Thursday, September 8, 2005

Epic General Membership Meeting - September 2005

Directors Present: Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Rosie Cruz, Hannah Lieder

Members Present: Amy Pass, Stephanie Allen, Kelly Ridge, Alfonso Cruz, Brad Pass, Mario ??, Sofia Maldonado

Directors not Present: Earl Simms, Cynthia Aguirre

Meeting was called to order at 6:41 pm by CP. MG chaired the meeting. Agenda was distributed. Minutes from the August GMM were distributed.

Motion (CP, BP)
Motion to conduct the meeting as a committee of the whole. Motion passed.

Motion to approve agenda with correction to add announcements: Youth Baseball and Board Members announcement. Motion passed.

Quorum was established at 6:55 pm.

The minutes from the August 11, 2005 GMM were passed with the following corrections:
Pg. 1, CPED, second line: “HOWE program is looking for vacant properties…”

Youth Baseball
On Monday, Sept. 26th the Minnesota Twins will recognize the Hispanic Month of Independence and have invited the Hispanic Baseball League to participate in a special event during their game.

Treasurer’s Report
CP presented the projected budget for 2005/2006 CDGB funding in the amount of $4,000. Existing funds at Wells Fargo in the amount of $2,661.06 has been allocated to Reimbursements for the March 2005 annual meeting, Liability Insurance and additional reimbursements for EPIC business expenses in 2005.

Old Business
The liability insurance has been acquired and is paid.
Letters have been sent regarding parking for the Franklin Station Townhomes on 24th Street. In addition, several phone calls have been made to City Council to try to get the parking signs changed.
The board developed a list of potential candidates for open board positions.
The board has not appointed a second director to the garden committee.
The board has not sent a letter of support for the zoning changes required for the condo development on 24th and Bloomington.
A letter of support was sent supporting the work of the Womens Environmental Institute.
Pending: Pushing the Park Board regarding beginning the community center process.
Pending: Stopping the asphalt plant from coming into EPIC. BP reported that he could obtain copies of the CLIC report. The CLIC report recommended NOT to authorize any money in the 2006 budget for the whole site on the corner of 28th and Hiawatha.
Pending: Replacing Police Officers.

Motion (LL, RC)
Send a letter to the City Council, the Mayor, and City Council candidates stating that the neighborhood is opposed to the establishment of an asphalt plant in that location, right next to the Greenway. The neighborhood would prefer transit oriented residential housing given the proximity of the site to Light Rail and the Greenway. Motion passed.

Motion (RC, MR)
Create a petition to encompass the letter of the previous motion, and begin collecting signatures as soon as possible. The petition must have 50 signatures before being submitted to the City Council, candidates, and the Mayor. Motion passed.

Weed & Seed / Phillips Community Clean Sweep
BP distributed a flyer for the Phillips Community Clean Sweep to be held Saturday, October 15th. Residents are encouraged to clean out homes and garages and place items out for pickup on that date. In addition, breakfast will be served at several locations, and neighbors will go out and clean up the neighborhood. We want residents to clean up their alleys and streets. A lunch will be served at noon at Stewart Park. The event is sponsored by Weed & Seed and local businesses.

Union Jobs
CP reported that the hotel on the Sears site will have union jobs available. These jobs are for untrained adults. These jobs will include training and benefits. EPIC will write a letter to the Union Organizer thanking them for contacting neighborhoods and trying to connect with neighborhood residents.

Parking on 24th Street
The letter has been sent and we are waiting to see it happen. We are calling about every four days for a progress report.

Board Members
Because two directors resigned from the board (moved out of the neighborhood) the board developed a list of potential candidates that we would like to invite to run for election to the board including Mark Welna, Rose Pluvois, Stephanie Allen, Daco Abdi, Aden Awil, Latisce Williams, Amy Pass, Jenny Gonsior. Nominations from the floor: Sofia Maldonado.

Board Directors must commit to attending at least two meetings per month (EBM, GMM) and must be willing to sign the EPIC Board Director contract.


Street Light Committee
PRG has some money to put pedestrian lighting on the two condominium units planned at 24th and Bloomington Avenue. Could we ask Welna’s to do the same? EPIC may have some money for additional pedestrian lighting elsewhere on Bloomington Avenue.

LL and RB drove around the neighborhood and collected a list of two dozen lighting concerns. You can go online at HYPERLINK "" to report these lights out. LL reported 15 lights out or intermittent lights out. There should be a response within two weeks. RB took note of three particularly dark areas (he has funding to remediate these problem areas.) There is almost no lighting in the alley on Cedar between E. 26th Street and Ogema. This is a stretch of about two blocks.

Xcel Energy reported that it costs about $6-8 per month to install your own security lighting. Neighbors could get together to put additional lighting in streets and alleys. EPIC should report this to the City Council and Public Works.

Financial Policies and Procedures
MG presented the proposed Fiscal Policies & Procedures marked “draft proposed 09/08/2005.” This document was developed by the Board over the last month in order to address EPICs current needs. Since EPIC no longer has an executive director, the current policies required some changes. We replaced the responsibilities identified with the executive director by replacing them with board directors. Following a sample policy received from the NRP office and looking at the existing EPIC policy, the board made changes to simplify the policies for current EPIC needs. A question and answer period followed presentation of each section of the policies. A motion will be presented at the next GMM to approve these policies.

EPICs liability insurance has been paid.

Development Issue 1
Gustavus Adolphus is owned by Floyd Olson has submitted an application for zoning changes to permit conditional use to allow a shopping center with residential units above, reduce parking requirements and other zoning changes. There will be a public hearing 4:30 Room 317 at City Hall, Monday, September 19th. This is an inexperienced developer and the property is probably unsalvageable.

Motion (MG, HL)
Letter to oppose all the variances and conditional use permit requested by Floyd Olson for 1626 E. Lake Street and to oppose Floyd Olson as the developer on that property. Motion passed unanimously.

Development Issue 2
29th and Bloomington development. The neighborhood was hoping to put townhomes in this block of property. The city owns two lots here and the neighborhood envisioned three story live-work units that would fill in the block between the chiropractors’ office and the new apartment building. Since there is a shortage of parking on Lake Street and the construction will last about another year, there is an effort going on to get the city to sell these properties in order to build a parking lot here. The owners along 16th Avenue behind the property are opposed to a parking lot. RC stated that housing would be the best choice and would impact the neighboring properties most positively.

Motion: (BP, RC)
Write a letter opposing a permanent sale of this land to build a parking lot. EPIC would only support a conditional lease for a maximum of two years. The lease agreement to include the requirement that at the end of the lease, the property WILL go back to the neighborhood’s proposed development. Motion passed (one abstain, SA.)

Garden Committee
The minutes from August 13, 2005 garden meeting were distributed.

Crime Patrol
The Bloomington Avenue Citizen’s Patrol is ramping up again and is looking for volunteers. Contact Brad Pass.

Picnic in the Park

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Mary Gonsior, Secretary

ABBREVIATIONS CDBG = Community Development Block Grant
CLIC = Capital Long Range Improvement Committee
CPED = Community Planning & Economic Development
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
WEI = Women’s Environmental Institute
September 8, 2005 (DRAFT)
Holy Rosary Church


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