May 16, 2017 Minutes

Armatage Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting

Pizza dinner from 6:30-7:00pm, provided by the ANA featuring Red Wagon Pizza and Pizzeria Lola.

Meeting was called to order at 7:02 by Denis Houle, President

ANA board members in attendance: Tara Brown, Kelly Falsani, Denis Houle, Steve Johnson, Michael Kootsikas, and Laurel Luxenberg, Judy Vecere

Others in attendance: Nikki Lindberg (ANA Coordinator), Nikki Frederich (Park Coordinator), Linea Palmisano (City Council Member), Marion Greene (Hennepin County Commissioner) and 30 other Armatage Residents.

Development presentations: Armatage Montessori School – the architects presented the plans for the new entrance and main floor remodel, as well as the plans to convert the old cafeteria into classroom space. Questions were raised regarding addressing the traffic concerns, primarily at morning drop-off, but this is not addressed in this project. Questions were also raised over the funding of such a project in light of the drastic cuts facing school programming and staffing. It was noted that construction projects come from a different funding source.

A representative for the developers for the new construction at 59th/Washburn had the plans for the single-family home that will be built on this previously vacant lot.

Board Elections

Denis introduced those running for the Armatage board. Ballots were distributed and included a short statement from each person.

Park Update (Nikki Frederich, Park Director)

  • Fall sports registration begins soon
  • As of June 1 all park property will be designated tobacco free
  • Movie in the Park, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Monday, June 19

City Council Update (Linea Palmisano, Ward 13)

  • The police are partnering with neighborhoods, organizations and concerned citizens as summer is a time of year that always experiences and increase and crime. Questions about not seeing patrol cars in our area. It was noted that we are one of the areas in Minneapolis with the lowest rates of crime. Despite impressions in increased crime, our crime rates have stayed the same for the past 5 years. Social media may be contributing to this misperception. It was also noted that it is important to get to know your neighbors, as there will never be enough officers to have a presence at all times. Minneapolis and Armatage are big participants in National Night Out (NNO) as well as block parties throughout the year.
    NOTE: The ANA would love to know how we could help support you and your block in hosting a block party!
  • Organics recycling set a stretch goal of having 40% involvement city-wide by July of this year. We hid 41% in March, and Armatage neighborhood is a strong participant.
  • The first round of gypsy moth spraying took place in ideal conditions, and will have maximum benefit. Her office and the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture hotline received no calls, so appreciates the great communication about this process, and that people seemed to be informed.
  • 54th construction is expected to be completed by late September.

Guest Speaker (Marion Greene, Hennepin County Commissioner)

Marion provided current bike maps and a sheet of County activity highlights. She gave a quick overview of how they are structured and operate, similar to a corporate board. The seven-member board manages a $2 billion budget, which focuses on safety net services such as health and human services. They also oversee roads & bridges; the county library system; and waste disposal, including recycling and composting. Question about the Southdale site. The library will be redeveloped into a multi-use facility, which is currently gathering ideas, and will still house the library. The court services have moved to the Bloomington office and other services moved into Southdale Mall. Affordable housing was mentioned, which is a top priority for county projects.

A recent survey of the trash coming to the downtown incinerator revealed that 1/3 of the material received could have gone to organics recycling. The county will be encouraging cities to get these programs going through financial incentives. If you are a small business owner, the county offers a program to help set up recycling (check it out online). A question was asked about how much waste has already been reduced by the current organics recycling programs (will need to get that answer). The current organic material is taken to a facility in the suburbs where it is turned into high quality compost that is used in county projects.

The board views our tree canopy as a county resource, and is working to combat the estimated 17% of tree loss due to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The county has developed a gravel bed nursery to improve the quality of the trees being planted (much more can be learned online).

Door prizes were drawn.

Board election ballots were tallied. Elected: Tara Brown, Kelly Falsani, Joel Federer, Jim Hoch, Laurel Luxenberg, Judy Vecere and Stephanie Vigen. Steve “The Mayor” Johnson was not re-elected. No write-in candidates.

Meeting concluded at 8:10pm

Between meeting email votes:

  • Approved April minutes
  • Approved ending our relationship with GMHC
  • Approved $100 in gift cards for door prizes

Post-It Note Ideas

  • Splash pad
  • Dog park
  • Progressive dinners
  • Co-ed slow pitch rec tournament (vs. other neighborhoods, like Kenny, Fulton, Linden Hills)
  • Block parties
  • Shade over kiddie pool at Armatage park
  • Stop the career panhandlers on Xerxes off-ramp
  • The school needs to address the drop-off/pick-up situation
  • Provide wifi-enabled cameras to houses to be used as neighborhood surveillance cams. The cameras can be connected to the houses internet.
  • Armatage school needs to solve their drop-off/pick-up problem on their property and reduce impact on surrounding blocks.
  • More lights at Armatage playground
  • Would like to turn right at 56th and Penn (no right turns during school hours)
  • Coco space
  • At 6:45am the ramp lights going west on 62/Crosstown are on, and there is no traffic (and east they are not on)
  • Nice Ride in our hood
  • Community solar garden (school roof?) or funding support for residential solar projects
  • Build something to give Armatage an identity
  • Tool library