District 10 Como Community Council
Neighborhood Relations Committee
March 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, Barbara Frick, Sharon Frisell, Marsha Milgrom, Rhonda DeBough
Guest: Josh Witte (intern)
Review Russ Stark’s meeting on February 3, 2009 concerning the mayor’s budget.
Discussed that this meeting was basically a brain storm for Mr. Stark to gather ideas on where the city could cut costs and possibly be able to save the Midway Library. Several D10 residents attended this meeting.
Mr. Stark separated the attendees into groups to discuss things that could be cut, things that could generate revenue, etc.
Putting parking meters into the park was brought up x 4. Mr. Stark indicated that this is a tough thing to push for as the park has always been free. This has been a topic discussed on numerous occasions.
Chris expressed the concern that if parking is charged for, what will the impact be on the neighborhoods surrounding the park. Will more people park in the neighborhoods vs the park due to the money needed? It was discussed that the neighborhood is already saturated on the west. By charging, it may help reinforce the free shuttle. In addition, by putting meters in, it may help those trying to go green, use the shuttle thus helping in traffic. These are impacts that will hopefully be addressed in the D10 traffic meeting that is set for May 2009.
Update on the Como Park Pool.
Marsha handed out an update on the Aquatic Center/Pool Replacement and Study Area Board Report. This will be provided to the board as well. Discussed the efforts to inform the neighbors of the upcoming March 18-19 meetings to help design the pool. Question raised by the group is what the process is in place to decide what plan is selected once the pool designs are made up from the meeting of the 18-19.
Went over the flyers that have been distributed. Josh has gotten many out, but still has some to disburse.
Update on the North Dale Cell Phone Tower.
Committee reviewed what was going on with the North Dale cell phone tower. This is a land use issue, but felt it important to discuss as neighbors are concerned about were the planning stages are. Ms. Kelly Sweneth responded to where the current process is at. Her email response is provided below for review by the neighborhood members.
Ms. Kelly Sweneth – FMHC Corporation - via email – informed of the following: No additional community meetings are scheduled as of right now, the most recent meeting was held at the North Dale community center on January 13th. The next public hearing would be part of the zoning process where the city will notify all neighboring residents of the proposal and dates of the planning commission and city council meetings where the item would be considered. At the planning commission and city council meetings, anyone from the public is welcome to come and speak on the proposal. The lease needs to be in a final form before submitting the zoning application to the city, so right now [she] couldn’t tell [D10] what the dates of those hearings will be.
[T-Mobile has] not made decisions on the power source as of yet. It is up to Xcel Energy to tell T-Mobile where they can bring in the power source. Construction will need to be scheduled so that [T-Mobile] can avoid as much disruption with North Dale’s activities and only after [T-Mobile is] able to obtain all of the required permits. Pouring the tower foundation and erecting the monopole to completion of construction is usually a four week long process, but it is not a constant 24/7 construction process. If there are times during the day that the neighborhood and North Dale are concerned about disruptions during construction, T-Mobile will be sensitive to that.
Update on the Node Study and meeting with D10 neighbors to review and meet with Howard Paster, developer at the Lexington/Larbenteur gate way.
Discussed Land Use’s attempts to keep neighbors informed of this are of D10. District 10’s Land Use Committee would like to schedule a community meeting for neighborhood comment on the Lexington-Larpenteur Node Study that the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation created in 2008. The meeting will also address Mr. Paster’s concept plan for the intersection.
Discuss content of business flyers.
Reviewed of initial ideas. Rhonda is going to provide info she would like included concerning the welcome wagon and the block club, etc. Chris is going to take the paragraph describing D10 and incorporate that into the flyer as well.
Discussed putting something in the flyer concerning contacting D10 for advertisement, for information facilitation, as well as putting info on the D10 link.
Josh Witte (intern) to discuss the Google Map for businesses as well as update on the neighborhood block program and flyers.
Josh informed that he has Sub district 1 mostly flyered with sub district 2 and 3 in the works.
Josh has also created a business list from the google map features. In addition, he has created an interactive google map of the business locations. Josh will talk to Matt of Communication Committee about getting a link to this site.
Discuss attempts to get notice out of Don Ganje’s March 10th Community Meeting to discuss the park history and what are its future visions.
Rhonda informed that we have approximately 400 names on the email. Will be a blast. Also the Como Alliance will also be trying to get individuals there.
Work on inviting Michelle Furrer to be a part of our committee and work on getting a resident representative on the Como Friend board.
Marsha met this week with Jackie Sticha, Como Friends President, and Michelle Furrer, Como Campus Manager, to learn about their functions and where neighbors could have an impact. Marsha shared what she knew of District 10 interests: a strong desire to keep Como Park a clean, safe and livable neighborhood. Many Como neighbors already support the Zoo and Conservatory, and the Park as a whole, in many ways. They would like more involvement. The three talked about mutual interests, including Friends membership, Zoo improvement projects and District 10 marketing opportunities.
Rhonda also spoke with Michelle Furrer. She has expressed interest in attending committee meetings. It has been expressed that Como Friends is interested in working with D10 to raise revenue of the Como Park. Have common interests with the park. Como Friends also appear sensitive to parking, traffic, and noise issues that neighbors are concerned with.
Review of Lancer K.
We reviewed the Lancer K with the City of Saint Paul. The K is in effect until 2026. We reviewed an amended 2008 K. Questions were raised with respect to parking, security, noise, operation of hours, etc. In particular, questions were raised concerning the operation hours and whether there is a process in place where the operator and the neighbors can be consulted to help facilitate agreed upon operation hours. Chris will follow up with Mike Hahm to see if he has any answers.
Job Corp update.
Sharon attended the last meeting of the Community Relations Council (CRC) at Job Corp. She reported that the Center has entered into a contract with a new operator, MINACT. Josh confirmed. MINACT has made some changes to the organizational structure, with some staff added and some previous staff let go. There are 2 new leaders to run the trades. The Center director is still there (Dave MacKenzie). There are other changes that have been made to the organizational structure, including counseling being grouped with the trades, rather than as a separate function. These changes focus on a team approach and greater continuity of care/supervision for the students’ vocational training, academics, and life on center. Meetings of the CRC take place quartlerly, and the next meeting will be heldin May. Job Corp is seeking additional membership on its committee and business owner volunteers that would allow kids to participate in paid or unpaid internship opportuinites with businesses. Job Corps is also looking for ways to help students obtain community outreach. Sharon also indicated that the stimulus package was discussed. There is a potential that the HHH Job Corps may get funding from this package for renovation of the dorm facility that the Head Start daycare is located in, which would allow single parents (primarily women) with children in the Head Start program to live on campus.