Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, September 9, 2003
800 LaSalle Avenue South, Suite 131

I.          Call to Order and Introductions

Tom Hoch, the Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.  Other board members present were:  Andrew Hauer; Kim Motes, Vice Chair; Gene Nessly, Treasurer; and Carletta Sweet, Secretary.  Board members unable to attend were Dee Cotton, Mark Moller and Leslie Hirsch.  Nonboard members in attendance included:  Ron Abramson, Twin Cities Marathon (TCM) board president; Dennis Babcock, TCM board member and executive producer of Triple Espresso at the Music Box Theater; Jim Boyer, TCM board member and chair of the community relations committee; June Harmon, financial consultant; Ruth Kildow, senior ombudsman; Melinda Ludwiczak, Skyway Senior Center coordinator; Sarah McKenzie, Skyway News journalist; Stacey Mickelson, Artspace Projects director of government relations; George Rosenquist, downtown resident; Winona Whitaker, downtown resident and Skyway Senior Center volunteer; Tom Witheridge, Dunn Brothers Coffee; and Paul Zerby, 2nd Ward Councilmember.

II.        Twin Cities Marathon Presentation

Jim Boyer gave a brief history of marathons from ancient Greece which led to the present day 26-mile/385-yard event.  The Twin Cities Marathon, in its present format, began in 1982 and runs along scenic parkways from the Metrodome in Minneapolis to the State Capitol in St. Paul on the first Sunday in October. This year’s event, scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 5th, marks the 22nd running of the TCM, and the 5th running of the attendant TC 10, the shortcut to the TCM.  The TCM is a nonprofit, volunteer organization, and totally self-funded from two sources – participant fees and sponsorships.  This year’s budget is $1.3 million.  Ron Abramson and Dennis Babcock then distributed literature, discussed the family events to be held, and advised how to get involved.  For more information visit their website at

III.       Q&A with Councilmember Paul Zerby

Paul briefed the board on recent activities of the City Council.  With great help from Barret Lane, Ward 13 Councilmember, they ended up with an NRP budget going forward of $9.3 million by borrowing against the legacy.  Paul stated that his one contribution to this effort was in restoring social and educational services as well as community safety back in the NRP program.  Paul stated that since Council President Paul Ostrow brought before the NRP policy board the proposition to take $1 million off of the NRP budget and dedicate it to public safety-type activities, it is important for neighborhoods to know that in order to get that money they must put it into their NRP plans.  Paul then briefed the board on the process for the upcoming budget hearings, the search for the police chief which is being conducted by an outside search firm, the ordinance related to cross-gender use of public bathrooms, and the potential merging of the city, park and transit police departments.  Paul also advised that he’s still working on trying to get some version of a nuisance night court (working on a pilot project for downtown) despite resistance from Hennepin County Chief Justice Kevin Burke who has concluded that budget constraints and the strained case loads of the judges would prohibit enacting such a program.    

IV.       Land Use Committee (LUC) Report

Andy presented the following items that the LUC entertained at its September 2nd meeting (see memo from LUC dated Tuesday, September 9, 2003):

·        Entertainment license for Dunn Brothers Coffee at 925 Nicollet Mall.  Tom Witheridge, franchisee, was in attendance.  His facility has been opened since April 2000 and he has experimented from time to time to extend his hours to attract after work traffic but to no success.  He is now persuaded to do so again but to include public performances by those not quite ready for a more high-profile venue.  The board voted unanimously to approve.

·        Class A food and beverage license for Red at 821 Marquette Avenue (Foshay Tower).  Andy advised that the LUC recommended approval with two conditions, i.e., that Red join the Downtown Entertainment Security Task Force (bar watch), and work with SAFE.  The board voted unanimously to approve.

·        Conditional use permit for the Whitney Hotel conversion at South 2nd Street and Portland Avenue South.  The board voted to approve by majority vote.               

V.        Skyway Senior Center Progress Report

Ruth Kildow thanked DMNA for its support and introduced Melinda Ludwiczak who distributed literature (i.e., progress report as of September 2003, program attendance as of 2003, daily attendance for years 2001-2003, the September 2003 “Chatter” newsletter, and a list of community partnerships and collaboration) and explained SSC’s progress to date.  Winona Whitaker briefly spoke about the benefits of the SSC and welcomed DMNA’s continued support.

In response to Tom’s question regarding the SSC’s fundraising efforts, Ruth advised that since SSC is a city organization, they have been turned down by numerous donors because they cannot deduct the funds from their taxes, therefore SSC is pursuing a 5013c status in order to re-apply.

In response to Andy’s question regarding SSC’s monthly rent, Melinda advised that the rent is a gift to the city from the Ryan Company for 5 years which can be re-evaluated at the end of the agreement term, however they do pay utilities and maintenance which amount she did not have at hand but indicated that the annual operating cost is $150,000.

VI.       Consideration of Minutes from August 2003

The minutes from the August 9, 2003 board meeting were unanimously approved.

VII.     Financial Report from August 2003

June Harmon distributed and Gene Nessly explained the F2003 Budget vs. Actual as of August 2003, the Profit & Loss YTD Comparison statements for August 2003, and the Wells Fargo check register from August 1-31, 2003.  Gene also explained that June just received a check in the amount of $2,300 from the City for its citizen participation program that is not reflected on the statement.  These financial documents were unanimously received and filed. 

VIII.    Minnesota Shubert Update

Stacy Mickelson, a former state legislator for North Dakota, distributed a packet of information and explained how he is helping Artspace with its myriad political issues across the nation.  He has been pulled onto the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center (MSPAED) project, a new three-building performing arts complex at Hennepin Avenue and 6th Street South, to seek $10 million bonding in 2004 from the legislature.  The MSPAEC will be the statewide link for arts education thanks in part to $200,000 that Congressman Martin Sabo secured in fiscal 2003 under the Department of Education’s Fund for Improvement of Education.  To complete the statewide link, Stacy is back before the federal government for $2.5 million.  And to complete the three-building complex it will take $34 million, of which $20.5 million will go for construction ($9.25 million for renovation; $10 million construction of the atrium; $1.25 million to link the Hennepin Center for the Arts and the Shubert to the atrium).  Construction is expected to begin fall 2004 with completion expected by mid 2006.  Stacy requested that DMNA write a letter of recommendation urging the City of Minneapolis to place this project on its bonding priority list and to give it favorable/high rating on that list.

The board approved by majority vote (with Kim Motes abstaining) to write a letter of recommendation to Scott Benson, chair of the City’s inter-government committee.    

IX.       NRP Implementation Committee Update
Affordable Housing

Kim sought board members’ availability for a meeting with the developers who had submitted RFPs for DMNA’s affordable housing funds.  Thereafter the meeting with the developers was scheduled for Wednesday, October 1st from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at DMNA’s office.

Revised NRP Reallocation Proposal

After the Chair entertained questions, the board approved by majority vote (with Kim Motes abstaining) the revised NRP reallocation proposal (to be presented for public approval at its annual meeting in November 2003) as amended:  under Section 1, Strategy 1, correct spelling of Hennepin; under Section 2, Strategy 7, change “Work with CCNP” to “Work with other community organizations” and remove “Night Court” and “same day court”; under Section 3, Goal 2, Strategy 2, to ascertain an amount, if any, to be inserted after “NRP FUNDS:”; and to ascertain an appropriate amount for administrative costs.

Plan Modification

The Chair advised that since Gene has secured $25,000 of Hennepin County 7-1/2 percent NRP funds, a motion to modify the DMNA NRP Action Plan was required, to wit:  Under Section 2, Objective 3, Strategy 1, Hennepin Avenue Streetscape as follows:  “NRP funds may also be used to renovate the Gateway Fountain owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board” effective August 12th.  The board voted unanimously to approve the modification.

X.        Other Business
Annual Meeting Arrangements
  • Since November 11, 2003 is a holiday (Veterans Day), the Chair suggested holding the annual meeting on Tuesday, November 4, 2003
  • Time TBD
  • Location:  pursue the Mill City Museum
  • Agenda to include the NRP reallocation proposal, as well as a presentation on NRP Phase 2 and recent/current developments within downtown.

NRP Policy Board Representative

Andy nominated himself to be the NRP elector for Downtown West at the NRP policy board elections on November 20th.  The board voted unanimously to appoint Andy as the NRP elector for Downtown West.

XI.       Adjournment

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2003.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                            Secretary