September 16, 2014 Minutes

Armatage Neighborhood Association Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 6:30 by Board President, Denis Houle.

ANA board members in attendance: Kelly Falsani, Denis Houle, Lance Custer, Sarah Broich, Tom Alagna, Jeff Forss, Nikki Lindberg, Betsen Phillip, Keith Swanson

Others in attendance: Tina Erazmus, ANA staff member; Nikki Friederich, Park Director; Ken Dahler, Staff member from Ward 13 office

Park Update by Nikki Friederich, Park Director

  • Fall sports are in full swing. Lights in Armatage Park are kept on until 9:00 pm. Fall program registration still underway.
  • It was a great partnership between the board and park for the summer festival. A health inspector arrived during the event and the inspection passed without any issues.
  • Park Director made a request for support from the ANA for the upcoming Halloween event at the park. She asked if ANA can pay for half of the horse and wagon hayride ($350). There was a short discussion in support of contributing to event. A motion was made to contribute $350 to pay for half of the hayride.   The motion was seconded and passed.
  • A question was asked about whether or not the park would be affected by funding cuts. Park Director informed the board she is not aware of any cuts affecting the park at this time.
  • There was another question about crime in the park. Park director reported activity seems to be very minor and nothing very out of the ordinary. She also reported that teens are encouraged to come to utilize building from 6-9 (later hours), which has helped with congestion during busy times.

Councilmember Update by Ken Dahler, Ward 13 Staff

Ward 13 staff reported on 3 main things.

  1. The city passed a series of small changes in zoning laws to help with new construction; there was collaborative effort to come up with policies; they are effective October 1st
  1. Councilmember Palmisano is the chair of audit committee. The former director had resigned so there was no staff support for awhile. They now have some top candidates for a new director, and that person will hire 2 other staffers. The audit committee will have a fresh start with nearly all new members.
  1. Mayor Hodges presented her budget and the detailed version came out a couple weeks ago. There is a 2.4% property tax increase proposed. Curbside collection for composting is exciting. Encourage feedback from boards, residents. Body camera pilot program approved. Officers volunteered to participate in pilot. 3 precincts will participate.

A question was asked about the planned park near Vikings stadium- Ward 13 staff said information about this is still unclear.

It was expressed to Ward 13 staff that there might be an organized discussion on the zoning laws at the next city council meeting as citizens are possibly organizing to express displeasure about this.

A board member expressed being unhappy about process that led to the current roundabout on Upton. At the meetings regarding traffic on Upton this option was never presented to citizens and citizens were in favor of other options. The process points to the city not listening to what citizens are saying.

Ward 13 staff member explained that the reason this decision was made was because the largest voice from citizens was saying they wanted “traffic calming.” Public works suggested the roundabout option because stop signs are often not effective at traffic calming. The city will conduct a traffic study while the roundabout is being tried. Most feedback is negative so far but might be skewed. A 4 way stop could still be an option if neighbors continue to provide negative feedback. There is concern about it being too narrow but it was emergency vehicle tested and passed.

Neighbors are invited to look at the conversation about this on the website, Nextdoor.

A couple other concerns were raised:

At Penn and 56th, kids have to push button to get the walk sign and aren’t always realizing it. Would like to change this stoplight to have an automatic walk sign.

With the narrower street on Penn, school buses are having a hard time and hitting the curb.

Good news- the portion of Penn Ave under construction will be open again on Thursday this week!

Neighborhood gateway structure is being constructed for entrance into neighborhood.

There was a question raised about “mother-in-law apartments.” Ward 13 staff member reported it is in the beginning stages and there have been 4 public meetings about it. It is a project of Councilmember Bender. There will be talks around regulations. Currently these are not allowed and there are no rules around it now.

Coordinator Update, by Tina Erazmus, ANA Coordinator

Armatage has been chosen as an organic drop off site. To get started, volunteers will be onsite to monitor the drop offs. Then people will receive a code to access the drop off site anytime. This is the first step in citywide composting. It starts the first weekend in October and drop off times will be Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings 9-12.

CEE discussion- Home Loan Program

  • We have $256,000 for the Home Loan Program for the neighborhood
  • CEE has a November 1st deadline for us to decide if want to continue with them. They charge 5000.
  • GHMC charges 450 per loan
  • Tina presented the option of partnering with other neighborhoods to market together and administer the program
  • The interest on these loans comes back to neighborhood
  • The board needs to decide between 3 options of administering this program.
  1. Stay with CEE which costs 5000
  2. GHMC which costs 450 per loan
  3. Partner with other neighborhoods, combine funds, but interest on the amount from ANA still comes back to the neighborhood.

    There was a discussion about pros and cons of each option with an emphasis on the importance of getting this money available to neighbors as soon as possible.

    A motion was made to pursue option of partnering with other neighborhoods with the stipulation that each neighborhood has first access to their loans, and an option to pull out of partnership on an annual basis. The motion was seconded and carried.
    Tina will email the board if other neighborhoods are not interested in partnering.

CPP discussion

As a board, we need to allocate CPP funds of 30,000/year

Board discussed options of allocating money and came up with the following budget:

  • Staff Expenses 16,500
  • Professional Services 200
  • Occupancy 100
  • Communications/Outreach 6000
  • Supplies and Material 1500
  • Meetings/Community Building events 5500
  • Development 200
  • Total for Contract = 30,000

A motion was made to approve proposed budget. Motion seconded and carried.

NPP Discussion

Ideas were discussed on how to use NPP funds.

Ideas suggested were having a printed newsletter on safety 2 times a year, hosting a block leader training, and hosting a home safety seminar.

A motion was made to allocate $4,000 to 2 safety newsletters and a safety event, including prizes and all marketing.

Summer Festival Recap

Ideas for next year:

  • Wrist bands for kids, better signage, new t-shirts, tickets $1 each, move food truck away from ticket table
  • More food trucks
  • Band was great- feedback was band was too loud
  • Maybe have an iPod with a playlist
  • Magician on stage

Marketplace- went well; would like to do outreach to get more people next year.

Silent auction- would like to grow this next year; need help from board members to follow up on donations

Treasurer Report

We reviewed the expenses and revenues from the festival. Net profit was $1702.08.

There was a motion to approve; the motion was seconded and carried.

A question was asked about whether or not we got reimbursed the $5,000 for the façade grant. Coordinator reported that yes, we did.

New Business

There was no new business.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.