Park is still open)
- Spring/summer sports registration starts on March 2nd
- Summer program brochures are available online
- Movie in the park will be “Where The Wild Things Are” on 8/8 (same night as festival)
- The movie at Kenny Park will be “Annie” (the new version)
- The Kenny egg hunt will be 3/19 and held at Armatage Park. Nikki F. may ask ANA board for money to support; she will communicate with Nikki L. about this.
City Council Update: Councilmember Palmisano
- Announced that the first 13th Ward Forum is tomorrow regarding implicit bias training (at Studio 2 at 46th and Bryant) Police officers will be present as well as other presenters. The next one will be on environmental services.
- Kenny resurfacing- this is happening this spring
- 54th street construction- there will be a 5 year moratorium on any additional work after project is completed. There will be bike lanes- losing parking on south side of street.
- Organics recycling- Armatage signed up at 34%. Board shared with councilmember that our goal is to increase to 40%.
- Workplace recommendations- the major updates were provided at last month’s meeting. The council will receive recommendations from the workgroup by the end of this month.
Councilmember presented her thoughts on this. She currently does not support adding it to the ballot for the following reasons:
- Feels that the 20 year proposal is extreme
- Believes property taxes would increase too much for tax payers
- Resolution as written doesn’t name neighborhood parks specifically
- Believes annual budget process is better than referendum
- Park board gets 18.3% of city tax money, and also additional money from the state
- Wants to be thinking about taxpayer contributions as a whole
- Councilmember prefers working more closely with parks board- she believes there is a better way to fund the parks.
- She appreciates the needs for the funding and is working to find a solution, but doesn’t believe the referendum is it. She wants to make sure we are responsible with taxpayer dollars.
A board member asked about alternatives- Councilmember said one idea is to build into levy, perhaps a 5 year timeline
There was a question asked about how we got to a place with such a large funding gap. The answer was that parks were initially built with one time federal money. Now, some of the new parks are making plans for sustainable funding.
A board member suggested that the 2 groups to connect to write a proposal that they could both agree on.
There was a question about other cities that do this well. Councilmember talked about Dakota county and their 20 million dollar referendum.
There was a question about the status of body cameras for police: Councilmember is on public safety committee and there is a meeting tomorrow. Councilmember doesn’t want to hold up movement on this, but wants to see policy first. Not sure what will happen at this meeting; will report next month.
Safety Committee Update
Community Engagement Committee Update
- There is a group organizing board HH
- Tara Brown is leading the organics outreach
- Bri Keeney is connecting with Nikki about ideas for reaching out to underrepresented residents in the neighborhood
Summer Festival Committee
Update was emailed (see post for details)
Jeff Forss asked about sponsorship for businesses and it was agreed by the festival committee, that as long as the sponsorship process was followed, he could be an event sponsor through his business
- Welcome packets- board members should take packets to deliver
- Bank account updates: Sarah Broich motioned to add Denis Houle to the ANA bank account. Seconded by Judy Vecere. Motion carried (seven aye, one nay).
- Park updates: Park board is holding public meeting about health of bird sanctuary
- Ideas from Nikki F. asking board to think about funding some smaller things at the park building. Examples were adding bottle fillers to the water fountains- Nikki getting estimates from city for this. Another idea was expanding the park building trophy case (estimate might be around $2000)
- Nikki L. reported we still have $10,800 at CEE of unrestricted funds.
- Generated annual meeting ideas:
- Paul Thissen- Denis will contact him
- Get to know you activity- to get people talking
- Biking theme
January minutes were approved via email
Utility box art wrap idea from neighbor. The neighbor who made the suggestion left information with a board member and said she would help with the application process. It costs $50. Jeff Forss moved to pay $50 toward the art wrap pending approval by city. Seconded by Tara Brown. Motion carried. Bri Keeney will contact Cynthia (neighbor who brought the idea to the board) and tell her to pursue.