Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from
April 10, 2001 Board of Directors Meeting

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Room 310, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.    Call to Order

With a quorum present (and to accommodate the New Central Library Implementation Committee information session held earlier that evening in Heritage Hall), Jerrie Hayes, Chair, convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m.  Other board members in attendance included:  Larry Calhoun, Vice Chair, Rocco Forte, Andrew Hauer, Mark Moller, Treasurer, Carletta Sweet, Secretary, and Joan Willshire.  Rebecca Hetzler, Daniel Hunt, Glenn Johannesen, and Eric Mitchell were unable to attend.  Nonboard members in attendance included Monroe Bell; John Dale of Klodt Incorporated; Sue Jahn and George Rosenquist, both of the NRP Implementation Committee; Barbara Lichness, the new NRP liaison who replaced Joe Horan; and Scott Russell of the Southwest Journal.

II.  Announcements

The Chair made the following announcements: 

     The next “Lunch with Lisa” on Wednesday, April 25, 2001, 12 p.m. at the Acadia Café.  Steve Cramer, Director of the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, will explain what the MCDA is and discuss how the agency determines which housing, commercial, and redevelopment projects to support.

     Barbara Lichness, the new NRP Coordinator, has procured from Faegre & Benson another conference table and whiteboard for DMNA’s office.

III.  Old Business

The Chair advised the board that the minutes to prior meetings (i.e., December 2000 to date) will be made at the next regularly scheduled meeting on May 9, 2001

IV.  Committee Reports

Finance Committee Report.  The Treasurer advised the board that there is only approximately $34.00 in the account.  However through the extraordinary efforts of Monroe Bell, Laura Lazar and Dale White at bi-weekly Saturday sessions, Mark believes we’re significantly closer to being back on track.  Mark also projected that by the end of April he will have completed and submitted the first reimbursement request in 2 years that will allow the board to pay its rent and delinquent wages.  Thereafter he will begin preparations for the 1999-2000 audit.

The Chair also advised the board that the Citizens Participation application was submitted for the current year wherein the board requested a 30 percent increase in funding due to the huge increase in downtown development resulting in an increase in downtown residents.  An appeal process is available if the amount of the request is not granted.

The Chair then advised the board that they should have received their copy of the audit report that included DMNA’s responses; it and the audit are now made available to the public.

Mark mentioned that another housekeeping matter to deal with in order to fully bring our books up-to-date with MCDA is the self-storage in St. Louis Park that the board has maintained for a number of years.  The board needs to gain access and remove its contents as soon as possible.

Land Use Committee Report.  John Dale of Klodt Incorporated presented to the board his request for a signage variance for the parking ramp at The Metro, 90 South 9th Street, which he will take before the Board of Adjustment on the following day.  After entertaining questions, Mark moved and Joan seconded to approve the signage variance as presented.  The motion was carried unanimously.

A Project Engineer from Public Works, and an architect from HGA, presented to the board their request for a conditional use permit for the proposed 2-level, approximately 460-stall underground parking ramp to be located at 424 Chicago Avenue (i.e., the Downtown East/Metrodome LRT station bounded by Fourth Street South, Kirby Puckett Place, Fifth Street South, and Park Avenue South).  Mike advised that the proposed station design and public plazas on either side of the station will undergo a lengthy public input and approval process; however they wanted to take this opportunity to proceed with the parking phase of the project before the LRT is laid.  After entertaining questions concerning the design, usage and capacity of the ramp, Mark moved and Andy seconded to approve the conditional use permit as presented.  The motion was carried unanimously.

Mark then announced that the next LUC meeting is on May 2, 2001, 6:30 p.m. in Room 310 of the Minneapolis Central Library.

Housing Committee Report.  Due to the absence of Glenn Johannesen, no HC report was submitted.  The Chair announced that a follow up HC meeting has been tentatively scheduled for May 2, 2001, 6:30 p.m. in Room 310 of the Minneapolis Central Library to discuss the North Loop’s residential and safety concerns raised at a prior HC meeting.  Jackie Cherryhomes, 5th Ward council member, and Ernie Belton, Head of the Park Board, will be in attendance to update the community and answer questions.

Public Relations Committee Report.  The Chair announced that besides preparing the Citizens Participation proposal that primarily involves getting information out about potential projects, that hopefully next month the PRC will begin instituting site-to-site neighborhood focus group meetings.  However, to clarify, the Chair advised that DMNA board meetings continue to be held every second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 310 of the Minneapolis Central Library.  In addition to the regularly scheduled board meetings, the PRC will schedule focus group meetings throughout the various downtown residential neighborhoods to solicit input on issues considered relevant to each area, and gather ideas for completing Step 1 and moving towards Phase 2.

Implementation Committee Report.  Larry advised that no IC meeting was held so no report was given.  However, Barbara Lichness introduced herself and handed out copies of DMNA’s First Step Plan, a chart outlining the downtown Phase 1 neighborhood allocations and funds remaining, and a spreadsheet of Phase 1 strategies, allocations and the status of each (see Attachments 1).  Barbara indicated that her goal is to help DMNA implement its First Step plan, and then to assist in the planning and implementation of Phase 2.  As background, Barbara advised that she has worked with NRP since 1994, is working with 13 South Minneapolis neighborhoods, and is a native of Minneapolis.  Barbara also advised that she has been working with Mark to rectify DMNA’s financial situation and advised that in her estimation it is now just a matter of filing the reimbursements for expenditures that have been made.

The Chair then suggested a full board strategizing session to address outstanding issues related to the First Step plan.  After discussion, it was agreed to conduct such a session at NRP on Saturday, April 28, 2001, 1:00 p.m., Suite 425 in the Crown Roller Mill building.

Ad hoc Employment Committee Report.  The Chair advised that once the three employment applications submitted to the former Chair of this committee have been received, she will re-contact the applicants to gauge their interest.  The Chair also advised that James’ request to combine the remaining funds for the NRP Coordinator position with that of the yet unspent funds for the Housing Coordinator position to create a 3/4-type position would be revisited at later meetings with Barbara.

V. New Business

Due to the vacancy left by James Grabeck, the Chair opened the floor for nominations.  Andy moved and Rocco seconded to nominate George RosenquistCarletta moved and Jerrie seconded to nominate Monroe Bell.  There being no further nominations and each candidate having accepted his nomination, the Chair asked for written ballots.  After collecting and counting the written ballots, Monroe Bell was elected to fill the vacancy for the duration of its term, i.e., until November 2001.

Thereafter Carletta asked the board to consider offering Monroe a compensated position as interim office manager until the NRP/Housing Coordinator position has been filled.  The Chair advised that the request would have to go through the NRP and requires further investigation.

VI. Adjournment

After a brief discussion about improving the process of communicating board and committee meetings to board members, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Signed and approved by

______________________________                                    ______________________________
Chair                                                                                       Secretary

Attachment 1

[Handouts from Barbara Lichness]