District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting
Historic Street Car Station
1224 Lexington Parkway, Saint Paul, MN 55108
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I. Call to Order: Chairperson Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
II. Board Introductions:
Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Debra Pursley, Pete Bolstad, Julie Tholen, Kim Moon, Mary Michalski, Ryan Flynn, Kevin Dahm, Joao Medeiros, Bill Lipkin, Amy Perna and Tedd James
Absent: Patrick Tschida and Frank Dolejsi
Staff Present: Alison Kirgis
III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda:
Motion: Approve the agenda (Moon-Dahm) Passed
IV. COMMUNITY SECTION:
A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox did not have anything additional to report other than what was in the board packet.
B. Treasurer's Report: Julie Tholen reported that the 2015 budget would be discussed later in tonight's meeting. We ended 2014 in good financial condition.
C. Open at-large Board Seat Election: No nominations were received prior to tonight's meeting, and there were no nominations from the floor. The term for this seat is up in April 2015.
D. District Plan Revision Presentation: Chris Harkness, chair of the ad hoc committee, and Ted Blank presented the draft of Chapter 3: Transportation. The stated goal is: The Como Park neighborhood's connectedness will be enhanced by increasing the walkability and bikeability of the neighborhood, by enhancing mass transit opportunities, by improving the safety of street crossings for pedestrians, and maintaining a solid road infrastructure.
E. Miscellaneous Community Discussion: Amanda Welliver presented some information about the Big Picture Project from Neighbor Works Home Partners (three CIB proposals). The request is for $500,000 and the proposal covers the geographic area of several district councils, including District 10. The money would provide affordable home improvement lending for neighborhoods near the Green Line.
V. BOARD BUSINESS SECTION:
A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes and Financial Statements:
Motion: Approve tonight's financial statements and minutes of the 01/20/2015 meeting (Moon-Dahm) Passed.
B. Staff Report: Alison Kirgis reported that she went to a training session at the U of M focused on volunteerism and leadership development. She requested that committee chairs submit agenda items to her in advance of their meetings so she can post them on the website in order to encourage community attendance. Alison met with administration at Como Park Senior High School. The Principal is planning to attend our March board meeting. They would like their students to get more involved in volunteering in the community. Planning for ComoFest begins soon. The new owners of Como Dockside will attend the March board meeting. There will be a community meeting soon regarding Xcel tree trimming in the neighborhood. Ward 4 has invited us to submit a proposal for a $2,400 COPP grant for 2015.
C. 2015 Budget Draft Review: A draft budget was distributed to board members prior to tonight's meeting.
Motion: Approve the 2015 budget as presented in the board packet (Moon-Dahm) Passed.
D. CIB Task Force Appointees: Jon Knox reported that the Executive Committee has chosen CIB representatives from D10: Marsha Milgrom (Community Facilities); Greg Lauer (Residential and Economic Development), and Frank Dolejsi (Streets and Utilities). Alternates are Kevin Dahm (Streets and Utilities, Residential and Economic Development) and Joan Kaluza (Community Facilities).
CIB Project Rankings: The District Council Priority List for 2016-2017 CIB Proposals was discussed. The recommendations are not due until March 23rd, so we will take some time to review projects individually. Alison will send out a spreadsheet for board members to use when rating proposals.
E. Como Crafts Action Item: The proposed Como Crafts Activity Day would serve as a pilot project for community building activities. A segment of the community will be given the opportunity to come together for a day of crafting at the Street Car Station.
Motion: Support the implementation of a pilot Como Crafts Activity Day for Saturday, March 7, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m. (Flynn-Michalski) Passed.
a. Executive Committee: Jon Knox presented an update on the April board member elections. Ryan Flynn has agreed to run for Board Chair. Joao Medeiros has agreed to run for Secretary. The terms for their current positions were ending in April. The Board Chair is not allowed to chair another committee besides Executive Committee. The Dale Street ad hoc committee will need a different co-chair representing District 10.
b. Land Use: Kim Moon reported that Dave Christianson, MNDot Senior Planner for Freight and Rail, gave a presentation on oil transport via rail at the last Land Use meeting. Several state, county and city elected officials were present. The meeting was well attended by members of the community. The at-grade crossing on Como Avenue is one of the few remaining in the State of Minnesota and is in the most densely populated area. The State is studying ways to improve the safety of the crossing by grade separation: either by an overpass or a tunnel. Kim Moon has invited representatives of the St. Paul Police and Fire Department to the next Land Use meeting to discuss emergency response systems in case of an oil train accident, but he hasn't received a response yet. There is a meeting this Thursday at 4:30 at the Western District Police Headquarters to discuss the peddler issue in the neighborhoods around the Fairgrounds. Russ Stark plans to attend. Ted Blank suggested that Kim remind the Fairgrounds administration that they had promised solutions for problems experienced by the neighborhood during the Back to the 50s Car Show.
c. Dale Street ad hoc Committee: Ryan Flynn reported that the research the committee had gathered was shared at the last meeting. The topic of the next meeting will be identification of the community's primary concerns with Dale Street.
d. District Plan ad hoc Committee: Chris Harkness had no additional update. Chapter 3 (Transportation) of the draft District Plan was discussed earlier in this meeting.
e. Como Regional Park Advisory Committee: Pete Bolstad reported that a meeting was held last week. Topics discussed included: 2014 Legislative appropriation and input from design firms. Changes include street re-alignment and additional parking near the BNSF railroad. Work on the pedestrian bridge will start again in March or early April and is due to be finished in June. Como Dockside is asking the DNR for approval for a dock on Como Lake.
f. Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Mary Michalski reported June 19th has been tentatively set for the Ice Cream Social, but we need to make sure construction on the pedestrian bridge has been completed first and the area is safe. Mary, Ted and Pete are working on updating the welcome to the neighborhood booklet and hope to have it done by the Ice Cream Social.
g. Environment Committee: Frank Dolejsi was not present at tonight's meeting. A committee report was in the board packet. There is a Sunday Series event on straw bale gardening in March.
VI. ADJOURN: Motion to adjourn was made at 8:40 p.m. Passed.
Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary
These minutes were approved on 3/17/2015.