June 11, 2013 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
June 11, 2013 – 5:30 p.m., Bakken Museum

Board Members:  Kathy Cobb, Meg Forney, Ian Kees, Gary Knutson, Richard Logan, David Rhees, Aaron Shaffer, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  In attendance:  Chelsea Adams, Rodgers Adams, John Czyscon, Rebecca Harnik, Josh Neiman, Kerri Pearce Ruch, Ingrid Remak, Jennifer Swanson.

Secretary’s Report:  The May minutes were approved as read.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer John Abraham-Watne reported that there is a $12,836.20 balance in the NCEC account and a $562.93 balance in the NRP account.  

Kerri Pearce Ruch (for Katie Walker): Kerri spoke to us about the parking audit tool.  It was developed by Nelson\ Nygaard for the BART system in San Francisco.  The first time they used the parking audit tool for the SW LRT, they looked at five stations, including West Lake and West Lake-Beltline.  They recently did an update and had a workshop regarding the tool.  The tool provides one way to look at Park and Rides.  It looks at trade offs between surface parking and an integrated development.  Not every station location is appropriate for a Park and Ride.  We should avoid parcels where there’s high development potential.  There is not a Park and Ride planned for West Lake, but there will be one at Beltline. The next steps will be to use the tool in action planning.  They will work with the Met Council to get accurate data to tweak.  They will look at structured vs. surface parking and right size.  Kerri said that bus facilities are planned at the West Lake station on HCRRA land.  There is a need for parking and vehicle management strategies for the West Lake station.  We don’t want to encourage more vehicular traffic.

Jennifer Swanson (for Council Member Betsy Hodges):  Jennifer said that you can now register your bike with the Minneapolis Police Department online or through 3-1-1.  This will give you a better chance of recovering your bike if it is stolen.  She also reported that there are a number of new Nice Ride stations that have opened recently, including one at Sheridan and Upton, one at Lake Harriet bandshell and one at The Bakken Museum.

Chelsea Adams (Community Crime Prevention): Chelsea distributed a number of handouts, including a resource list, “Securing Your Home and Property,” and “Child and Teen Safety Tips and Resources.”  She said there are currently only 4 block leaders in the neighborhood.  We can have block leaders for a block or for an apartment or condo complex.  Chelsea will send a map of block leaders.  The consensus is that we should help recruit block leaders.  There was some discussion about the recent luring incidents.  There is currently no update on the lurings.  Richard Logan volunteered to get crime information to put on the website.  National Night Out is Tuesday, August 6.

Ingrid Remak (The Loppet Foundation):  Ingrid explained that The Loppet Foundation is a non-profit that is dedicated to improving the trail experience.  Every year they do a large Loppet event.  The event used to finish at Lake Street.  This year they are looking at other options.  One option involves coming to the west side of Lake Calhoun.  This option will require minimal road closures and will use the Lake Calhoun Center parking lot.  It also would allow the potential use of the Minikahda Club.  The course would be used for two mornings of longer races on February 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  They would use West 36th Street and would have snow on half of the street.  They are currently in the process of completing permit applications.  Meg Forney noted a concern about emergency vehicle access given the usage of West Calhoun Parkway.  They would also like our involvement.  Ian Kees volunteered to be the contact.

Rebecca Harnik (Midtown Greenway Coalition):  Rebecca spoke about the Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis, which is a one year study by Metro Transit of alternatives to connect the existing light rail to the new SW LRT.  They have currently narrowed it down to three options:  1) a turf track streetcar on the Greenway between West Lake and Hiawatha, 2) enhanced arterial bus with limited stops and the capacity to stall red lights, 3) a combination that would include studying having the bus connect to Snelling and University.  The Midtown Greenway Coalition supports the streetcar option.  There have been two open houses.  There will be a third set of open houses in the Fall to announce the alternative selected.  A motion was made to support the turf track streetcar.  Rhea will draft a letter of support.

Adopt-A-Greenway:  WCNC’s commitment to adopt the Greenway expires in June.  The Board voted to renew our adoption of the Greenway from Chowen Ave. to Dean Parkway.  This means two clean-ups a year.  It costs $75 to renew.  Rhea will submit the paperwork.  Aaron Shaffer proposed an additional donation to The Midtown Greenway Coalition.  He suggested matching CIDNA’s donation of $400.  There was some discussion of the proposal.  There was a question of where the funds would come from.  Can we use our Citizen Participation Program funds for donations?  Rhea will look into this and will report back.  

Co-location options:  New freight rail co-location options have emerged, including at grade co-location or tunneling south of the Lake Street bridge.  Aaron Shaffer reported that 60 homes would be taken for co-location, whether it was tunneling or at grade.  If co-location happens and the freight rail becomes permanent, it will look very different than it does now.  They will need a 25-foot right-of-way on both sides of the line.  It was suggested that the best thing to do was to go to the June 13 meeting about freight rail.  

The Bakken Museum proposal:  John Czyscon, the Bakken’s Development Officer, presented the opportunity for WCNC to sponsor The Best Days of The Bakken, July 16-20.  David Rhees stepped out the room during the discussion, in accordance with our Conflict of Interest policy.  There are three levels of sponsorship available:  $1,000 – Premier, $500 Supporting and $250 Associate.  We asked about having a WCNC presence at the event.  John said that was a possibility, but it wasn’t connected with the sponsorship – it was a community partnership.  The Board voted to sponsor the event at the $250 Associate level, contingent on WCNC having appropriate funds we can use to pay for the sponsorship.  

Board Officer Election:  All of the current officers are willing to serve again.  The slate was moved and the Board voted to approve it.  David Rhees will remain Chair; Richard Logan – Vice Chair and John Abraham Watne – Treasurer.

City of Lakes Community Land Trust:  We will invite Jeff Washburne from City of Lakes Community Land Trust to attend our July meeting.  

Board Retreat:  The Board Retreat will be Thursday, June 27.  We will approve the agenda via email.  Dinner will be $15 and there will be a cash bar.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, July 9.  

The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.