Thursday, July 14, 2005

Epic General Membership Meeting - July 2005

CDBG = Community Development Block Grant
EBM = EPIC Board Meeting
EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee = East Phillips 17th Avenue Community Garden Steering Committee
EPIC = East Phillips Improvement Coalition
GMM = General Membership Meeting
GI = Green Institute
MPR = Minnesota Public Radio
NNO = National Night Out
NRP = Neighborhood Revitalization Program
PRG = Powderhorn Residents Group

Directors Present: Carol Pass, Andy Engebretson, Albin Dittli, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Cynthia Aguirre, Rosie Cruz

Members Present: Ryan Brueske, Laverne Turner, Rachel Dittli, Brad Pass, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Jane Thomson, Stephanie Allen, Amy Pass, Marcelino Reyes, Alfonso Cruz, Sherzad Kordian

Directors not Present: Earl Simms, Hannah Lieder

Meeting was called to order at 6:40 by CP. AD chaired the meeting. Agenda was distributed. Minutes from the last two EBM were distributed.

Motion to approve agenda with addition of a Report on Board Director Terms. Motion passed.

The minutes from the June 9, 2005 GMM will be presented at the August GMM.

Court Watch Committee
The Court Watch Committee will meet on the 2nd Friday of each month, at 10:30 am.

Liga Hispana de Biesbol.
There will be an all-star game on Sunday, July 24. Tony Oliva will be there. 1:00 PM at Parade Stadium. $2.00 adults, kids are free.

Terms of Board Directors
The following terms were assigned to Board Directors by acclamation.
One year terms: AE, AD, CP, HL
Two year terms: CA, MG, RC, LL, ES

24th & Bloomington Condos
The project includes the equivalent of 35 condominiums on both sides of Bloomington Avenue. This project is part of the VIP development project which was designed to incorporate a strong, secure design to protect the neighborhood. PRG is working on their last request for funding which will support 8 units as part of the community land trust. These condos will be sold to owners at 50-80% of median income. It is unlikely that they will be able to put a commercial space on either side of Bloomington; it is not a viable option. There will be community space in each set of condos. PRG will present an update on the condos at the August GMM.

The process on our application is essentially done with the exception of getting two different recommendations regarding the budget portion of the application. David Rubidor recommended to EPIC that we send a new budget through. Charlie Ravine of MAPS recommended to EPIC that we submit the last four years of financial statements. CP will determine whether we must incorporate the last four years financial reports into our 501(c)(3) application, or may we begin with the 2005 budget.

CDGB Funding
EPIC has about $4,000 available for community organizing expenditures but must take steps to access these funds. Robert Cooper recommended that EPIC remove all references to “Executive Director” in our Financial Policies and then these policies should be ready to submit for accessing these funds.

Block Club Meeting and Crime Patrol
AP reported that the 2500 Block of 18th Avenue has been meeting at 5:30 every Friday night for a picnic with kickball and visiting. They invite any residents to join them. It is a good way to keep the area safe and to get to know your neighbors.

A small group of people from Midtown and East Phillips got together to talk about the problems on the 25th Street corridor to talk about strategies. If you are interested in learning more or attending meetings, please contact Amy Pass.

LL reported that she and AD incorporated the comments from the June GMM into the survey. The survey was reviewed by the directors at the last EBM and it is ready to go. LL worked with Jay Clark regarding possible neighborhood projects, including implementing the survey.

New Policies and Procedures
Motion (EBM)
Persons wishing to distribute materials at EPIC board meetings or general membership meetings shall submit the materials to the chair to be passed out at the discretion of the chair at that meeting. Motion passed.

Motion (EBM)
Requests for copies of previously distributed documents from EBM or GMM meetings will be provided for a fee of $5.00 per page at the discretion of the Secretary. Motion passed.

Motion (EBM)
Personal attacks, whether written or stated, are prohibited by Robert’s Rules of Order and will not be tolerated. Motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report
CA reported that we have opened the new account and all signers are set up on the account. The current balance is $2,175.06. There is a check to be deposited in the amount of $400 which will be used to extend our liability insurance.
Community Garden
CA reported that the EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee met last week and completed the Use Agreement to be submitted to the GI. There are lots of plots available. The committee passed a motion to add EPIC to the EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee checking account. CA is the interim liaison to the GI. GI asked to have an “official” contact person. EPIC needs to elect another director to the EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee. There are only four people on the EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee right now and one more is needed. EPIC passed a motion in the past that there should be two EPIC directors on the EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee. This appointment of a second director to the EPC 17th Ave. Garden Committee will be taken up by the EPIC board.

NRP Concerns
The projections for future NRP funding indicate a large drop. This is the result of a shift in tax revenues and the method used by the State Legislature in determining the funding. NRP Funding may end in 2009 – it was originally a 20 year plan. Many citizens want NRP to continue. The City has reduced commercial tax revenues – the source of NRP funding - more than 50% since 9-11. There is also a slump in downtown property values since 9-11. The City Council is looking at the remaining money and debating whether NRP funds are available to the city for other spending projects. Some council members say that if the funds are not “contracted” they are available. CP recommends that EPIC research the cause of these reductions in funding to neighborhoods. Phase II funds must be committed to housing at a rate of 70%. EPIC needs to figure out how to spend our remaining Phase I funds. The former board wanted to move the entire $200,000 into Administrative expenses. The survey can help us determine where to spend the money that remains from Phase I. This is a part of our strategic planning that must be done.

Community Center, Report on Training Meeting
LL reported that Jay Clark invited members to attend free community volunteer training next Wednesday night 7-9 PM at Bracket Park. LL shared keys to getting more community involvement in meetings/projects including:

addressing issues that are important
meetings/projects are a little bit fun
getting the word out/publicity
community brainstorming
adjourning on time

National Night Out
NNO is August 2, and there is now a $40 fee to block the street this year. RB reported that MPR is looking for people who want to share their NNO experience.

Greenway Report
There are efforts to organize “rainwater” gardens including one near the GI and planting has begun. There will be a Midtown Greenway progressive dinner; you must be a member of the Midtown Greenway to participate.

Franklin Station Town Homes
SA reported that the owners of the town homes are requesting a letter of support from EPIC to ask the city to permit parking along 24th Street.

Motion (CP, MG)
Motion to send a letter supporting parking along 24th Street between Bloomington Avenue and 17th Avenue. Motion passed.

Strategic Planning for a Community Center in East Phillips
LL led a discussion of community needs. Members shared ways that a community center could benefit each member. Ideas included:

Litter and Crime impact/connection
Feel safe
More money from the government
Education (English~Spanish)
Getting to know your neighbors
Communication with neighbors beyond your block
Making people aware of what’s going on around them – positive or negative
Better reputation outside the neighborhood
Unity toward specific objectives
Ownership of neighborhood – pride
Safe places to play with young children

BP pointed out that EPIC and Jordan may be the only two Minneapolis neighborhoods with parks that don’t have a community center. LL is willing to inquire of other community centers regarding financing. Maybe some East Phillips members should go and see some of these places.

Motion (MG, CP)
LL will inquire further regarding what it would take to finance a community center, and bring back more information. EPIC members will support her in that investigation. Motion passed.

Agenda for next GMM
Address litter – anti-litter project

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Mary Gonsior, Secretary
July 14, 2005 (FINAL)
Holy Rosary Church

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