Wednesday, July 17, 2013 2:55 PM


District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting

Historic Street Car Station

1224 Lexington Parkway N, Saint Paul, MN  55108

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

7:00 PM



I. Call to Order: Chairperson Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 6:58 p.m.

II. Board Introductions

Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Kim Moon, Tom Eyre, Jackie Gulbranson, Tedd James, Mary Michalski, Dana Saeger, Debra Pursley and Pete Bolstad

Absent: Curt Stock

Staff Present: Ted Blank

III. Review, Amend, Appoval of Agenda:

Motion: Approve the agenda (Moon-Saeger) Passed.


A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox reminded the board and community attendees of upcoming ComoFest.

B. Treasurer's Report: Tom Eyre reported that we are tracking well with budget and expenses. Our cash balance represents six months of cash on hand. Sponsorship for ComoFest is going well, ahead of last year.  We still do not have a definite plan for fundraising activities, which is a concern.

C. Board Elections: Three board positions remain open: sub-district 1, sub-district 3, and one at-large position. Two nominations were received prior to tonight's meeting; both from sub-district 1. Patricia Grans and Julie Tholen have submitted applications. Julie Tholen was present at tonight's meeting. 

Motion: Elect Julie Tholen to the board as a representative of sub-district 1 and Patricia Grans to the at-large position by acclamation (Moon-Michalski) Passed.

D. Senior Investors LLC/Traditions of St. Paul Update: Rhett McSweeney was present to give an update on the renovation of the former Sholom Home property. They are looking to get the property placed on the Registry of Historic Places. There are state and federal tax credit advantages to being a designated as a historic property. It should take 60 days to determine the tax credit status. The beginning of construction is at least 6 months out. The architects are working on the project currently. Russ Stark has been very helpful. The City has had positive feedback. Rhett estimates construction will take 8-12 months. The facility is estimated to open in early 2015. Filling the facility will be done in two phases. The goal is for affordable housing for seniors. There will be a patio next to the older part of the building. Nothing on the exterior of the building will be demolished. The backside of the building, where a wall hides the chillers, will see the most change. Rhett plans to keep control of the fire station next to the property. Jon Knox asked about plans for State Fair time. If the new ownership group closes on the property before the Fair, there will not be Fair parking on the property. 

E. Miscellaneous Community Discussion: None.


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

Motion: Approve minutes of the May 21, 2013 meeting and tonight's financial statement (Moon-Saeger) Passed.

B. Staff Report: Ted Blank reported that he has been working on ComoFest (July 18-20) and organizing the Como Business Network kick-off event (June 19). Ted distributed a sign up sheet for board members to volunteer at ComoFest. ComoFest community partners include Lyngblomsten, NW Como Rec Center, HHH Job Corps, Como Park Language and Arts Preschool and Childcare Center, and Como Park Grill. Four paying sponsors of ComoFest have also joined this year: Linders, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, TopLine Federeal Credit Union and E-Democracy.org. Twenty businesses have RSVPed for the Business Association kick-off event at Black Bear Crossing. The administrators of all district councils have met with Mike Hamm, Director of Parks and Rec. The topic was improvement of communication. There is a central phone number for concerns and questions (651-266-6400). The next meeting of the district council directors will include a budget presentation from the Mayor's office. The hot rod show is at the Fair Grounds this weekend. Ted has asked the police to patrol early in the morning. Ted recommended that we document and/or film/record any problems. Chris asked if people are allowed to park their cars and "tailgate" on Midway Parkway overnight. The answer was unknown. But hot rod show participants do need to obey the noise ordinance. Lawn parking is not allowed for this event. The newsletter is completed. We received a $2,825 in a COPP grant from Ward 5. This is the same amount as District 6 received, even though we have more costs associated with the boundary change. The August meeting of the D10 Council will be at North Dale Rec Center. The October meeting will be at the HHH Job Corps. 

C. Committee Updates:

a) Land Use: Kim Moon reported that the Land Use Committee will no longer meet at Como Park Grill (formerly Java Train). We will meet at the District 10 office at the Street Car Station. 

A variance request for the proposed dynamic sign at Como Elementary was due to be heard at a recent meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  A variance was needed for the size of the sign.  All requests for variances for such signs at a number of St. Paul schools were pulled from the agenda at the last minute. At the June 3 Land Use meeting, Andrew McGlory, a representative of the St. Paul Schools, showed up without asking to be put on the agenda prior to the meeting. Chair Kim Moon placed him first on the agenda.  He reported that the district planned to move the sign to another location on the Como Elementary property, farther back from the street, which would allow them to keep the proposed size.  Upon repeated questioning by Land Use committee members, Mr. McGlory was not able to answer some basic questions, including whether the sign scrolled. He informed us that the sign now met all zoning requirements and the school district planned to go ahead with their plan to install these signs, even if the neighborhood protested the size and dynamic nature of the signs.  

Motion: Affirm the letter, which had been approved by the Executive Committee and sent to the St. Paul School Board, protesting their decision to go ahead with the installation of a digital sign at Como Elementary (Moon-Bolstad) Passed.

More recently, Mr. McGlory sent a letter and a revised plan to the D10 office. The size of the sign has been reduced and moved further back from the street (Grotto). However, the letter does not mention the dynamic nature of the sign or any modifications to that part of the plan. 

Motion: Approve a letter to be sent to Andrew McGlory, St. Paul Public Schools Facilities, expressing our concern that he is not responding to neighborhood concerns about the dynamic nature of the sign (Moon-Bolstad) Passed. 

b) District Plan ad hoc Committee: Chris Harkness reported that she, Ted Blank and Theo Woehrle have met to plan for the next few months. The next public meeting is September 9th. The topic will be parks. 

c) Neighborhood Relations and Safety: Mary Michalski mentioned that D10 is responsible for Saturday events at ComoFest, so we really need volunteers. The committee has discussed fundraising, including the pancake breakfast. St. Paul Police are open to coming to events, but request a specific topic to be discussed. National Night Out is August 6th

d) Environment Committee: Dana Saeger reported that there is nothing new to report, because the last committee meeting was before the last Council meeting. The tree trek is this weekend. 

e) Executive Committee: Jon Knox requested affirmation of a letter of support for the company that operates the Job Corps.

Motion: Affirm the letter of support sent to Councilmember Russ Stark for the continuation of MINACT, Inc. as the operator of the HHH Job Corps (Knox-Moon) Passed. 

f) Boundary Change ad hoc Committee: Pete Bolstad reported that the committee plans to present proposals for redefined sub-districts to the Council at the July meeting. There was one application from a resident of the South Como area to be part of the ad hoc committee. The committee would like to recruit more volunteers for the committee. Ways to do this were discussed. This low interest is disappointing, given the large number of people from South Como who turned out at the community meeting in January to lobby for the boundary change. 

g) Como Regional Park Advisory Committee (CRPAC): Pete Bolstad

reported that parking on grassy areas in the park was on the agenda at the last meeting. The D10 Environment Committee had raised this concern at our last board meeting. Support vehicles for events are required to repair any damage to the grassy areas. Pete requested that the criteria, which Parks and Rec use for making the decisions, be made more transparent to the community. One of the community concerns is that more vehicles will park on the grass when they see the event support vehicles park on the grass. Pete will bring this concern to CRPAC. He had also suggested to Parks and Rec that event support vehicles have visible permits for parking on the grass. The construction of the playground at Como Park has been delayed. The weather has not been conducive to pouring the resilient surface. Twelve security cameras have been installed around the park. A beat officer will be assigned to Como Park. Construction is beginning on the Soaring Eagle zip line in Como Town. They are looking to expand representation on CRPAC to communities in the greater area of Como Park.   

VI. Adjourn: Motion to adjourn was made at 8:26 p.m. (Moon-Michalski) Passed.

Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary

These minutes were approved on July 16, 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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