Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Board of Directors and Annual Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
University of
St. Thomas Law School

I.          Board of Directors Meeting

A.        Call to Order

Tom Hoch, the Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.  All other board members were in attendance, i.e.:  Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Leslie Hirsch; Mark Moller; Kim Motes, Vice Chair; Gene Nessly, Treasurer; and Carletta Sweet, Secretary.

B.        Consideration of Minutes from October 2003

The minutes from the October 14, 2003 board meeting were unanimously approved.

C.        Board Member Resignation

The resignation of board member Mark Moller, effective as of that date, was unanimously approved.

D.        Financial Report from October 2003

The F2003 Budget vs. Actual as of October 2003, the Profit & Loss YTD Comparison statement for October 2003, and the Wells Fargo check register from October 1-31, 2003 were unanimously received and filed. 

E.        Consideration of Revisions to 2003 NRP Plan Modification

The revisions to the 2003 NRP Plan Modification Funding Proposal were approved by majority vote with Kim Motes abstaining.

F.        Adjournment

There being no further business, the board of directors meeting was adjourned at 6:42 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2004.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                            Secretary

II.        Annual Meeting

A.        Call to Order

Tom Hoch, the Chair, called the annual meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  In addition to all other board members, some nonboard members in attendance included:  Paul Barber, DMNA’s webmaster; June Harmon, financial consultant; Barbara Lichness, NRP staff, and Christie Rock, neighborhood coordinator.

B.        Meet Your Elected Officials

Natalie Johnson Lee, 5th Ward Councilmember, acknowledged the hard work and diligence of the neighborhood associations in keeping important issues before the City Council and considers herself and co-councilmember Lisa Goodman the most ferocious in defending and advocating for their constituents.

Lisa Goodman, 7th Ward Councilmember, made note of the following cool projects:

·        The progress of the streetscape upgrade on Hennepin Avenue which she considers a testament to the work of the Hennepin Theater Trust and DMNA

·        The activities occurring simultaneously at the Orpheum, Pantages and State Theaters and the associated economic development related to these events (i.e., parking, dining and shopping)

·        The four new “green” street medians on Third Avenue South all of which have been adopted by the private sector who will maintain them at a cost of $100,000 annually

·        The health and vitality of other cultural institutions:  the opening of the Mill City Museum and Mill Ruins Park; the groundbreaking for the Guthrie Theater; the opening of the parking ramp for the new Walker Art Center expansion; the opening of the St. Thomas Law School; ongoing development of the new Minneapolis Central Public Library; ongoing fundraising for the new planetarium; and support for the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center

·        The residential developments on the drawing board:  Bridge Place at South 1st Street and 3rd Avenue South; the site across from RiverWest Apartments at South 1st Street and 5th Avenue South; Parcel E liner project across from the Guthrie; two Nicollet Mall projects - - one on the power site and one above the parking transit facility yet-to-be-built on the Nicollet Hotel block)              

Lisa commented that the glue that holds this all together is the downtown residents.  There are over 27,500 people living in downtown - - more than Denver, Dallas and Detroit combined.  It is an exceptional effort that takes constant time and energy on behalf of developers, the City, residents and neighborhood associations.  Thereafter Lisa answered questions regarding other issues and projects pertinent to downtown (i.e., a downtown grocery store, the MacPhail Center, a baseball park, Skyway Senior Center funding).

Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner, advised that the Hennepin County Board is in the process of cutting $100 million off of its annual budget of $1.7 billion over an 18-month period.  Although HCB had a balanced budget at the beginning of 2003, it ran into trouble when the legislature went into session and made cuts to the base budget, and even if they receive a 2 percent increase in property taxes this year and add that to local government aid, they will still be $8 million in the hole in 2004 compared to what they had in 2003.  Peter advised that there were also categorical aid cuts, i.e., $14 million reduction in child care assistance, and $3.5 million reduction in probation service.  One of the issues he has and is concerned about for downtown is homeless individuals - - he will be attending a meeting at the Veterans Administration that evening regarding a 200-unit housing project along the Hiawatha LRT.

Peter advised that the LRT will officially open on Saturday, April 3rd.  There will be free rides to/from Fort Snelling on both the 3rd and 4th to introduce the community to the line.  The extension to the airport and Mall of America will be completed by the holidays in 2004.  They are also working very hard at the legislature to get the Northstar Corridor to St. Cloud funded and, long term, build the connection to St. Paul.  Thereafter Peter answered questions regarding other issues relevant to downtown (e.g., services at HCMC).

Linda Higgins, State Senator, advised that the legislature is a hostile place for the City of Minneapolis.  2004 will be a bonding year, a capital improvement year.  The City has four major projects that are a priority for those funds, two of which are downtown, i.e., the planetarium and the Schubert, and the other two are just outside downtown, i.e., the Heritage Park project and a biotech magnet initiative in the southeast Minneapolis industrial area along University Avenue.

As a member of both the health care policy and funding committees, Linda elaborated on the uncompensated care issue that Commissioner McLaughlin had addressed.  

C.        Update on Downtown Programs and Activities

Downtown East/North Loop Master Plan.  Jack Byers from the City of Minneapolis Planning Department, briefed the audience regarding the DE/NL Master Plan which was designed primarily to address the challenge of downtown surface parking, and pursue the opportunity of the Metropolitan Council’s plan for a full service transit system that includes bus rapid transit, light rail transit and commuter rail over the next 20 to 30 years, all of which would converge in downtown Minneapolis.

This master plan is a result of a public/private partnership of and funded by the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Hennepin County Medical Center, Krauss Anderson, Metropolitan Council, Sports Facilities Commission, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and is comprised of five phases:  market analysis (of commercial, residential, retail, and hotel development); land use; urban design; local regulatory framework; and phasing and implementation. 

Jack advised that the master plan was approved by the City Council in October 2003.  The final version will be out before the end of the year in both hard copy and CD ROM.  For a current version visit their website  Thereafter Jack answered questions from the audience.


Hennepin Avenue Streetscape ProjectTom Hoch advised that a bridge loan of $300,000 to jump start the project on Hennepin Avenue between 5th and 10th Streets has been repaid.  The transformation is about 70 percent complete; there’s new lighting, furniture, planting, and paving.  The project has encountered delays as a result of dealing with the area ways underneath the sidewalk extending from the building to the street where deliveries were made via dump waiters.  Tom also advised that in some areas the lights are purposely turned out due to the brightness and others are out due to electrical issues.

Affordable Housing FundKim Motes advised that one of the big goals for DMNA’s board this year was getting the approximately $875,000 affordable housings funds out the door and into projects.  The board decided to do so by gap funding for projects close to happening so that they can complete their funding and get moving.  Of the six applications submitted in response to DMNA’s RFP, three projects were awarded funding totaling $500,000:  St. Anthony Mills Apartments by Brighton Development which will provide 25 units of affordable housing for incomes at 50 percent or below the median income; The Lamoreaux opportunity housing expansion by Central Community Housing Trust which will provide 39 units of affordable housing for incomes at or below the 50 percent median; St. Barnabas Apartments by Central Community Housing Trust which will provide 39 units of affordable housing for homeless youth ages 16 to 20, and 13 units for working adults.  The remainder of the affordable housing funds will be awarded next year in another RFP process.  

Restorative Justice.  Gina Gerard gave an overview of this program designed to address nuisance crimes (e.g., public urination, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, panhandling, drinking in public).  If ticketed in Minneapolis for one of these offenses, it is the offender’s responsibility to contact the court and make an appointment.  Ultimately those who appear in court are typically given a small fine or warning as a sanction for the offense.  However, most offenders are not responding to the tickets.  Restorative Justice is working at both the front-end and back-end of the criminal justice to ensure an adequate response to crime in the community.  At the back-end RJ works to ensure the offender makes restitution to the community; at the front-end RJ is working towards a system change to close the gap between ticketing and sentencing.

D.        Consideration of 2003 DMNA NRP Plan Modification Proposal

Tom Hoch briefed the audience on where the $480,818 of NRP funds is being redirected since prior strategies were no longer being pursued.  After Tom entertained questions, the plan modification proposal was approved by majority vote with Kim Motes abstaining.

E.        DMNA Elections

Gene Nessly, Treasurer, explained the voting procedures and supervised the election process.  After nominations were submitted, ballots collected and counted by Margaret Berg from the League of Women Voters, the following individuals were elected for a 2-year term:  David Abele, Delores Cotten, Andrew Hauer and Thomas Hoch; and Jodi Pfarr was elected a 1-year term.

F.        Adjournment

There being no further business, the annual meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2004.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                            Secretary