Downtown Minneapolis Residents Association - Board Meeting
314 Hennepin-May 16, 1995 -- 7:00 to 8:45 p.m.

Called to Order: 7:00 p.m. by GR


l. Secretary s Report (PB)

a. Roll Call:

i. Present: George Rosenquist (GR), Paul Barber (PB), Andy Hauer (AH), Dolores Cotten (DC), Donald Hicks (DH), Mike Olson (MO).
ii. Absent: Marsha McKinnie Davis (MKD)
iii. Guests: Peter Millington, Lake Area News; Luther Krueger, SAFE; Linda Roberts (LR), DMRA community organizer; Sally Westby (SW), DMRA office partner; Alicia Cox (AC), NRP.

b. Minutes from the April 18, 1995 Board of Directors meeting were approved.

2. Treasurer s Report (AH) -- attached

a. Outstanding Advertising Revenues
Peter Bruce who produced the DMRA booklet has offered to purchase the outstanding advertising receivables from DMRA and collect them. AH has a letter from Peter outlining this suggestion. After some discussion, the board agreed to sell the outstanding receivables to Bruce. DMRA will be paid now and Bruce, in turn, will receive 100% of the revenues he collects. Since Bruce has complied with all stipulations of his contract with DMRA, a check will be issued to him for the final $500 he is owed.
b. Payment to former office partner Judy Miller Payment of office related expenses owed JM was authorized by the Board.

3. Community Organizer Report (LR)

a. Skateboarding
LR reported on successful meeting held with downtown residents concerned about reckless skateboarders. Meeting participants decided to express their concerns in writing to Council Member Pat Scott. A brief discussion of skateboarding issues ensued. DC noted that noise from skateboards is a articular problem for residents of Rivergate. Luther Krueger, SAFE, mentioned problems at the Federal Reserve Bank Building and the Greenway near Loring Park. A barricade has been erected at the Federal Reserve to keep skateboarders away. Krueger suggested more serious attention be given to establishing a skateboard facility for young people somewhere in the metro area. Liability issues seem to be the major reason one has not been established so far.

b. NRP Participation AgreementThe official NRP response to the neighborhood s draft NRP proposal has been received and will be discussed after tonight s board meeting. The revised NRP agreement will likely be signed by NRP officials as soon as it is received. NRP would like to make public announcements of DMRA's participation in June or July.

4. SAFE Report (Luther Krueger)

Luther passed out his business cards and took part in the discussion re skateboarding outlined above.

Old Business:

1. Office Partners

Sally Westby (SW) and Marsha Wagner are DMRA s new office partners. (Wagner was present before the meeting to meet board members.) The office partners will mail minutes to DMRA board members a week prior to board meetings. Materials to be mailed with the minutes should be sent to the office partners two weeks in advance of the board meeting. Paul Barber will be their Board contact person.

2. Membership and Resident Information Books

DMRA Books have been distributed to a large number of the buildings in downtown (see attached report). Distribution in all, or nearly all, buildings is anticipated. DMRA application forms have been returned by 33 people. SW will send copies to LR so the latter can call new members and/or send them a letter of welcome.

3. CIP Grant from the MCDA

DMRA's CIP grant is all but officially approved. The award is for $8,800 and will be put in a separate account upon which DMRA can begin to draw immediately. The grant will enable DMRA to hire staff to work with the neighborhood to determine the impact of the adult entertainment industry on downtown residents and ways of mitigating negative impacts. PB asked which Board member would be spearheading the grant follow-up? AH suggested the issue be a topic for next month s board meeting. GR suggested that both LR and SW report at the next meeting on ways they might assist DMRA with community organizing, a survey about adult entertainment impacts, and related issues.

4. DMRA on the Internet

PB found out about the Twin Cities Free Net. The Free Net provides help to nonprofit organizations that wish to access the internet. While DMRA made an initial overture to the Minneapolis Television Network (MTN), a timely response was not received from them so a decision was made to utilize the Free Net. DMRA will be able to put items such as minutes, bylaws and agendas on line as well as material from the Booklet.


l. Downtown Block Party - Friday, July 14

GR lead a discussion of DMRA participation as a vendor in the Aquatennial Block Party on July 14. Schwans has been contacted regarding product that DMRA could sell. While Schwans will not donate product, it will sell items at cost (about $.25 per item). Ice cream sandwiches, drum sticks and fruit bars were suggested by Schwans as good items to sell.If DMRA participates in the Block Party, it will be able to rent a booth at the Downtown Council member rate of $125. The Downtown Council also takes 15% of gross receipts. (Nonmembers pay $175 per booth and 25% of gross receipts). If DMRA participates, its exposure is basically the product samples and the cost of the booth (the biggest up front cost). DMRA will also need a health certificate from the city (approximately $59) and might also wish to do some advertising. The total up front cost for involvement would likely be $250 - 300. The organization will need to provide its own staffing the night of the event. Given the costs outlined above, if items were sold for $2.00, the profit to DM would be approximately $.95 per item. Assuming 500 items sold, DMRA could net $400 - $500.There was a brief discussion of what DMRA should sell. While ice cream related products are relatively inexpensive, their sale is highly dependent on weather. If the weather is warm, sales could be brisk. Unused product from Schwans can be returned as long as the boxes in which it is contained are unopened. Schwans will provide a refrigeration truck, at no extra cost, the night of the event.There was general agreement that even if DMRA did not net a large sum of money, it should participate in the event. MO suggested that participation would give DMRA the visibility it needs; GR suggested that it would indicate DMRA's willingness to raise private funds to support its operations.It was MOVED and SECONDED that DMRA commit funds for a booth for the Block Party. Motion CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.GR reminded the group that the above motion does not lock the organization into working with Schwans. However, a decision will need to be made soon regarding what product to sell since the event is in July. GR, MO and AS agreed to meet and divide up tasks related to block party. GR was empowered to sign the contract for the booth with the Downtown Council.

2. Incorporation and 501c3 Status

AH spoke to the advantages of one corporate structure serving both the NRP and DMRA. If there are two separate corporate structures, two separate audits must be done. He felt it was best not to spend money on separate audits if one corporate structure (and audit ) could serve. PB reminded the group that the Board had already voted to set up a structure for NRP that was totally separate from DMRA. The NRP group has already incorporated. (DMRA is one of the few groups that formed a separate corporation expressly for NRP.)Discussion followed of the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation and ways to save audit expenses. DMRA and NRP cannot be incorporated separately within one larger organization. The NRP group cannot be changed into DMRA without DMRA accepting the latter's bylaws as its own. If this were done, DMRA would have to accept business owners as members, something which the board has not been willing to do. AH suggested that DMRA s incorporation was important, even if the separate audits must be done, since incorporation protects individual board members from lawsuits related to the group's activities. For example, if someone got sick from food sold by DMRA at the Aquatennial Block Party, individual group members could not be sued personally if DMRA were incorporated. Although few, if any, neighborhood groups have been sued, most of them are incorporated. The cost of incorporation is about $250. AH then led a discussion of the advantages to DMRA of receiving 501c3 status, the major advantage being eligibility for certain grants. DH suggested the group consider 501c4 status as it might allow more flexibility. Groups with 501c3 status are restricted from some types of lobbying activities (i.e. hiring lobbyists) but they can be their own advocates. It was MOVED and SECONDED that DMRA incorporate and apply for 501c3 status. Motion CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

3. General MeetingAccording to the bylaws, DMRA should hold four general meetings each year. One has already occurred and another will be held with the annual meeting. It was the consensus of those present that a general meeting should be held between June and September and that an "attraction" was needed to ensure good attendance. After some discussion, it was decided that the meeting should have a Downtown Public Safety focus and be held in July. The following items are tentatively on the agenda:
a. Discussion with the new police chief, Robert Olson;
b. DMRA's X-rated task force (interested parties might be asked to sign up that night);
c. Status of new Hennepin County Jail project;
d. Possible NRP kick-off.
The following people agreed to help GR put the meeting together: DH, DC, AH and LR.

4. Rezoning of Portion of the Conservatory Site

AH reported that an attorney for the new buyers of the Conservatory on the Nicollet Mall has requested DMRA's support in its bid to rezone a portion of the site from B4S-2 to B4-2. Most of the parcel is B4-2 and rezoning the B4S-2 parcel(s) reduces the overall parking requirement. GR indicated that information to date suggests that the zoning change is technical in nature and not of major importance. It was MOVED and SECONDED that DMRA support the new owner's request for consideration of the zoning change. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

5. Miscellaneous

AH reminded those present of the annual meeting of CCHT at St. Olaf's Church on Tuesday, May 23.

Adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Paul Barber, Secretary