Minutes-02/19/2013
Monday, March 25, 2013 8:15 PM

 

District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting

Historic Street Car Station

1224 Lexington Parkway N, Saint Paul, MN  55108

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

7:00 PM

MINUTES

 

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, Ted Blank, Linda Hinderscheit, Kim Moon, Jackie Gulbranson, Mary Michalski, Dick Dian, Laurie Erickson, Curtis Stock, Tedd James, Pete Bolstad, and Dana Saeger

Absent: Tom Eyre

Staff Present: none

III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda: Amend the agenda to move up the presentation on the bike connection to follow the State Fair presentation. Remove District Operations Committee from agenda (it's been disbanded) and replace with Executive Committee. 

Motion: Approve the amended agenda (Moon-Harkness) Passed

IV. COMMUNITY SECTION:

A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox reported that the staff position has been posted. Applications are coming in. The Executive Committee will review the applications at the March meeting and schedule interviews. It is our hope to have someone hired by the end of March/beginning of April. The EC will do the hiring. The full board will vote on the offer letter. 

B. Treasurer's Report: Ted Blank reported that, with one month of the year elapsed, we are tracking close to budget for revenues and expenses for January. We received almost $500 in donations from the 2012 appeal to the general neighborhood. Our cash balance is $25,700, representing 7 months of cash on hand, so we should be able to handle expenses before we start to receive reimbursements from the 2013 City of St Paul grants, which Jessie Currier submitted before her final day of work for D10. We will receive a refund of slightly over $800 from a previous insurance carrier, because we canceled the policy in 2012. An annual financial report for 2012 will be distributed in March. 

C. Sub-District 3 Election/Open Seat:  Debra Pursley has recently agreed to run for the open position. She will submit her application materials to Linda Hinderscheit and plans to be present at the March meeting of the Council. This term is due to end in 2014.

D. State Fair: Gerry Hammer, the State Fair's General Manager, was present tonight. He began with a historical review of the State Fair. The original purpose was to showcase the agricultural potential of the state in order to attract more settlers. The location of the Fair moved around the state until Ramsey County donated 200 acres of land, which used to be a poor farm. The first fair was held at the current site in 1885. The current Grandstand was built in 1909 and was built for horse racing. It was most recently remodeled in 2002-2003. Streetcars used to served the Fairgrounds. In the near future, the Fair will build a transit hub to remove most of the buses from Como. Most livestock facilities were built as WPA projects as were the streets and sidewalks. The Fair is financially independent and receives no government funding. Average daily attendance is approximately 150,000 per day. One of the major missions of the Fair is education regarding food sources. All trash during the Fair ends up either recycled, composted or used for energy generation. The Fairgrounds hosts about 120 events other than the Fair each year. The Street Rod Show is the biggest non-Fair event. In the last 15 years, $100,000,000 was spent on facility maintenance and improvement. 

The floor was opened up for discussion. The car shows and the Color Run were mentioned as stressors on the neighborhood. Chris Harkness asked that the management of the Fair communicate with groups, when contracts are signed, that this is a neighborhood and to treat it as such. The Street Rod Show is a particular challenge to the neighborhood because of the noise and the timing of it (for example, revving car engines at 4:00 a.m.). Chris also asked that the neighborhood be informed about new events, such as the color run, that will affect the neighborhood. The schedule of events is posted on the Fair website and anyone can be added to the email list. Gerry will talk to the Fair Operations department about working with the police to reduce the annoyances to the neighborhood during the Street Rod Show. Dick Dian brought up the problem of overflowing trash containers out in the neighborhood last year. The trash barrels tend to get moved around by people other than Fairgrounds employees and even end up with hazardous waste dumped into them. Gerry is open to suggestions regarding the management of trash in the neighborhood. Gerry will give us a contact person for our concerns.  

E. Miscellaneous Community Discussion: none

V. BOARD BUSINESS SECTION:

A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes and Financial Statements:

Motion: Approve tonight's financial statements and minutes of the 1/15/2013  meeting (Moon-Stock) Passed.

B. Transition Period Staffing: Jessie Currier's last day as the administrator/coordinator of District 10 was February 13. She has taken a new job with the City of Eagan. Jessie has left the office in good shape. Jon and Ted are monitoring emails and phone messages to the office. Ted sent out an e-newsletter next week. Notices for the D10 staff position were posted on the websites of the Council of Non-Profits and the Humphrey Institute at the U of M. Several applications have been received as of this time. The deadline for applications is March 4th.  In the interim, Camillle Schafer, a former D10 staff member, will help with administrative and accounting services for several hours per week.

Motion: Approve the letter offering the temporary contract position to Camille Shafer until a new staff person is hired.  (Moon-Michalski) Passed. 

C. Como Fest Going Forward: The dates for Como Fest have been set for July 18 to July 21. Jessie emphasized that D10 should evaluate its role in Como Fest and what the expectations for the new staff person should be. Jessie spent quite a bit of time on Como Fest in 2012 and advocated for more volunteer assistance for the future. Until a new staff person is hired, members of the Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee are going to Como Fest planning meetings. Mary Michalski is planning to go, with Pete Bolstad as an alternate.   

D. Quarterly Newsletter: The next D10 quarterly newsletter in the Monitor will be published on April 11th. The deadline for articles for the D10 quarterly newsletter is March 20. If we want to publish an article in the Monitor itself, the deadline is the first of the month. Chris Harkness will write an article regarding the progress of the ad hoc District Plan Committee for the March issue of the Monitor. We need articles for the quarterly D10 newsletter to be published in April.  Possible topics are the April Sunday Series presentation and the Neighborhood Garage Sale in May.

E. D6 and D10 Boundary-Next Steps: Ward 5 approached District 6 to help write the City Council resolution for the boundary change. District 6 declined. District 10 has not yet been approached to do so. Jon Knox stressed the importance of brainstorming next steps to be taken within District 10. The Executive Committee feels there needs to be an ad hoc committee to deal with the transition. Volunteers for co-chairs include David Arbeit (former chair of the D10 Council) and Pete Bolstad (current member of the D10 Council).  Panod Klongtruatroke has also expressed interest in serving on the committee. Jon mentioned Ted Sheu as a good resource for legal input. A charter and mission will need to be created. We can't really begin the official work of the committee until the City Council passes the resolution regarding the boundary issue. However, we may be able to begin doing some preparatory work. Pete will try to have a charter drafted before the March meeting of the Council.   

F. Museum Office Lease:  The new lease for the D10 office space in the Streetcar Station is for one year only, as opposed to two-year leases in the past. The rent remains at $600 per month plus covering the Sunday afternoon museum hours. 

Motion: Approve having Jon Knox sign the one-year lease with the City for our office space. (Blank-Michalski) Passed.

G. CIB Proposals/D10 Rankings:  Triesta Brown spoke, on behalf of some residents of District 11, about the Pierce Butler/Lexington Parkway Bicycle Connection Project. Two years ago, the project was ranked as 15th by the Streets and Utilities Task Force of CIB. This is a high ranking for a first time proposal. The proposal was not funded at that time, however. This connection would help people from neighborhoods to the south be able to reach Como Park by bike more safely. Kim Moon had already drafted a letter of support for this CIB proposal. 

Motion: Send a letter of support for CIB funding for a bicycle connection from Pierce Butler Road to Lexington Parkway. (Harkness-James) Passed.

Triesta also mentioned a new CIB proposal for a replacement sign for the Hamline-Midway Library. The sign itself has been designed and funded by the City. The CIB proposal includes lighting for the sign and the library, some benches, and landscaping. Triesta asked for a letter of support. Some council members stated that we needed to see a written proposal with a budget before we could write a letter of support for this new CIB proposal. Triesta will send information to the Land Use Committee before our next committee meeting in March. 

St. Paul Parks and Rec also requested that D10 write a letter of support for the McMurray Field Improvement Project. Kim Moon had prepared a letter of limited support (for the first two phases, but not the third phase). The rationale for not giving blanket support to the construction (3rd) phase of the project was the need for community input after the design phase is completed. The South Como neighborhood will likely also want to have input before construction begins.

Motion: Send a letter of limited support for the McMurray Field Improvment CIB proposal. (Michalski-Harkness) Passed.  

The information for general CIB projects for this year has just come in the mail to the D10 office. Ted will scan the information and send it out to the Council via email.  We will rank and vote on them at our next meeting in March. 

H. 2013 Funding and City Contracts: Jessie submitted the proposals for the 2013 City Grants before she left her position with us. 

I. Donation Collection at D10-Sponsored Events: The Executive Committee had asked the Environment Committee to put out a donations container at the Sunday Series. The Environment Committee has refused to do so, because it had been advertised as a free event. A suggestion was made that future flyers should include the words "free will donations accepted." Curt will bring this up at the next Environment Committee meeting. Ted Blank reinforced the need for all of us to be involved in fundraising to support the budget, especially given City budget cuts.

J. Annual Elections: Due to our recent Bylaws changes, our annual elections are going to occur in April. The following terms are up: Chair (Jon Knox), Secretary (Linda Hinderscheit), one representative from each subdistrict (1-Laurie Erickson ; 2-Tom Eyre; and 3-Dick Dian), and two at-large members (Pete Bolstad and Dana Saeger). All board members, whose terms are up, are eligible to run again for their current positions. Jon would like to know current board members' intents by March 25th. Application materials, for those who wish to run for re-election, are due by April 2nd (14 days in advance of the elections at the 4/16 Council meeting). 

K. Como Regional Park Advisory Committee (CRPAC): Jim Hendrickson reported that a proposed new ride for Como Town was presented at the last CRPAC meeting. It is a zipline/sky ride with a single bucket seat. Only two people will be able to ride at one time. The ride spans the diagonal of Como Town. The tower is proposed to be 85 feet high, and the ride is projected to take 2-3 minutes. Jim and Pete Bolstad (alternate to CRPAC) reported that people at the CRPAC meeting asked about noise and were told it would not be noisy. Several Council members expressed concern about the height of the ride and the continued expansion of commercial entertainment facilities in the Park. We feel the neighborhood should be given the chance to ask questions and express concerns or support. Pete or Jim will contact Lancer (the owner and operator of Como Town) about coming to a Land Use meeting in the near future. Kim will get information out about the meeting when it is scheduled. 

A core sample of the historic bridge next to the Street Car Station showed it was stronger than anticipated and may be able to support pedestrians after all. Railings, which would be congruent with the historic nature of the bridge, could be added. 

The CRPAC committee's membership and future is still in flux and a final decision has not been made. The frequency of meetings will probably be reduced to quarterly. There was talk of combining all the parks together into one committee. Chris Harkness stated that she thought Como should have its own committee because of its position as a Regional Park and the number of visitors it draws each year.  

L. Committee Updates:

a. Land Use: Kim Moon reported that he, Tom Eyre, Linda Hinderscheit and Pete Bolstad met with Josh Johnson, the Community Relations manager of the new Walgreens store at Lexington and Larpenteur on Feb. 10th. Josh listened to our concerns about the fence, the lights and the landscaping. John Kohler, architect for the project, had assured us that fixes for these problems are in process. Josh was receptive to our suggestion to put photos of Como Park in the false windows. This has been done at other stores. His supervisor is also interested in pursuing this. We need to decide how to proceed. Kim will be his contact person for now. Kim will write an article about Walgreens opening for the e-newsletter. The store is opening for business on February 22nd and the Grand Opening is March 11th.  Kim also reported that MTC is coming to the next Land Use meeting to talk about the Rapid Transit busline on Snelling.

b. District Plan ad hoc Committee: Due to the length of tonight's meeting there was no verbal report at the meeting. Reports for January and February were in the board packet.

c. Neighborhood Relations and Safety: Due to the length of tonight's meeting there was no verbal report at the meeting. Reports for January and February were in the board packet.

d. Environment Committee: Due to the length of tonight's meeting there was no verbal report at the meeting. Reports for January and February were in the board packet.

VI. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn was made at 9:32 p.m. (Moon-Blank) Passed

Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary

These minutes were approved on 3/19/2013. 

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

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