BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, September 17, 2018 – 7:00 p.m., Bryant Square Park
Board members present: Joy Gottschalk, Dan Williams, Carl Arrell, Kellie Hanson, Erik Brenna, Pat Collins, Steve Wohlford, Dick Fiala, Ryan Fisher, John Dukich, Dirk Nicholson
Board members absent: Gabe Moreno, Briana Daymont, Valerie Hurst, Brian McDonald
Also present: Chriss Joyce (TNA Interim Coordinator), Stacy Sorenson (City of Minneapolis NCR Specialist), Heather Bray (local business owner)
Called to order: 7:00pm
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Bri will step away from TNA for a few months. Carl will temporarily assume the position of president.
Secretary – Due to a technological issue, last month’s minutes were incomplete and need some cleanup. Dan will do that and have them available for the October meeting.
Treasurer – Chriss updated the year-to-date expenses and revenue and will bring a draft budget to October meeting. Chriss and Brian will send the final version out for board review before next meeting, in preparation for a vote in the October meeting.
Council Member Schroeder Update
The city is currently figuring out how to address the homeless encampment near Franklin and Hiawatha. However, most homeless and housing services are provided by Hennepin County rather than the City. The City has until the end of September to develop a plan for temporary housing and addressing the needs of all residents of the encampment. One possible relocation site is Roof Depot site, where the City would create one or two on-site public health centers as well.
The City’s Department of Public Works bought the Root Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood with the intention of consolidating many of their maintenance trucks in one location. The site was a long time polluter in the neighborhood and the City would clean up the site. Neighborhood groups would like to utilize part of the site for various improvement projects like workforce development and agriculture but require 3 acres for their plan to be viable. The City can only make 1.5 acres available, and would have to find another site for maintenance otherwise. Both the City and neighborhood groups would like to use the existing building on the site. Discussions are ongoing.
The 2020 plan is moving forward with input from the community. Jeremy said that for the plan to be successful, it’s critical to get residents to informational/feedback meetings, and Jeremy is looking for suggestions on how to reach out to residents. He holds at least three community conversations per month, and he is also organizing a bike safety public event in the beginning of October.
Roof Depot Site
East Phillips is an underserved neighborhood and has been designated “green zone” by City to help improve quality of life. The neighborhood has problems with industrial pollution and drug use. To help combat these issues, neighborhood groups would like to utilize three acres of the City-owned Roof Depot site for urban farming, jobs development, and affordable housing. The City is currently unable to provide three acres, but discussions are ongoing. Joy circulated sign-up sheets for support and more information.
Ballot Measure to Repeal the “7 Acre Rule”
Heather Bray (owner of the Lowbrow restaurant in the Kingfield neighborhood) advocated for a City ballot measure to remove restrictions on restaurant (not bar) liquor sales. Currently, unless a restaurant is located on 7 acres of contiguous C1-zoned property they can only serve wine and beer, not liquor. Craft cocktails are now booming and small neighborhood restaurants would like liquor licenses but cannot get them due to the “7 acre rule”. An exemption process exists whereby a state legislator can propose a law to exempt a specific business from the Minneapolis charter that controls liquor licenses. 25 restaurants have done so but this process is incredibly cost and time prohibitive and not surprisingly many of these exemptions went to larger restaurant groups, not smaller neighborhood establishments. The City Business Licensing office has seen no uptick in neighbor complaints due to these 25 exemptions. The ballot measure came not from restaurants themselves, but from the Minneapolis Charter Commission which saw frustration in the state legislature at having to deal with Minneapolis-specific issues. The state would rather have cities deal with this themselves. The City council doesn’t have jurisdiction because liquor licenses are City Charter issues and thus require a public vote.
Heather, representing various restaurant owners, asked for a resolution from TNA in support of the “Yes on 1” initiative. The Kingfield neighborhood recently passed one. If TNA does not want to pass a resolution, Heather asked that TNA consider informing residents in a non-partisan manner about the ballot measure.
Steve made a motion to pass a resolution to support on “Yes on 1”. John seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, none opposed. Motion carried. The board discussed what concrete action it would take beyond a resolution of support; Steve advocated at least a Facebook post indicating the board passed the resolution and directing residents to further information. The board decided to table further action and possibly revisit at the October meeting.
Minneapolis Demographic Survey
Stacy described the Minneapolis Demographic Survey, which is done every two years the City to gather information about City boards and neighborhood organizations. Ideally these boards would reflect the demographics of the city, but there is no way to know without surveying them. Stacey distributed surveys to present board members, who filled them out and returned them to Stacy. Board members not present will be sent a Survey Monkey link.
Steve asked about the scope of community questions for our initiatives and how specific will the items we ask for community approval for be. Stacy suggested putting initiatives together as a package (including strategies) and ask for a yes/no for the entire package at the October community meeting. Ryan suggested that if some part was voted down we remove it from the package and return it for a vote. The board will present our plan for overall spending of $125,000 over 3 years and then call for an attendee vote. Over the next week Chriss will put together a list of initiatives to share with the community before the October meeting. Chriss already posted a notice on the TNA Facebook page and in the e-newsletter about these initiatives and the approximate dollar amount to satisfy the city’s 21 day notice requirements.
Chriss will update staff hours for each initiative based on Sally’s feedback and send out an updated spreadsheet within the next two weeks. Board members will indicate support for the initiatives via the spreadsheet and then formally vote on the entire package in the October board meeting before the community vote.
Our City NCR funding requires that a certain amount of TNA funds be dedicated to “housing.” With the demise of the home improvement loan program a number of years ago, it is harder to meet these requirements. With this in mind, the board agreed to dedicate any remaining housing money to the “Facilitate increased access to Tangletown housing for individuals and families that are disadvantaged” goal, after other housing-related initiatives have been funded. The Beautiful Purposeful Spaces committee will then decide the best course of action to utilize these funds, which could be something like a partnership with the City of Lakes Community Land Trust.
Dirk brought up some issues with the rebranding and signage which he previously emailed to the board. Steve and Dick gave some background on the rebranding process. The board discussed investigating ways to better fit the logo onto signage, and referred further discussion and decisions to the BPS committee.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary