Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association

Minutes from Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hennepin Center for the Arts

528 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 310, Minneapolis, Minnesota

I.          Call to Order and Introductions

            Board Chair Carletta Sweet called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

Other board members in attendance included Gerry Ewald; Andy Hauer; Natasha Heimer, Treasurer; Denise Holt, Secretary; Kim Motes; and George Rosenquist. 

Board Vice Chair Scott Parkin was unable to attend.

Guests in attendance included:  Michael Catch, Downtown resident; Michelle Bruch, Downtown Journal; Bill Dossett, Twin Cities Bike Share; Brian Gorecki and Tim Rooney, Walker Apartments; Corey Olson, Downtown resident; and John Wertjes, Minneapolis Street Furniture Program.

Staff member Christie Rock also attended the meeting.

II.        Consideration of the Agenda

Sweet asked if there were any additions or revisions to the agenda.  Rock noted that the board must nominate electors for the NRP Policy Board elections which will take place in November.  She suggested adding this item under new business.  Being no other changes or amendments,

Sweet moved and Hauer seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  The motion passed. 

Bill Dossett introduced himself and gave a brief overview of the City of Minneapolis’ Bicycle Sharing Program.  He explained that Paris, which has 20,000 bikes on the street, and other European cities (e.g., Barcelona, Sweden) have demonstrated that by using new technology a web-based subscription program can be successful.  The bikes, which are intended for short distance transportation, not for recreational touring, are locked in self-service kiosks and released to subscribers at the swipe of a card.  The stations are portable to allow for relocation.

Bicycle Sharing is coming to North America (e.g., Montreal and Washington, DC) and the Mayor hired Dossett through the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation to make it a reality for Minneapolis.  Dossett is working with Metro Transit, the City’s Department of Public Works and the University of Minnesota to initiate this program near transit stops throughout Downtown, Uptown, and the U of MN campus.  He will solicit proposals and prepare a nonprofit business plan.  The group is seeking funding from a variety of public sources.  At this point, the bike share group is not doing any private fundraising and hopes to launch the program in the spring of 2009.  For more information, go to

VI.       Land Use Committee Report


            LUC Chair Andy Hauer reported on the following project: 


Coordinated Street Furniture Program John Wertjes from the City of Minneapolis gave the board a presentation on the City of Minneapolis’ Coordinated Street Furniture Program.  The purpose of the program is to improve the public amenities on city sidewalks.  The City considers the following as street furniture elements:  benches, transit shelters, trash/recycling receptacles, information/way-finding structures, newspaper corrals, and bicycle racks. 

The City prepared an RFP with the intent of establishing a long-term contract between a vendor and the City, where the City will receive street furniture, maintenance, and revenue in exchange for advertising space on the street furniture.  The purpose of the contract is to ensure high-quality furniture design, reduce street clutter and increase City revenues.  There are similar programs in place in Boston, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.  Wertjes suggested that Clear Channel is the leading candidate at this point for the long-term contract.  It will likely be a 15-year contract with the option of a 5-year extension. 

Several board members expressed concern about the impact this program might have on existing streetscape programs on major commercial corridors in Downtown Minneapolis.  For example, will it adversely affect the street furniture elements recently updated or added on Hennepin Avenue?  Wertjes replied no.  The City will work to integrate existing streetscape efforts into this new program over a period of time.  Wertjes also noted that the City plans to start a dialogue with the Downtown Council.  There was also a question regarding the addition of public restrooms to Downtown.  Wertjes stated that no responses to the RFP included toilets. 

The City’s program is expected to begin on January 1, 2009.  It is anticipated to generate over $100,000 in revenue for the City annually.  The City will not pass the cost for maintenance on to property owners.  For more information on the City’s street furniture program, go to

Walker Apartment Project.  Tim Rooney from Metro Development and Brian Gorecki from Gorecki Associates gave an update on the Walker Apartment Project.  They indicated the project is at least 12 months away from start of construction.  They are seeking gap-financing assistance for the project.  The purpose of coming to the meeting is to request DMNA NRP funds.  Christie Rock noted that at this point the DMNA does not have any Phase I affordable housing money left.  There will be approximately $338,000 in Phase II affordable housing money available.  Rock suggested that Rooney and Gorecki check with Bob Miller regarding the availability of money in the NRP Affordable Housing Fund.  The DMNA would be willing to prepare a letter of support for an application to this program.  The DMNA board also expressed a willingness to consider providing Phase II dollars to the project after the Phase II plan is finished.

HCMC signage variance request.  There was no discussion on this item.

VII.     Crime and Safety Update

            George Rosenquist reported on the following:

·         The RNC   – There were 80 arrests at the Target Center after the Rage Against the Machine. 

·         Block E Cop Shop – Not yet open.

·         Panhandling on Hennepin Avenue – Call 911 to report panhandling.  This is a nuisance crime and it creates a bad image for Downtown.

Following Rosenquist’s report, Kim Motes announced that the Hennepin Center for the Arts is hosting a Hip Hop Dance battle on October 4.  The purpose of the event is to demonstrate a non-violent way to work out conflict.  There will be 32 teams.  The First Precinct will host an open house this same day.

VIII.    NRP Implementation Update

·         Mill District Streetscape Project – Andy Hauer noted that the group has contracted with Bonestroo Engineering to help identify locations for the trees.

Christie Rock commented on the following NRP projects:

·         Triangle Park – Contract in place.

·         Gateway Dog Park – Contract in place.  Park to open in the next few weeks.

·         Utility Box Art Project – All utility boxes were painted in time for the RNC.

·         Downtown Street Marketing Initiative (Planters on Hennepin Avenue) – Contract in place.  Planters were done in time for the RNC.  Thanks to Tom Hoch for his work on this project.

IX.       Marketing / Communications Project Update

Denise Holt noted that Scott Parkin continues to work on content for the new Web site.  He is also working on identifying and creating links with other organizations doing work in the Downtown community.   

Ewald moved and Heimer seconded a motion to approve the August 12, 2008 board minutes.  Sweet called for discussion.  The motion passed.

XI.       Consideration of September 2008 Financial Statements

Staff member Christie Rock presented the September financial statements and advised that there were no unusual expenses for the month of September just the regular professional services, telephone and bank charges.

Motes moved and Heimer seconded a motion to receive and file the September 2008 Financial Statements.  Sweet called for discussion.  The motion passed. 


Update on DMNA NRP Phase I review processChristie Rock noted that all of the community leader and grantee interviews are complete.  Over 50 people responded to the survey.  She plans to start working on the Phase I Review report after the first of the year. 

NRP Policy Board Elector Appointments.  Motes moved and Sweet seconded to appoint Andy Hauer as the Downtown West Elector and Kathleen Anderson as the Downtown East Elector to vote on behalf of the DMNA at the NRP Policy Board election on November 20, 2008.  Sweet called for discussion.  The motion passed. 

Update on outreach and collaboration with other downtown organizations.  Sweet distributed an updated chart showing the various organizations DMNA board members are collaborating with to improve the Downtown community. 

2008 Annual Meeting Update.  This year’s annual meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 9, at 6:30 p.m., at the Aloft Hotel.  Secured speakers include Mayor R.T. Rybak, Lois Conroy and Mary deLaittre.  The Minneapolis League of Women voters will facilitate the election process.  It was noted that Carletta, Denise, George, Gerry and Kim’s terms are expiring and therefore there will be four seats with 2-year terms and one seat with a 1-year term to fill. 

Hauer moved and Ewald seconded a motion to adjourn the board meeting.  The motion passed.

Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2008.

_______________________________             _______________________________
Chair                                                                   Secretary