DISTRICT 10 COMO COMMUNITY COUNCIL BOARD MEETING
Historic Streetcar Station
1224 Lexington Parkway North, St Paul, MN 55103
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I. Call to Order: Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
II. Board Introductions
Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Kim Moon, Laurie Erickson, Dick Dian, Penny Spence, Ted Blank, Panod Klongtruatroke, Jody McCardle, Betsy Wehrwein, Ron Edlund, and Tom Eyre
Absent: Barbara Clark
Staff Present: Jessie Bronk
III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda
Motion: Approve the agenda. (Moon-Dian) Passed.
IV. COMMUNITY SECTION:
A. Board Chair Report: Rhett Sweeney, owner of the Sholom Home property, told Jon Knox that they are "going to start banging hard on it" soon. Jon asked community members present to fill out a survey regarding the effectiveness of the District 10 Community Council, available at this meeting.
B. Treasurer’s Report: We have more than sufficient cash to cover our expenditures with approximately $24,000 in cash reserves at this time. Penny has been monitoring the work done by our accountant and has found some errors that she has brought to the accountant’s attention. The corrected financial statement will be available in the near future.
C. Lexington Parkway Pedestrian Bridge: Ben Hawkins, St. Paul Public Works, was present. The project's mission is to separate bike/pedestrian traffic from the vehicular traffic on Lexington Ave. The pedestrian/bike trail will run from Minnehaha to Energy Park Drive. The project is funded by federal money primarily. Start date is projected for April with work to be completed by August.
D. Booth Brown House Conditional Land Use Permit: Major Strickler and Major Ruppell were in attendance to present the proposed changes to Booth Brown House. They are applying for a conditional land use permit from the City of St. Paul. Booth Brown House has been used as transitional/supportive housing for youth for 100 years. Ramsey County has approached them to provide transitional housing for young adults, who are in danger of becoming homeless. They propose beginning with 11 young adults, expanding to 16 maximum. Housing will be short-term, of up to 30 days (time-limited because of funding). They will initially house young adults between the ages of 18 & 21 but will expand to ages 16 to 21. Everyone housed there will be there voluntarily. The plan is to work with other agencies to provide support services, including mental health services if needed. The goal is to get the young adults functioning independently in the community or to re-unite them with their families when appropriate. The program has funding for two years. Background checks will be done before admission. Those with felony records will be excluded. They will be supervised 24 hours per day. If problems with youth residents arise in the neighborhood, contact Major Arnel Ruppel at Booth Brown House at 651-251-3502, ext. 101.
The Land Use Committee has voted to support Booth Brown House's application to the city for a conditional use permit and brings this recommendation to the Board.
Motion: Recommend approval of the conditional use permit that the Salvation Army is requesting for the Booth Brown House to be used as transitional housing for young adults at risk of becoming homeless. (Moon-Edlund) Passed.
E. Possible Funding for Chelsea Heights Playground: Tim Smith, PTO member from Chelsea Heights Elementary, was present to ask for a letter of support. The Land Use Committee has recommended that the board send this letter. The Chelsea Heights Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization has presented its plans for the campus, including installing new playground equipment, providing an outdoor classroom, other nature focused activities and landscaping the campus. The PTO is partnering with the Saint Paul Public School District to apply for the Neighborhood STAR grant. The grant will be matched by funds and in-kind volunteer service on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The PTO is also working with the Capital Regional Watershed District to install a rain garden to alleviate run-off on Hamline Avenue and to provide environmental educational resources to students. The City of Saint Paul Northwest Como Recreation Center is located in the same building as Chelsea Heights Elementary School and serves approximately 3,000 participants yearly. Chris Harkness mentioned the need to get kids and parents off of Hamline Ave. for safety issues.
Motion: Send a letter of support for the STAR Grant application for the improvement of the Chelsea Heights/NW Como playground. (Moon-Spence) Passed.
F. Open Sub-district 3 position: No one has stepped forward to fill the open Board position. The seat remains open.
G. Miscellaneous community discussion: None.
V. BOARD BUSINESS SECTION:
A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes & Financial Statements:
Motion: Approve minutes of the last meeting. (Moon-Harkness) Passed.
B. 2012 City grants: Jessie Bronk has been working on the submission of the 2012 grants. She sent a draft to the board prior to this meeting. Much has stayed the same from the 2011 grants. She updated some of our planned events.
Motion: approve the grant revisions for 2012 (Moon-Spence) Passed
C. District Plan ad hoc Committee- internship: Chris Harkness has not yet had a chance to write the job posting for the internship position, but will do so soon.
D. The Monitor- monthly article: Dennis Wolf, the editor of the Midway Como Monitor, called Jessie and asked for a monthly article of approximately 700 words regarding news from District 10. Jessie will coordinate the articles, and committees and board members will assist her in writing them. It was suggested that Jessie create a schedule of writing assignments, so contributors will know in advance when their submissions will be needed.
E. Staff Report (Jessie Bronk): Jessie is working on writing the city grants. The community garden group is progressing nicely. They are working on finding a space. A request was sent to the State of MN for some land on Snelling for the community garden. The next meeting is April 4th. The Pool opening will be June 9th. Jessie has been attending the planning meetings. The planning committee has asked if we have any suggestions for speakers for the event. Activities will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Parks and Rec will be at our next board meeting in April to present to the community. Staycation plans are in progress. The art crawl and garden tour will continue. Lyngblomsten will participate this year. Planning continues for the neighborhood garage sale. People have already been calling with concerns about Hmong Sports Festival and planning processes for this year. Lee Helgen has coordinated community meetings about the festival in the past. Chris suggested that Jessie should contact Amy Brendmoen's office to suggest a community meeting involving District 10, District 6, the Lao Community, and the St. Paul Police, as has happened in the past. Jessie is looking to get a group of block leaders to volunteer to update the block leader list and start a block leader directory. Security cameras and signs will be erected in the park this spring and throughout the year.
F. CRPAC Update: Paul Kolias was not present. Last month's CRPAC meeting was canceled, but that decision was not widely publicized by CRPAC. Playground plans are being made for Como Park. We need some more consistent information about developments in the park.
G. Committee Updates:
a. Land Use Committee: Kim Moon reported on support for Booth Brown House and STAR grant for Chelsea Heights playground. Land Use has worked with Gabe's on their request for a variance for St. Patrick's Day. Gabe's will come to the next Land Use meeting to discuss planning for variances for future events.
b. District Plan Ad Hoc Committee: Chris Harkness reported that the committee has been meeting monthly. They have been reviewing the old plan and determining where the issues, which remain current, fit into the new city template. They are currently looking at big picture issues.
c. Neighborhood Relations & Safety Committee (Ted Blank & Betsy Wehrwein): Betsy reported that Jessie is working on the Staycation. The committee is reviewing their charter and working on a work plan and master calendar for committee activities. Jody McCardle suggested adding a senior/children focus to the block club leaders' communication (how to watch out for their health and safety in our neighborhoods).
d. District Operations Committee: Jody McCardle reported that the committee has updated their charter and put together a work plan. They plan to develop a spreadsheet for donors and do two fundraising requests per year. Future plans include researching other grant opportunities to support the work of D10.
e. Environment Committee: Ron Edlund reported that the committee is meeting tomorrow night. Roger Bergerson did a presentation on the history of Como Park this past Sunday at Lyngblomsten. It was standing-room-only. A presentation on native plants is planned for April 15th at St Timothy's Church. The committee is working on an adopt-a-lake program for cleanup of Como Lake on a monthly basis. The city is willing to support the effort with clean-up materials and pick up of the trash that is collected. Como High School has an Environment committee. HHH Job Corps has a requirement for public service. The committee is going to try to coordinate efforts with groups in the community.
f. Bylaw Review ad hoc Committee: Panod Klongtruatroke reported that the committee is meeting next Monday at Java Train and reviewing the proposed additions to the Bylaws. Goal for completion is October.
V. Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 8:50.
Motion to adjourn. (Spence-Moon) Passed.
Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary
These minutes were approved on 4-17-2012.