Tom Hoch called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Other board members in attendance were David Abele, Dee Cotten, Andrew Hauer, Kim Motes, Jodi Pfarr and Carletta Sweet. Gene Nessly was unavailable. Nonboard members in attendance included: Lois Conroy, Assistant City Attorney and 1st Precinct Community Attorney; Lieutenant Tony Diaz, 1st Precinct; Natalie Johnson Lee, 5th Ward Councilmember; June Harmon, financial consultant; Sarah McKenzie, Skyway News journalist; and George Rosenquist, downtown resident.
Natalie briefed the board on Minneapolis Public School issues, specifically, the plan to close/merge/tear down some of the schools. Natalie believes this challenging plan will adversely impact the core inner city schools more so than other area schools. Natalie announced the two public meetings that the school board scheduled (February 18th at Washburn High School, and February 19th at North High) to receive community input regarding these issues.
Natalie discussed the concerns expressed by area residents and businesses regarding the growth of “adult entertainment” venues in the community (potentially at Daddy Rocks, Old Blues Alley and Nikki’s sites). She is proposing a moratorium on this type of entertainment in order to study the impact of this growth and the options and alternatives available.
Natalie also discussed the feedback she has received regarding the rerouting that occurs when exiting the parking ramp at 5th Street North and 394 in order to ameliorate the congestion off of 1st Avenue after special events and during bar closings.
The minutes from the January13, 2004 board meeting were unanimously approved.
Lt. Diaz explained the procedures for accessing the $1 million NRP Community Oriented Public Safety (COPS) Initiatives Reserve Fund. Police Department Precincts must work with their respective neighborhood associations (i.e., 1st Precinct to work with DMNA) to draft a proposal of prioritized goals and objectives, based upon existing precinct resources, that are consistent with the proposed use of the reserve funds to submit to the NRP Board for approval. Proposals must be submitted by April 1, 2004.
Lt. Diaz also answered questions regarding current crime conditions on Hennepin Avenue, at Block E and the City Centre, and the possible implementation of a SAFE zone at those areas; the expected summer installation of external security cameras; and increasing police presence in the Theater and Warehouse Districts. Lt. Diaz announced a mounted patrol training program starting in the beginning of April 2004. The mounted patrol, which he oversees, spends 90 percent of its time in the downtown and warehouse areas. Currently there are 2 full-time riders, 1 full-time sergeant, and 10 part-time riders. They are expecting to add 6 part-time riders subsequent to April’s training.
Assistant City Attorney Conroy distributed a copy of the new livability crimes ordinances that the City Council passed earlier this winter addressing public urination and possession of drug paraphernalia in a public place. Echoing Lt. Diaz, Attorney Conroy stated that public urination should be charged as disorderly conduct or as indecent exposure and by the passage of this ordinance they are better able to seek sanctions against those who commit it. She also explained that one of the intents behind passing the drug paraphernalia ordinance is to target behavior that leads to livability crimes.
Attorney Conroy described the Administrative Citation “pilot” program that was created by her office and the Minneapolis Police Department when it became apparent that the “night court” option would not take place. This program focuses on livability offenses wherein graduated fines are imposed. An alternative to paying these fines is to join the Restorative Justice Program wherein the fine is waived upon successful completion of the program. The Chair advised Attorney Conroy that DMNA had set aside $95,000 in NRP funds toward this effort (to work with CCNP and others in capacity building) and that these funds are still on the table to do so.
June Harmon distributed and explained the F2004 Budget vs. Actual as of January 2004; the Profit & Loss statement for January 2004 (two components of which were missing: $508 for rent and $126 for telephone for a revised total expense of $3,001.98); and the Wells Fargo check register from January 1-31, 2004. These financial documents were unanimously received and filed.
Andy presented the following items:
· A motion stating that City Market (located at 1240 Hennepin Avenue in the Loring Park neighborhood) is a valuable asset to Downtown Minneapolis and serves a need. The motion passed with Kim, Tom and Carletta abstaining.
· A motion asking the courts to allow City Market to remain open until litigation has been completed. After a lengthy discussion the motion failed by majority vote.
· A motion to approve a Class A liquor license with non-adult entertainment in former Pacific Club location at the Lumber Exchange Building, 10 South 5th Street. The motion was unanimously approved with the amended to include DMNA’s standard language regarding joining the bar owners association.
Crime and Safety
Kim updated the board on the media attention that “Go Before You Go” has been receiving, and advised that she and Luther Kruger have met to figure out next steps (i.e., instituting an education process for the bar owners and implementing a task force with stakeholders). Kim is also scheduled to meet with a marketing and design company that is interested in providing pro bono assistance on DMNA’s public urination project.
Tom led a discussion regarding the greening of downtown. He indicated that he had met with Ann Calvert of CPED and Jack Byers of the Planning Department to discuss general opportunities and advised that one of DMNA’s next steps will be to investigate how much watershed district/tree trust funds are available in order to determine board interests and project feasibility.
Tom reminded the board that one of its major agenda items going forward will be the disbursement of its remaining affordable housing funds via the RFP process conducted last year with MCDA.
Nonboard Premise Usage and Advertising
Tom advised that based upon responses received, the board was in favor of David’s proposed usage of the office space for his seminars but not in favor of his proposed window advertising.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.
Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2004.