Minutes - 12/2010
Monday, January 24, 2011 10:20 PM

District 10 Como Community Council 

Historic Como Park Streetcar Station

 1224 Lexington Parkway North Saint Paul, MN 55103 

(651) 644-3889 



Board members present:  Pete Bolstad, Barb Clark, Chris Harkness, Panod Klongtruatroke, Jon Knox, Mike MacDonald, Jody McCardle,  Dolores Rufenacht, Penny Spence, Matt Streit, Betsy Wehrwein


Board members excused:  Ted Blank, Marsha Milgrom


Staff present:  Camille Schafer


I      Call to Order, 7:05 PM


II     Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda            


Moved to accept minutes:  MacDonald, seconded by Spence.  Approved unanimously by voice vote. 


III    Community Section


  1. Chair Report


Jon Knox updated members about the staff hiring process.  Executive Committee members and Dolores Rufenacht, Neighborhood Safety Committee chair, interviewed 4 qualified candidates with a broad range of expertise.  Members will run a background check and references check on the top candidate.  The position will be filled no later than early January 2011.


  1. Treasurer Report


Treasurer Penny Spence reported cash balance is $28,821.  There was a minor encoding error in October related to how revenue was categorized.   We received Newsletter ad revenue and $446 in donations that coincided with giveMN.org’s “Give to the MaxDay”.


  1. Community Open Discussion – none. 


IV     Board Business


Review, Amend, Approve Minutes & Financial Statements


Motion to approve minutes by MacDonald, seconded by Wehrwein.  Approved unanimously by voice vote. 


Statements were included in board packets. 


  1. Update on job opening and number of applications/process -  Addressed in Chair Report


  1. CIB Representatives and Land Use Update – Chris Harkness


Harkness reports that 5 community members have expressed interest in becoming CIB Representatives.  Ron Edlund, Greg Lauer, Marsha Milgrom, Dennis O’Rourke, and Gordon Strom.  Knox requested that the CIB committee assignments be based on a first come-first served basis.


Knox asked if Harkness would complete the remainder of the Land Use report at this time and introduce special guests from the Chelsea Heights PTO. 


Chelsea Heights Elementary PTO’s Hamline-Hoyt Beautification Project.

Steve Finnegan presented Chelsea Heights Elementary PTO’s Hamline-Hoyt Beautification Project (http://www.thehhproject.com/).  The $200,000-$250,000 project was originally meant to replace aging playground equipment at the Chelsea Heights Elementary School/NW Como Rec Center area but will now include block beautification features.  The Parks Department has no plans to replace the playground equipment for the next 8-12 years.  Some improvements include: replacing old wooden playground equipment with natural playscapes, increasing shade near the ball fields by adding new trees, additional gardens, water features, and signage.  The project plans to contract a landscape architect to help finalize designs.  


Clark asked about the scope change from equipment to block beautification.  Finnegan responded that the change was a result of gathering feedback from neighborhood stakeholders.  McCardle thought this may be an opportunity to involve intergenerational involvement in that area.  Wehrwein and Bolstad noted that Hamline continues to be a highly trafficked area and for the project to consider crosswalk and other safety improvements during the development.


The PTO will pursue CIB funding in January 2011 and has requested a letter of support from District 10.  


Motion to approve a letter of support for the project by Clark, seconded by Harkness.  Approved unanimously by voice vote. Knox requested that Klongtruatroke draft a letter and finalized by board members via e-mail.


Harkness discussed the Mothers Against Tobacco/Scenic St Paul presentation.  This collaboration is requesting feedback and support regarding their initiative to increase safety and reduce community eyesores by regulating the amount of signs businesses put inside their windows.  Many neighboring cities and individual neighborhoods (Grand Ave.) have ordinances and restrictions.  The groups plan to bring their proposed resolution to the City Council in February under the sponsorship of Councilmember David Thune.  Harkness will ask for community feedback via website/e-blast article; further discussion at the next Land Use meeting.


Knox updated members some members of the art community interested in exploring rental space at the Sholom firehouse.  He reports that the building may not be suitable because it is in disrepair.  The group is also looking into Holy Childhood regarding space.


  1. COPP Grant Discussion: Gear Up and Organize for 2012 – Klongtruatroke, Schafer

Klongtruatroke explained that we have left over 2010 COPP (Community Organization Partnership Program) funds for Paint the Pavement project and the Executive Committee is recommending that we return the unused amount.  2011 will become a planning year with a new lead staff member.  Committees are encouraged to plan small scale pilots and detailed proposals with assessments as grant opportunities become available throughout the year.  Rufenacht plans on piloting a kids and adult bike rodeo and safety class;  Wehrwein and McCardle are exploring regarding seniors.


Motion to return the unused COPP funds by Klongtruatroke, seconded by Rufenacht.  Approved unanimously by voice vote. 


  1. 2011 Budget -- Knox

Knox has requested Schafer, Spence with assistance from former treasurer, Marcy Micek, finalize a 2011 budget for the next board meeting.  Schafer has begun the process already.


Knox reported that District 10 will continue our 2 year lease with the Streetcar Station.  He has requested that the Parks department consider eliminating Sunday hour between November 1 – March 31 when there is little or no traffic; District 10 has several years of documentation.  He has also asked them to consider putting in a sidewalk to the office and a security camera for the parking lot.  Smash and grabs have occurred in the lot before.  


Klongtruatroke also reported that the end of the year 2010 surplus from the city grant should be allocated to purchase some necessary equipment that has been recommended by the office and board members.  Some of these items include a printer, an overhead projector, portable PA system for meetings, locking fire/filing cabinet or safe.

Motion to approve the expenditure by Clark, seconded by Klongtruatroke.  Approved unanimously by voice vote.


Committee Updates

  1. Environment Committee, no update - MacDonald had to leave the meeting early.


  1. Neighborhood Relations Committee – Wehrwein


Wehrwein explained that the committee continues to monitor the CRPTIP process and is committed to move forward with neighbors and the Como Park in a positive, constructive manner.  Bolstad will have a final CRPTIP report in January.  The committee will explore some pilot ideas that may help ease traffic this Summer.  Some ideas include having teenage paid attendants to monitor parking lot capacity and increase security presence.


  1. Neighborhood Safety Committee – Rufenacht

NSC had an annual block club meeting this past Monday was a success.  6 block club leaders attended as well as 2 police officers who were on patrol that night.  Rufenacht explained that NSC would like to pilot a bike safety rodeo for the kids in April.  She also reports that speeding on Victoria and Grotto is busiest during the school day and that the police have only ticketed one vehicle for speeding during their 1½ month period.  


  1. Communications Committee – Klongtruatroke, Clark

Communications has delayed the Winter newsletter a month because of the holidays and schedules.  The time allotted will allow volunteers to solidify a 2011 relationship with Job Corps regarding print quantities and article solicitations.  The next Communications committee meeting has been rescheduled for January 13, 2011 at Java Train and will review the newsletter process, annual goals, and charter.


V.  Adjourn


The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.          


Respectfully submitted by Panod Klongtruatroke.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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