Minutes - 2/2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009 1:50 PM

 District 10 Como Community Council

Neighborhood Relations Committee
February 12, 2009
Street Car Station
1224 Lexington Pkwy
Saint Paul, MN 55103
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Members Present: Chris Martineau, Chai Insook, Lee Veiman, Barbara Frick, Sharon Frisell
I. Reviewed, Amend, and Approved Agenda.
II. We reviewed the committee charter. Determined that we needed to add the goal from the goals and tasks into the committee purpose. Carter was approved. 

III. We reviewed the committee goals and activities. Discussed how the committee would function and report about what it learns. The Neighborhood Relations committee will primarily focus on the major entities that effect D10 residents. We will also try to include those smaller entities to help foster the relationship. The goals and activities were reviewed, amended, and approved by the committee members. 

IV. Update Committee Members on recent findings/discussion.
a. Chris Martineau’s report of meeting with Mike Hahm – Director of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation.

i. Park. Mr. Hahm has indicated that he would like to hold a community meeting where the public can be educated on the Como Park Area Plan and the work that went into it. He would like Don Ganje to talk about what has been done in the park so far and what is left in the plan to complete. Would like the D10 community to be involved. 

1. Chris went to the executive committee meeting and informed of the same. At this point in time, he is not sure if any plans were being made.

ii. Parking and Traffic. Had a brief conversation with Mr. Hahm on the need for a parking/traffic study for the D10 neighborhood. Some residents have expressed interest in exploring permit parking. A meeting would be planned.

1. Chai informed that he believed that a meeting is being planned by D10 community organizer for some time in May.

iii. Parks and Rec Center. Mr. Hahm indicated that he had no direct knowledge of any rec centers closing, but asked the council to think about the services that these facilities provide. With the governor’s budget, not sure what will be cut out. Mr. Hahm talked about the need to prepare a plan for the city that included areas that could be trimmed. This was a worst case plan. Again, he had no direct knowledge of anything at that point. He indicated that he would be in contact with the council if he learns of programs being cut.

1. Chris went to the executive committee and informed of the same. It was thought that a meeting with Mr. Stark and a member of the Northwest Rec center would be appropriate to discuss the services this facility provide.

iv. Pool. Talked about the natural pool idea and the fact that the city cannot fund a full study. Plan was to talk with the builder on that Friday to see if he would do the study for cheap knowing that the city may not go in that direction. There was also talk about having health code people meet with the builder, but it was indicated that there is no point at this time. Need a plan first before you would actually know what type of changes/variances you may need to the existing pool codes.

1. Discussed the fact that this idea appears to be off the table after the meeting that took place.

b. Marsha Milgrom’s call for help. Chai discussed the fact that Marsha has been granted a small spot to present neighborhood perspectives at the March 2, 2009 Como Pool meeting scheduled at the Street Car Station with the City Traffic Engineers. Marsha is looking for examples concerning the neighbors of como and issues they have with the visitors, traffic, and parking in the area.

c. Website’s to monitor. Saint Paul websites to monitor. Just discussed that can go to www.saintpaul.gov and check off the lists you want to be notified of.

d. Chai reported as follows. He went to the Parks and Rec's event on January 2nd to learn how the picnic lottery system works and was pleasantly surprised to see so many people at 6:00 AM - over 100! The system worked pretty well and people seemed satisfied with the lottery process. This is for people who want to make sure they have the facility booked for those very important events they are planning for the year, like an annual company picnic or a family reunion. Basically, you're given one-half of a raffle ticket when you enter; the other half goes into a box. You fill out your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd preferences for your picnic location/date/time and hope your ticket is called early. The earlier your number comes up the more likely you will get your 1st choice. Chai’s purpose in attending the meeting was to find out how it is that Lancer can advertise on their catering website that they can accommodate a picnic for as many as 9,000 people at Como Park. He called Karen Clark (651/632-2407) who organizes this lottery to ask her about this, and she reported that Lancer, in their contract with the City, is given 2 week-end days per month (from May through September) to rent out the Como Park Picnic Pavilions. What was not clear is if Lancer gets first choice over all others or if its has to wait in line like the others to pick up available slots after the lottery event. What is also not clear is whether or not the city gets commission on Lancer's profits. 

e. Chai also attended the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on January 15th. It was apparent from discussions that Parks and Rec is very proud of the fact that Como Park is the 2nd most popular tourist attraction in Minnesota (2nd to MOA), and because of this fact, Parks and Rec believes that Como Park should be a priority for City, State and Legislative funding. It appears that Parks and Rec plans to make a pitch for a portion of the federal stimulus money, and positioning for part of the Clean Water Legacy Amendment money. This is important to the extent Como Park residents understand the development pressures that are being asserted on the neighborhood from City and Parks institutions. 

f. Chai finally discussed another area of interest for the D10 residents is the talk around rejuvenating the golf program. Last year the City applied for and received a liquor license for the Como Golf Course. It has been expressed that with this liquor license, the hope is to more tournaments at the course. Parks mentioned a study that was done to ramp up the golf program, and they would be implementing some of the recommendations in that study. Currently, Chai has not been able to obtain a copy of this study.

V. Reviewed the business database. Determined that we would not publish this database on line, but would make it available to the public at the D10 office. Barbara Frick has agreed to head up the database. If members make contacts or get info, email the info to her and she will add to the list.

VI. Discussion on Flyer/design of flyer. We discussed preparing a flyer that is passed out as members identify the businesses in the neighborhood. See it working in conjunction with the welcome wagon and the fund raising aspect of the council. Also can give a brief history of the district and how to get in contact.

VII. Adjourned.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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