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RNA General Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2004

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, August 10, 7PM Riverwest Neighborhood Association General Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2004 Center Street YMCA/CDC In Attendance: Michele Morris, Devon Wichelt, Kara Sebach, Tim Vertz (Board Member), Tim Carpenter (Candidate for Congress), Tracey Golden, Zachary Knutson, Donald Sargent (Riverworks), Stephen Servais, Ellen Servais, Nancy Certz (Board Member), Mark Lawson, RoseMary Oliveira, Sonya Knauss (Board Member), Clare Lewis, Barbara Nunziato (Jewel-Osco), Lauri Sanders (Jewel-Osco) Vince Bushell, Benji Timm, Jeff Schmidt, Bill Richard, Laura Martin, Rob Sayas, Todd Farris, Marcus Smith, County Supervisor Willie Johnson, Jr., Alderman Mike McGee, Brenda Delvalle, Chantell Stocco, Kate Hannah, Ray Williams, Jr. Carol Wood (Owner, L&W Liquor), Carrie Lewis (Milwaukee Water Works), Denise Benoit, Jennifer Kirk, Self Wise Allah (Board Member), Tom Schneider (Director COA), Michael Peragine, Lorraine Jacobs (Board Member), Ald. Mike D’Amato Invocation: None offered Note Taker: Lorraine Jacobs Minutes from June 8, 2004 RNA meeting were approved: Motion: Tim Vertz, Second: Sonya Knauss Announcements: • State Senator Tim Carpenter explained his campaign for Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. He distributed informational literature. • Benjamin Timm, City of Milwaukee, announced the initiation of a Brown Field grant through the Department of Economic Development. Applications are available, contact Jim Wilson, Center St. YMCA. • Clare Lewis announced progress regarding the Riverwest Investment Cooperative (R.I.C.) home being rehabed, on Holton Street. She encouraged all interested neighbors to consider investing in R.I.C. • Tom Schneider, Director/COA, announced two upcoming programs at Kilbourn Park: Children’s Concert, July 15th, from 6 — 8 PM and the Summer of Peace Rally, July 22, from 2 — 7 PM • Sonya Knauss reminded those present that the “Fit, Fine and Fabulous” Girls Club members were still selling the hand made dolls. The sale is a fundraiser for the club member’s trip to visit southern colleges. Contact Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle at 218-8380 for details. Presentations: 1. Update from Carrie Lewis, Superintendent, Department of Water Works. Ms. Lewis complimented RNA on the thorough Reservoir Position Paper. She indicated that the paper reported the consistent concerns and suggestions that the neighbors had always emphasized. In an update on departmental progress, there are two formal projects currently taking place within the City. 1) Research by engineers on the North Ave. curve around the reservoir. There has been at least $300,000 set aside for this project. They are seeking ways to “mitigate the curve”. 2) A 3-D model of the project and perspective drawings are being readied. Once the above two projects have been finalized, they must be taken to the Historical Preservations Committee for review. After this review, Ms. Lewis will have a presentation for the neighbors. The following questions/comments were discussed: a) “Specifically, what steps have been taken to ensure “connectivity” of the two sections of Kilbourn Park, across both sides of North Ave.?” (Tom Schneider) Ms. Lewis responded that this is indeed one of the most challenging aspects of the project. She is not sure at this time what steps have been taken to enhance connectivity. b) “What is the feasibility of any change to “the project” once it is presented to the neighbors?” (Lorraine Jacobs) Ms. Lewis responded that she is committed to working with the neighbors and that Alderman McGee and D’Amato are well aware of neighborhood concerns. c) Sonya Knauss suggested that once the project is finalized within the City departments, RNA would schedule a neighborhood presentation. 2. Devon Wichelt, a Riverwest resident, shared her initial plans for a bar to be located on Center Street. She is currently seeking a building to purchase. She feels that Center Street has the capacity for additional businesses. Her establishment would have live music but “subdued”. Ms. Wichelt has over 10 years of experience in the service industry. The following are responses to questions and comments from those present: -her own funds and a business loan will provide necessary financing -smoking will be allowed, with non-smoking section provided -eventually she will serve hamburgers and fries, etc, -she envisions Center Street as a lively social atmosphere with a variety of venues 3) Judy’s Red Hots Although contacted in advance of the meeting, a representative from Judy’s Red Hot’s was not in attendance. The issue for the neighbors is that the business, Judy’s Red Hot’s, 2860 N. Holton St., must file an application with the City of Milwaukee, Utilities and Licensing Committee to renew its license due to their extended hours. This is not an application for additional hours of operation, but to approve the current hours of operation for a year. The hours are as follows: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. SUN (noon to midnight) 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. MON — THU 10 a.m. – 4 a.m. FRI & SAT Motion: Sonya Knauss Second: Vince Bushell Riverwest Neighborhood Association supports the extended hours application for Judy’s Red Hot’s, (location 2860 N. Holton St.) contingent upon observable improvements to the building facade and overall cleanliness of the building environment, prior to the September 2004 Common Council meeting. Motion approved by consensus of those present. Discussion: • Lorraine Jacobs shared a summary of emails from RNA mail. They included one opposed. Also 6 messages that listed concerns: safety, cleanliness, general appearance of the establishment, litter, loitering at that late hour. • Ald. D’Amato mentioned that the Common Council will take up the issue at their September meeting. He also indicated that the immediate neighbors to this business are opposed to approval due to security issues. • General discussion: appearance of the business site; owner could/should be encouraged to participate in neighborhood, those present would like to see that the owner intends to be a good corporate citizen. The license will need to be approved annually. 3. Jewel-Osco Numerous representatives of the Jewel-Osco store, located at 1100 E. Garfield Ave., were in attendance. Most questions and discussion items were directed to: Ms. Lauri Sanders, Marketing Director and Ms. Barbara Nunziato, Liquor Sales Manager. The issue for this meeting is to collect Riverwest neighbor’s opinions, observations and thoughts regarding the Class “A” Liquor License application for the Jewel-Osco Store located at 1100 E. Garfield Ave. The application will be reviewed and voted on by members of the Utilities and Licensing Committee of the Common Council at their meeting on Friday, July 16, 2004. Motion: Tim Vertz Second: Self Wise Allah Riverwest Neighborhood Association opposes the approval of a Class “A” Liquor License for the Jewel-Osco Store located at 1100 E. Garfield Ave. Motion was approved by consensus of those present. Discussion: • Ms. Lauri Sanders provided an overview of the plans for liquor sales at the store. She explained that store managers and employees take this responsibility seriously. They plan to have a separate entrance and exit for the liquor sales portion of the store. They will provide ongoing training and liquor sales education for all employees. They intend to provide specific security for this section of the store and will monitor customer activity on their property. • RoseMary Oliveira, RW resident, requested that written proof of original documentation regarding liquor sales be provided prior to any decisions made by the U&L Committee. She felt that there was an agreement entered into by Jewel-Osco representatives, which ensured that there would not be liquor sales at this site. Ms. Sanders responded that she was made aware of the possibility of such statement, however after extensive search of their original documents, proof of this agreement was not found. Some discussion followed regarding the possibility of this documentation being held in Common Council records, for which there had not been a search. • Mark Lawson, RW resident, expressed his opposition to approval of liquor sales on this site. Although he feels that the current store is managed well, he too remembers a promise made not to sell liquor at this site and feels that this agreement should be honored. • Steve Servais, RW resident, asked what the effect of finding documentation regarding an original agreement not to sell liquor at the site would be for the store. Ms. Sanders replied that if there was such a written agreement it would be honored by Jewel-Osco management. That documentation could be a newspaper article or other documentation, she would make a final opinion upon presentation of the documentation. • Sonya Knauss, RW resident, requested information from Ms. Sanders regarding evidence of Jewel-Osco’s commitment to the neighborhood as a community partner. Ms. Sanders explained that they are actively involved in supporting the Milwaukee Community at large, including: Betty Brin Children’s Museum, Wisconsin State Fair, Harambe Community holiday food baskets, Ko Thi Dance Co., HeartLove Place, Milwaukee Holocaust Museum. When pressed to provide examples of direct support within the Riverwest Community, Ms. Sanders explained that they currently had on hand a grant proposal from COA and appropriate staff was seriously reviewing that application. • Nancy Centz, RW resident, asked where the liquor department will be located. Ms. Sanders explained that it would be at the Southwest section of the building, with separate entrance and exit. They will employ the same safeguards that are in place at their other locations which sell liquor, including special software for checking I.D.s, the sales associates will be 21 years of age and trained through a program at MATC, which includes periodic follow up training. • Brenda DelValle, RW resident, finds the current store convenient, well run and provides employment for residents, all of which she appreciates. However, she expressed concern about whether it was necessary for this neighborhood to have another location with a liquor license. This could have a negative effect in the area. In response, Ms. Sanders could not provide reasons for why the neighborhood did, or did not need another liquor sales location. She did however explain that they would provide security for their property, including cameras and guards. They are committed to doing everything they can to avoid negatively impacting the neighborhood. • Self Wise Allah, RW resident, asked about the types of liquor to be sold. Ms. Sanders explained that they will not sell: 32 or 40 oz beer containers, half pints of liquor, 15 oz cans, low-end and fortified wines. • Marcus Smith, from Miller Communications and a Brewer’s Hill resident, explained that Jewel-Osco was his employer while attending Law School and provided the support he needed to successfully pursue his career goals. He stated that he is looking forward to having a convenient, safe location for his wife and himself to do shopping. He asked why Ald. D’Amato has not provided proof of the original agreement regarding liquor sales as referred to in above discussions. He also stated that in discussions with Harambe representatives, there was additional documentation regarding this subject and suggested that be pursued. Ald. D’Amato explained that a search was underway for the documentation. • Willie Johnson, Jr., RW resident, stated that since his election as County Supervisor for the area he has noted increased filtering of crime activity from the west through Riverwest. He has also noted increased traffic. He suggests that sales of liquor at this location could increase the potential for increasing this activity. • Sonya Knauss, (second comment), inquired as to the locations of other Jewel-Osco stores with liquor licenses. Ms. Sanders listed the following: 35th and North, 4061 N. 54 Street, 123 & Oklahoma. Ms. Knauss also inquired as to the procedure for implementing a written covenant. Ms. Sanders said she would meet with representatives of the RNA and work out the written details. • Another representative from the Jewel-Osco company explained that he thought approval of the liquor license would make this store a stronger business and ensure that the business stays at that site. He described it as an “anchor” for the community. They offer benefits to employees and hire many associates from the surrounding aldermanic districts. • Carol Wood, RW resident and business owner, owns L&W Liquor on Center Street. She wanted it understood that being a business owner was hard work and a struggle. She has been in business for 2 years and feels that liquor sales at this location would hinder her business. • Tim Vertz inquired as to the traffic impact on the neighborhood. Ms. Sanders and Ms. Nunziato replied that a study has not been done. Ms. Nunziato explained that she felt that it would create only a small increase in traffic as most shoppers will combine trips for groceries and liquor into one stop. Given her experience she did not feel that many additional shoppers would come just for liquor. • RoseMary Oliveira, (second comment), provided copies of a map of the Riverwest neighborhood, with locations of other Class “A” liquor license sales marked. • Other discussion included concerns about safety. Ms. Sanders replied that although they cannot predict what the overall impact of liquor sales at this site will be, she did emphasize that the management was committed to providing a safe, secure environment. • Ald. D’Amato expressed the concern that approval of a liquor license at this location would lead the way for additional liquor licenses at anticipated new grocery store sites including, Van Buren, Oakland and others. He suggested that they pursue a transfer of a Class “A” liquor license from a local small business to this site, this would allow for expansion of a local business, provide liquor sales at this site while not increasing the total amount of liquor licenses in the neighborhood. • Ald. McGee stated that he came to this discussion with an open mind, to listen and learn. He stated that he was unsatisfied with the Jewel-Osco history of supportive involvement in the neighborhood itself. He would like to see them doing more for the community. If there is a prior agreement as previously discussed, he would be opposed to the approval of license. He urged Riverwest Neighborhood Association neighbors to be more involved in the concerns and respectful of residents west of Holton Street. He will pursue a search of the “agreement” with contacts in the Harambe neighborhood. COMMITTEE REPORTS: • Holton Street Revitalization Committee by Don Sargent (Riverworks) 1) Don Sargent distributed a map outlining the proposed area for a Business Improvement District (BID) managed by Riverworks. Although businesses in the BID area may be assessed fees for services, none of the private residences will be charged. 2) Ald. McGee and Ald. D’Amato have been meeting with the Department of Public Works to finalize work being done for CMAC grant; bike lanes, other enhancements along Holton Street. There will be a celebration along Holton Street when complete. The target area is between Reservoir St. to Locust St. • Development Group Committee by Sonya Knauss No report • Guardians of Green Space by Vince Bushell 1) The land currently owned by Melanic’s Wheelhouse is in the process of being sold. There may be an opportunity to turn some of that area into green space. Vince Bushell will be meeting with the Alderman to move in this direction, may also seek support from Jewel-Osco. There will be a report at the August RNA meeting. 2) Sue Black, Milwaukee County, has been meeting with Readco representatives regarding the “land swap” just north of the North Ave. bridge. There has been no closure of the agreement. Riverwest Currents will have an article summarizing the history of this site. So far there has not been a proposed plan by Readco for development. • Youth Issues Committee by Self Wise Allah 1) The Gordon Park 4th of July Talent Show was successful. A story on Channel 12 news. Thanks to all who made it happen. 2) Mayor Barrett has established a Youth Council, to provide city government input from youth. They are seeking nominations from each aldermanic district. Lorraine Jacobs urged everyone to think of candidates and connect them with Self Wise. It would be important for Riverwest to be represented. Nominees have to contact the City Block Grant office for application. • Administration Tim Vertz has been in contact with the Volunteer Center at UWM. They are seeking our coordination in planning a work day for college students. They will assist those in need with house repairs, landscaping etc. Contact Jim Wilson with any potential residents, elderly or others unable to do the work themselves, who would appreciate such assistance. The work day will be on September 11, 2004. Tim Vertz will be the contact person for coordination with UWM. 5th District Activity Update by Jim Wilson Discussion regarding the homicide in the 3100 block of Piece St. The department is willing to set up a meeting with residents if requested. Some discussion of general safety. Lorraine Jacobs suggested a donation to the family of Frank Morris, the homicide victim. There is information in the Riverwest Currents for those interested. Lorraine will send a card and donation, anyone interested in contributing should contact her. Also, Lorraine Jacobs mentioned that several emails on the RNA Mail suggested starting a Watch on Wheels group or a Walking neighborhood group. If anyone is interested in this please contact her after the meeting. Next Meeting: August 10, 2004 Possible agenda item is a visit from MMSD and a tour of Stephen & Ellen Servais yard, which has samples of some of the recommended water saving strategies.