Downtown Minneapolis Residents Association -- Board Meeting

Towers Condominiums -- October 17, 1995 -- 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

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


1. Children's Grand Prix

Executive Director Bill Westbrook gave an overview of the event (to be held July 6 and 7, 1996) and answered questions from Board Members. The event has been approved for next year by the Minneapolis City Council. If it goes well, it will likely be allowed to continue in subsequent years.

The event is a 100% nonprofit fundraiser for the Cancer Kids Fund. Its goal is to raise $1 Million for the Fund. Overall revenues are projected at $5.5 million with expenses projected at $4.5 million.

The race course will go near some residential buildings but for the most part will be away from the residential core of downtown. (See enclosed map). There should be minimal impact on traffic downtown (i.e. bridges over the river will stay open as will major avenues.) The course itself will be inside "permanent" barricades. (They will stay up for 2-1/2 days.) Approximately 1-1/2 miles of roadways within the course area will be repaved (in part to accommodate the race).

Noise from the race will likely be the major problem for downtown residents, although Westbrook noted it will be periodic rather than continual and will not be the ear-splitting variety.

Grand Prix staff will work with downtown residents and businesses to mitigate problems. An operations manual is being drawn up with phone numbers, etc. As many problems as possible will be worked out beforehand.

Concerns/Questions raised by the DMRA board:

1. The prices of tickets ($20 - $200) may preclude seniors and those with lower incomes from enjoying the event. Westbrook will look at the ticket structure to see what can be done. Inclusiveness will have to be weighed against the ability of the event to meet expenses and fundraising goals. Typically children under 12 are free with paid admission.

2. Heritage Festival. Westbrook has offered to work with event organizers but has not heard back from them.


1. Secretary's Report (PB)

a. Roll Call:

i. Present: George Rosenquist (GR), Andy Hauer (AH), Paul Barber (PB).
ii. Absent: Donald Hicks (DH), Dolores Cotten (DC), Eunice Roo (ER), Mike Olson (MO), Marsha McKinnie Davis (MKD).
(No official action was taken for lack of a quorum.)
iii. Guests: Billie Binder, Council President Cherryhome's Office; Bill Westbrook, Children's Grand Prix; George Kissinger, MCDA; Joe Barisonzi, Lyndale Neighborhood. Council Member Pat Scott sent regrets.
iv. Sally Westby, Office Partner; Peter Millington, Lake Area News.

b. Minutes from the September 19, 1995 Board of Directors meetings were corrected to indicate that the board voted to have PB write a letter regarding the Ribfest. He did not volunteer. Also, Item #7 on page 4 should read "Central City Neighborhood Partnership."

2. Treasurer s Report (AH)

See attached material from AH.

3. Central City Neighborhood Partnership

GR reported that recent discussion at CCNP (an association of downtown and near downtown neighborhoods: DMRA, Elliot Park, Loring Park, Stevens Square and Phillips) has revolved around the Downtown Command proposal. The proposal calls for committing about 60 officers to the greater downtown area and having them serve as patrol officers rather than answering 911 calls. Although there may be competition among the neighborhoods for the officers' time, GR was hopeful that 30 or so would remain committed to the downtown core.

Old Business

1. Employment Committee Update -- AH

Ads for a staff person were placed in three newspapers and 22 resumes received. Interviews are scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Towers.

2. Annual Meeting

AH reported that the subcommittee chaired by DH has not met. AH, GR and PB then discussed possible meeting topics. No consensus was reached other than that ideally the topic(s) should be of sufficient interest to downtown residents to engender good attendance at the meeting without bringing in outsiders with other agendas. GR will contact Rick Johnson of the Minneapolis Planning Department to see if there are issues related to the 2010 planning process that might be worth talking about at the meeting.

Other possible topics mentioned: Block E; Cedar Lake Trail and connections; prospective or current development projects; police and security issues.

Recruitment of board members. There was a general discussion about the best ways to recruit new board members. AH said he might try doorknocking in downtown east to encourage participation in the annual meeting and find interested persons for the board. PB will write a letter to Building Managers asking them to suggest potential board members. GR will prepare a letter to be sent to DMRA members advising them of the annual meeting and inviting their participation. AH spoke in favor of having a nominating committee recommend prospective members at the annual meeting and then opening up the floor to additional nominations. AH, GR and PB are interested in running again for the board.

AH will contact the League of Women Voters about running the meeting for DMRA and will contact the downtown library to confirm a meeting space.

New Business:

1. Minnesota Law Center -- George Kissinger, MCDA

The city of Minneapolis, through the MCDA, is working with downtown property owner Ed Baker to help him acquire the vacant building on the northwest of Nicollet Mall and 6th Street (526 Nicollet Mall). Baker wants to redevelop the building and add it to his Minnesota Law Center project. The current building owner has been unwilling to sell for a reasonable price. The plan calls for the MCDA to acquire the building by condemnation and sell it to Baker. According to Kissinger, Council Member Pat Scott supports the project since she feels it will enhance the Mall.

GR will call board members not present to see if there is support for a DMRA resolution in support of the project. The DMRA resolution would also encourage Mr. Baker to put power doors (for handicapped accessibility) on his skyway entrance. George Kissinger needs to receive the resolution by October 30.

2. NRP Policy Board

Joe Barisonzi made a brief presentation regarding his candidacy for an at-large position on the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Policy Board. Barisonzi is a Lyndale resident and Executive Coordinator for the Lyndale Neighborhood Association. He believes the current Policy Board has not been sufficiently open to neighborhood desires and that the MCDA's building acquisition policy is too rigid.

Adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Paul Barber, Secretary