January 17, 2017 Minutes

Armatage Neighborhood Association Meeting 

Meeting was called to order at 6:31 pm by Denis Houle.

 ANA board members in attendance: Ryan Antkowiak, Tara Brown, Sara Emmenecker, Kelly Falsani, Denis Houle, Steve Johnson, Bri Keeney, Michael Kootsikas, Laurel Luxenberg, and Judy Vecere

Others in attendance: Nikki Lindberg (ANA Coordinator), Nikki Frederich (Park Coordinator), Brad Bourn (Park Board Commissioner), Linea Palmisano (City Council Member), Kendal Killian (City Council Policy Aide), Me’Lea Connelly (Armatage Resident) and 2 other Armatage Residents

 Park Board Update – Brad Bourn, Park Board Commissioner

  • Park Board & Minneapolis City Council passed a 5M capital budget to improve the infrastructure of parks, schools, pools, etc…
  • Capital pool has increased from 5M to 11M due to a levy for park improvements.
  • All members and mayor unanimously agreed the time has come where this was necessary
    • Most parks and facilities are approaching 50 years old

Tot Lot Update

  • This has been on the agenda since 2014 but it kept getting pushed to the next year
  • Updating the Tot Lot has already been identified as a project for THIS year
  • There has been $231,000 allocated for Tot Lot improvements; project manager and staff to go on-site in Spring/Summer with construction in Fall of 2017. Will seek out preferences from neighborhood and if more money is required, decisions will need to be made on how much, when, etc… A long-term plan with phases is very possible.
    • Ideas/Concerns to share…. (Ma’Lea, Bri, Tara, Nikki, Judy and Denis)
      • Concerns – safety; a lot of traffic around the tot lot. Also parking is an issue (which adds to the traffic) due to the rental community (street parking). The overall goal is to simply have a more protective environment for the kids. Better maintenance consistency would be appreciated as well.
      • Ideas – a track within the park so kids on vehicles have a designated place to play, improvements to the basketball court so the teenagers who use the court don’t crowd the tots playground and equipment. Sound control perhaps with landscaping vs. fencing. Neighbors have complained about the noise from the basketball court.
    • Questions/Responses (from Brad Bourn)
      • Maintenance is a challenge when it isn’t connected to a rec center. Also, the tot lot in particular isn’t connected to the neighborhood park system so it gets neglected. An open dialogue with Brad Bourn and/or Nikki Frederich is a good start.
      • Basketball can be improved. A better court could look more appealing and dampen the sound. Should a full court be considered? It tends to get more use but may come with more noise.
      • Benches, and other aesthetic improvements is low-hanging fruit in the project
      • Landscaping – hedge walls would help delineate the borders of the park, alley, and other areas, etc…
      • Court replacement, playground equipment are bigger ticket items which require more long-range planning.
      • Lighting would typically come from a different budget pool. Is this needed?
    • Next steps…. Brad to find out who the planner is and then will schedule a time for him/her to come out and seek input and discuss what goes into a comparable project.

City Council Update – Linea Palmisano, City Council Member

  • City-wide update – City Council voted today to allow bond proceeds to be used for reinvestment of premiums received vs. mandated debt servicing
    • Makes MPLS more consistent with other cities throughout Minnesota and offers more flexibility with the income being received from bond offerings
  • Internal audit to review park board employee safety; primarily Forestry
  • Kendal Killian, replaces Ken Dahler
    • New to the team; excited to introduce
    • 15 years of labor organizing experience
  • Renter Advocacy update (Linea wanted to know how are event went; sorry she couldn’t attend)
    • Only one attendee at the renter workshop
    • Was a good learning experience; the attendee didn’t even realize she lived in Armatage
    • Should translate to a focus on awareness as we try to engage with our community
  • As an elected official, there is no maternity leave (Linea is due Monday) but she will step away a little bit from items like our monthly meetings BUT she will always represent us with any voting
  • Minimum Wage discussion – how does Armatage want to be involved?
    • General Public discussion
      • None scheduled in SW but Linea would like to know if and how might we want to be involved
        • What can be done? Discussion surrounding…
          • Agreed upon a format that promotes learning first, not just opinions being shared. Ala an educational forum, panel discussion to provide information so attendees can make an informed decision. Important that the opinions are balanced and that the originators of the idea are there to represent their groundwork.

Park Update (Nikki Frederich, Park Director)

  • Wednesday Family Yoga Night, Begins February 6:30pm-7:30pm
  • Fire & Ice is this Friday but we have a pool not an ice rink
    • Rescheduling to January 28th
  • Monday, June 19th – Movie in the Park – Peewee’s Big Adventure
    • Include an ice cream social? Support and funding from our group
  • Toddler Playtime: Monday Nights 5-6:30pm 

Committee Updates

Community Engagement Update (Bri Keeney)

Renter Initiative Event – January 7th event

  • Not well attended but it is clear more awareness is necessary
  • Tot Lot – previously discussed
  • Happy Hour update
    • Happy with Maude but not thrilled about having to have the Happy Hour end 30 minutes earlier; will look into a 8-10 time slot.
      • Would like to pursue this time slot. Ryan to check in with Todd from Café Maude on what days may be available. Will try Red Wagon as a plan B.
    • Have a topic/theme for each happy hour in an effort to drive additional attendance.

Coordinator Update (Nikki Lindberg)

  • Fix It Loan
    • Approved to increase to $50,000.
    • Replenished with $45,000 from un-contracted funds to expedite the program.
      • In time will need to allocate 5k more
    • Annual Meeting
      • Discussed moving it to March; short-time frame to change from May to March
      • Concern surrounding getting people to attend, vote, etc….
        • Food truck?,Mini-festival?
      • aMEALiorate
        • A coordinated effort to engage strangers to a meal. One person hosts and then other people attend to share ideas, enjoy a meal, and spread good cheer.
      • City conference (4/1)
        • Attend if you can; a great conference and incredible food

Treasurer Update (Judy Vecere)

  • Previewed via email. Highlighted in meeting. Budget is on track and cash flow is good. 

Secretary Report

  • Approved 

Coordinator evaluation

  • Nikki is doing a great job
  • We appreciate her efforts

New Business

  • Provide content to the newsletter
    • Park Board profile
  • NCEC/Neighborhood 2020
    • Lobbying city council to continue neighborhood funding
      • The art of hosting; training session to get the right people in the room to lead/present content meetings
    • March 8th; The art of hosting
      • As many of us that can be there the better

Meeting was adjourned at 7:53 pm.