Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from
May 11, 1999 Board of Directors Meeting

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on Tuesday, May 11, 1999 at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Room 310, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.    Call to Order and Announcements

With a quorum present, Monroe Bell, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Other board members present were Larry Calhoun, Dolores Cotten, Secretary, Sue Jahn, Robert Saginaw, Al Smith, Jonathan Specktor, Vice Chair, Carletta Sweet, Co-Secretary, and Joan Willshire.  Board members unable to attend were Andy Hauer, Ashu Kataria, and Michael Murphy.  At the institution of the meeting, nonboard members present were DMNA/NRP Coordinator, Scott Engel, and past board member and current DMNA volunteer, Paul Barber.

The Chair requested newly-elected board member Joan Willshire to introduce herself to the other members.  Joan mentioned she was also new to the neighborhood, currently residing since November 1998 in the River Station Condominiums in the North Loop community of downtown, and prior to then in the West Calhoun area for approximately 16 years.  Joan's previous community experience included president of the West Calhoun Neighborhood Association, and member of the Minneapolis and Minnesota Disability Advisory Committees as well as the Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee.  Currently Joan is employed at Courage Center.

II.  Action on the Minutes

Following introductions, the Chair turned to the matter of the minutes from the April 13 board meeting for comments/revisions.  Bob expressed concern that under paragraph IV, NRP Administrative Contract, all programs were not mentioned.  Carletta indicated that the minutes were not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all programs, only those actually discussed in the April board meeting.  The Chair reminded the members that for further clarification/ specification of the programs they should refer to the comprehensive list of programs in their copy of the DMNA NRP First Step Plan.  After agreeing to correct the spelling of Dee’s last name in paragraph VII, Board Vacancies, Bob Saginaw moved and Dee seconded that the minutes of the April 13 board meeting be approved.  The motion was unanimously carried.

III.    Implementation Committee Resolution/Update

Scott Engel presented two resolutions related to the implementation committee for adoption (see Attachment 1):  the first drafted by Bob Saginaw for the establishment of an NRP Implementation Committee (moved by Bob and seconded by Dee); and the seconded drafted by Scott to appoint members of the NRP Implementation Committee (moved by Dee and seconded by Carletta).  Both resolutions were unanimously carried.

Scott also brought the board up-to-date on the activities of the NRP Implementation Committee since the April board meeting.  At a meeting held on April 21, two of the bigger projects were mentioned as moving ahead faster than any of the others:  the word mural program, and the police buy-back program (draft contracts for each were distributed for perusal).  The skyway kiosks, signage and security phone system program was also mentioned as moving along pretty quickly and would soon have a draft contract as well.  Scott mentioned that funding for each of these programs would flow directly to the appropriate agency (i.e., Planning Department for word mural).  No resolution or action was required by the board on these matters since they had prior board approval as required for the First Step Plan.  Next steps for the NRP Implementation Committee include meeting with the Heritage Preservation Commission, the Planning Department and BOMA regarding signage guidelines and materials for the word mural program.  The next meeting of the NRP Implementation Committee is scheduled for May 20, Room 253 of the Minneapolis Central Library at 6:00 p.m. when they will discuss the ambassador and the housing coordinator programs.  The Chair reiterated the board’s responsibility to monitor the effectiveness of the NRP Implementation Committee.

Joan posed questions concerning the location, quantity and design elements of the kiosks to which Scott indicated 11 kiosks were proposed (some on the skyway, others on street level), and that the specific design elements would be worked out during the design phase.

Al raised the point that since many of these funds would not be channeled through DMNA’s account, DMNA should not take any responsibility/liability for the misuse of these funds by program agencies.

The Chair thanked Scott for his update and reminded the board members that Scott is currently under his third contract with DMNA for a duration of 1 year.

IV.  Home Page and Light Rail Transit Update

Paul Barber brought the board members up-to-date on his DMNA volunteer activities:  first and foremost in his role as DMNA Web Master; and second as a CAC member of the Hiawatha LRT Corridor (see Attachment 2).

Paul established the first downtown internet presence in 1995, as a way to get community activism going on the internet.  The DMNA website is housed at the Twin Cities Free-Net, a volunteer organization comprised of internet experts, where approximately one-third of the Minneapolis neighborhoods have websites, at a cost of $40 annually.  Types of information Paul maintains on the site include:  a calendar of downtown meetings/events (e.g., LRT news, Phase 2 of the Nicollet Mall), DMNA documentation, residential building listings, links to other neighborhoods/city/county.  Paul also acts as the clearinghouse for all incoming information and forwards it on to the appropriate board member(s).  Paul emphasized that the information maintained on the website is only as good as the information he receives and solicited the board’s cooperation in assisting him maintain an accurate, informative, and timely website.  The Chair proposed to the board to appoint Scott, in the performance of his contract to DMNA, as the person to forward appropriate documentation/information to Paul for submission on the website.  After some discussion, the board agreed that Scott would be the point person for website submissions.

Jonathan emphasized the need going forward to revamp the website – perhaps to get one of the downtown website graphic design outfits to design the DMNA website in kind, then to use it as a source for fundraising.  The Chair requested the board to develop a proposal for the future use of the website, and Jonathan further encouraged board participation and outreach efforts for the maintenance and continued development of the website.

Due to time constraints, Paul suggested reading his handout for an update on the LRT project, however the board should be aware that the task forces that were formed from the initial meeting are well underway.

V.  Industry Square Update

Ann Calvert of the MCDA and Michael Kraft of Shea Architects gave an update on the revised plan for redevelopment of the Milwaukee Depot site bounded by Washington Avenue South, Second Street South, Third Avenue South and a proposed new segment of Fifth Avenue South.  After the initial ice rink operators backed out last year, MCDA, which owns the site, forged ahead with City Council authorization to continue to work with CSM Corporation, a large Twin Cities developer, and Shea Architects to develop a revised plan.  The revised plan includes:  rehabilitation of the historic Milwaukee Depot for a restaurant, meeting rooms and 16 hotel rooms, with a future planned skyway connection across Washington Avenue;  preservation of the historic train shed for open air uses; and new construction of two hotels (a Marriott Courtyard and a Marriott Residence Inn) and a parking facility in the vacant area on the river side of the historic structures.

Next steps include going back through the approval process in June to obtain City Council approval for the revised package regarding the land sale to the developer and the pre-development plans for implementation.

Al moved and Dee seconded to send a letter to the City Council recommending the revised plan of MCDA for the Milwaukee Depot site.  All members, except Joan who abstained, were in favor.

VI.  CCNP Business Development

Dale White, who was elected by DMNA early fall of 1998 to act as liaison for DMNA on CCNP enterprise facilitation projects, gave an status update.  Dale advised the board that enterprise facilitation no longer existed under CCNP due to a loss of funding by Hennepin County and Norwest Foundation in December 1998.  As a result, three of the facilitators formed a new nonprofit business development group called the South Minneapolis Business Facilitators (SMBF).  Most of the committee members of the now defunct enterprise facilitation project now comprise the new steering committee of SMBF of which Dale chairs.  Since all neigborhoods previously represented on CCNP, except DMNA, have continued to offer their business development agendas to SMBF, Dale encouraged DMNA to continue its relationship with the new organization since business development and employment opportunities in the adjacent communities to downtown affect downtown’s overall economic health and vice versa.

Jonathan moved and Al seconded that Dale continue his role as liaision to SMBF on behalf of DMNA.  The board unanimously approved the motion.  Dale mentioned that SMBF meetings are held the first Friday of every month, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at 1925 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis.

VII.  Other Business

The Chair turned to the business of the DMNA 1997 audit to briefly recap the most recent occurrences:  distribution of the auditor's fourth draft that contained a very substantial error, which draft should have subsequently been returned by all board members to Judy Dutcher’s office; distribution of the auditor's fifth (final) version that contains at least one error; instances of noncompliance; audit charges; and auditor's calculation of a deficit in unrestricted funds (see Attachment 3).   No action was required by the board on this matter.

Al distributed the Treasurer’s Report (see Attachment 4) and gave an update on the board’s financial status.  To further clarify expense item 03-403 that was charged against Citizen Participation, Al mentioned that in an attempt to get Target 2 modified, he had hired an architectural illustrator to produce a professional presentation to go against Dayton Hudson.  This professionally prepared document was ultimately presented to Zoning, Planning, City Council, and several other groups with only partial success.  However, Al continues to work with the Save the Nicollet Mall Committee, a special corporation he helped to establish, to get design modifications incorporated into the plan.  Al further stated that since we'll be going against people like Ellerbe Becket, Faegre & Benson, the “giant gorillas,” at very high-level meetings, our documents must necessarily reflect a higher standard of professionalism.  No action was  required by the board on the Treasurer's Report.

Responding to Dee’s inquiry as to why DMNA is still paying for storage in St. Louis Park, Al noted that DMNA has no alternative storage options, and Jonathan further added that until he and Monroe undertake a complete inventory of the storage contents, that is where the equipment and supplies will remain.

Bob Saginaw announced that the next meeting on June 8, 199 would be his last since he has been transferred back to the Washington, D.C. area to work out of ReliaStar’s Arlington, Virginia office. 

VIII.  Adjournment

Dee moved and Carletta seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Attachment 1

Resolution for the Establishment of a
DMNA NRP Implementation Committee

In order to help implement the DMNA NRP First Step Plan, the DMNA Board believes an implementation committee should be established to facilitate bringing about the various aspects of the First Step Plan.  It is not intended that the Board give up its authority or responsibility in the carrying out of the Plan.  Rather, the implementation committee would help develop, coordinate, and execute the operational aspects of the Plan, with the Board retailing final authority.

Therefore it is hereby resolved that the Board establish an implementation committee for the NRP First Step Plan to be called the DMNA Implementation Committee of the NRP First Step Plan.  The purpose of the Committee shall be to help and assist the Board in implementing the Plan, with the Board having final authority and responsibility for the Plan.  It is intended that this Committee shall be comprised of  no less than 4 and no more than 10 members duly nominated and elected by the Board.

Resolution to Appoint Members to the
DMNA NRP Implementation Committee

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the DMNA Board appoint the following people to the DMNA NRP Implementation Committee:  BarbaraAndrews, Barbara Bell-Smith, Larry Calhoun, Saul Carliner, Art Centor, Patty Connolly, Ashu Kataria, George Rosenquist.

Attachment 2

[INSERT 2-page  "DMNA Web Master" document from Paul Barber]

Attachment 3

[INSERT  1-page "DMNA 1997 Audit" document from Monroe Bell]

Attachment 4

[INSERT 1-page "Treasurer's Report 11 May  1999" from Al Smith]