Minutes 11/18/2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014 5:10 PM

District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting

Historic Street Car Station

1224 Lexington Parkway, Saint Paul, MN  55108

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

7:00 PM



I. Call to Order: Chairperson Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

II. Board Introductions:

Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Debra Pursley, Pete Bolstad, Julie Tholen, Kim Moon, Mary Michalski, Ryan Flynn, Kevin Dahm, John Medeiros, Frank Dolejsi, and Tedd James

Absent: Dana Saeger, Bill Lipkin, and Patrick Tschida

Staff Present: Alison Kirgis

III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda:

Motion: Approve the agenda (Moon-Tholen) Passed


A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox congratulated Janice Rettman on her re-election as Ramsey County Commissioner. We have an open board position for Sub-district 1., because Curt Stock has resigned. We will publish a public notice in the next newsletter. Nominations are now open for the Neighborhood Honor Roll and are due by December 10th. The Board will vote on the Neighborhood Honor Roll nominees at the December meeting. 

B. Treasurer's Report: Julie Tholen reported that our finances are in good shape. The financial reports are in the board packet. We will need to spend down some of the money in our account. One possibility is a new computer, because the current office desktop computer is approximately eight years old. Ted Blank reported that the City has been scrutinizing capital purchases, so a request should go in to the City (Kurt Schultz) very soon if we expect to purchase a new computer by the end of the year.

C. District Plan Presentation: Chris Harkness and Ted Blank reported on progress on the revision of the District 10 Plan. The purpose of a District Plan is a proactive vision for the future of our neighborhood. Plans are developed by each District Council every 5-10 years. The neighborhood plans become part of the City's Comprehensive Plan. After receiving neighborhood input, five priorities were identified: transportation, housing/land use, parks and rec, business environment, and natural environment. At tonight's meeting, Ted Blank presented the vision statement and goals. More detail will follow in future meetings. The proposed vision statement is "The Como Park neighborhood seeks to be a stable, livable, and connected community where residents, businesses and public and private institutions can thrive. The proposed goals address the five priorities listed above. Next month we will review Chapter 1: Housing and Land Use, which includes five strategies and 17 tactics. The Board will be asked to review this chapter before the next Board meeting. 

D. POWER Grant Update: Jennifer Carpenter was present at tonight's meeting. She has been hired temporarily to administer the POWER grant for District 10. One of the ideas that she presented was the involvement of the new agriculture charter school. Another idea is the possibility of getting an additional organics drop off location closer than Pierce Butler. Jon Knox reported on the future creation of an ad hoc committee related to the POWER grant, with Frank Dolejsi as co-chair. Frank reported that he and Alison Kirgis attended a meeting regarding the POWER grant. Ramsey County Master Gardeners are interested in being involved. 

E. Miscellaneous Community Discussion: none


A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes and Financial Statements:

Motion: Approve tonight's financial statements and minutes of the 10/21/2014 meeting (Moon-Tholen). Passed.

B. Staff Report: Alison Kirgis reported that she has received an email from Mike McDonald, who is looking to create a mobile app for tree identification in Como Park. Jon suggested that he contact the environment committee. Alison reported that she has been attending neighborhood and citywide meetings and is getting acclimated to her new position.

C. Committee Updates:

a. Land Use: Kim Moon reported that the November 3rd Land Use meeting was canceled because no items were submitted for consideration. Department of Safety and Inspections staff will be present at the 12/1 meeting for a discussion regarding peddlers operating around the State Fairgrounds during the Fair. Mark Erickson, who brought the issue to the last board meeting, has agreed to flyer his neighborhood. The public comment period for the city bike plan ends on 12/8.

b. District Plan ad hoc Committee: Chris Harkness reported that the last meeting was canceled because of bad weather. The next meeting is 12/8. After that meeting, Chapter 1 of the District Plan will be sent to the Board for review prior to the next board meeting. Ryan Flynn reported that there was a joint D10-D6 community meeting on October 23.  He reported that there was interesting discussion. A list of interested members of the committee is being compiled. D6 does not have a co-chair yet. Ryan will let the Board know via email when the next meeting will be held. 

c. Neighborhood Relations and Safety: Mary Michalski reported that the Pancake Breakfast was a success. Ted Blank estimated a net of approximately $1,500. The Silent Auction was not quite as successful as the prior year's. The committee is going to meet this Thursday. 

d. Environment Committee: Dana Saeger was not present at tonight's meeting. Alison reported on the proposed Partnership Grant with Cooperative Energy Futures. They would like to add D10 to the list of sponsors for a "solar gardens" in Minneapolis. Solar gardens are solar panels located on major buildings. They have asked for no financial commitment, but requested that we get the word out via our communications, including social media. Cathy Velasquez, who lives in the Como Neighborhood, brought the idea to D10. Jon suggested that we only commit minimal resources and not commit to their marketing. Ted Blank cautioned that we do not want to give people investment advice. Several board members stated that we need more information before we can take any action. Any further involvement needs to come from a recommendation from the Environment Committee. We will ask Cathy Velasquez to hold any action that includes D10 until the Board has more information. 

e. Como Regional Park Advisory Committee: Pete Bolstad reported that CRPAC met earlier this evening. The construction of the Centennial Garden near the Conservatory is underway. The bike and walking paths on the east side of Como Lake are scheduled to be resurfaced this coming summer. The Legislature allocated $5.4 million to Como Regional Park in the last session. Pete reported on how the money is proposed to be allocated within the park, quite a lot of which includes rerouting some streets in the park and around the Pool. Tedd James asked if there will be a public comment period about these proposals; Pete will look into the possibility. 

f. Executive Committee:  Jon Knox did not have anything additional to report. 

VI. ADJOURN: Motion to adjourn was made at  8:22 p.m. Passed.

Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary

These minutes were approved on 12/16/2014. 

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

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