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RNA Report

minutes taken by Lorraine Jacobs Announcements: George Martin mentioned a potential source of funding for mediation services in the Riverwest neighborhood. Presentations: James Pekrul, Foster Youth Independence Center of Milwaukee, Inc., has submitted an application to the Zoning and Neighborhood Development Committee requesting approval for operation of a social service agency. This agency would be located in Riverwest, at 2670 N. Holton St. His agency provides “programs and services to youth aging out of foster care …to enable them to transition to Independent and Responsible adulthood.” A general discussion followed. Areas of concern included the hours of operation, security, services offered and whether this would be a residential center. It was explained that the RNA wants to promote business development along Holton Street, and that given the current lack of business proposals, it would be a positive step to encourage this purposeful activity. Marina Lee presented a comprehensive final report on Snail’s Crossing Park, for which the accounts will close at the end of October. She extended deep appreciation to COA for their assistance as financial agent, as well as to the City of Milwaukee, particularly Ald. D’Amato, for funding, services and positive reinforcement. Some highlights of her report included: that the community paid or contributed $44,999, the city $85,000; that the community gave over 300 service hours; and that workshops and work days helped develop an important community commitment. The first “official” event in the park is on October 2-3, Riverwest Artists Association ArtWalk. The next goal is to establish a maintenance team and budget, and although there is concern of some neighbors regarding dogs in the park, Lee feels that we can all respect each other and live together peacefully. Committee Reports Holton Street Revitalization Committee Don Sargent and Jim Wilson announced that there will be a public hearing on October 27th, regarding phase two of the Riverworks project. Details to come. Ald. D’Amato is seeking a federal grant for additional improvements along Holton Street, south of Center Street, to include a boulevard. Discussion included the following concerns: the need for parking areas, plantings of trees and perennials, and good lighting. Vince Bushell will bring these concerns to a city planning meeting within the next month. Tim Vertz and Crystal Graf gave a report on Judy’s Red Hots. The letter expressing RNA concerns and conditional support was sent to the owners, and no response was received. Development Committee Sonya Knauss announced that the RIC Annual meeting was a success, and that the group has received a $105,000 loan. They are continuing to seek new members and beginning to look for the next property. Reservoir Park Update: The City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Committee has formed a new Kilbourn/Reservoir Park sub-committee, of which Donna Schleiman will be a member. The Historic Preservation Committee has also re-organized, on which Ald. D’Amato will no longer serve. There will be a meeting of the Historic Preservation Committee on October 11, and Carrie Lewis expected to have scale models of the park by the end of September. It was also noted that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial praising the RNA for developing a Position Paper on the future of the Reservoir and Kilbourn Park. Guardians of Green Space Vince Bushell announced that the Bike Path along the river continues to be delayed due to lack of agreement with ReadCo regarding the land swap. The county is entering the negotiations. Kevin Haley has taken a very positive position. The Sept. 11 Riverwest Neighborhood Clean Up partnership with students from UW-Milwaukee was very successful. A crew of about 10 students worked on clearing buckthorn from the bike trail. There will be future clean-up days to clear garlic mustard and buckthorn from the trail. The work on Garden Park will continue, and furthermore serve as a good example of what thorough remediation can accomplish. Use of the park will be totally disrupted for about a year, but it will then be restored. Grants from EPA ($200,000) and the City ($120,000) are committed to the project. Youth Issues Suzanne Zipperer presented a proposal to establish a Milwaukee Public Schools Liaison with Riverwest Neighborhood Association. She works in a neighborhood school and feels that neighbors aren’t familiar with everything going on in such schools. Also, new neighbors don’t always realize the positive potential of Riverwest neighborhood schools. Administration Lorraine Jacobs announced that Shawn Smart has resigned from the Board. It was suggested that those present consider nominating themselves or other interested neighbors for positions on the Board. Nancy Centz announced that Ruth Weil, a Riverwest neighbor and Green Party member, has asked that the RNA co-sponsor a candidate debate for the 10th District State Representative position. The candidates are Annette Polly Williams (incumbent) and Damien Jones (Riverwest neighbor). It was agreed that unless someone from the RNA came forward to fully participate in planning this debate, it will not be sponsored. Lorraine Jacobs mentioned the appearance of several messages on the RNA Mail regarding electrical service interruptions in Riverwest. It was suggested that RNA contact WE Energies, and noted that Ald. D’Amato’s office has put us in touch with a representative, Socoro Gonzales. Lorraine will seek more input through RNA Mail, and may invite Ms. Gonzales to the October meeting. 5th District Safety Meeting Update Jim Wilson mentioned that other neighborhood groups expressed interest in getting assistance to set up a listserv similar to the RNA Mail. We support them in establishing this communication link, but feel it would be good to remind new organizations of the time and dedication required of the “Gatekeeper”. It was suggested that Jim contact computer savvy RNA members, and utilize them as paid consultants. Wilson also announced that Mike Soika is the new CDC Director, to replace Jesse Greenlee. Furthermore, she announced that some block clubs are forming. The Sept. 11 Clean Up day was successful. Wilson suggests that the RNA send a letter to the UW-Milwaukee Chancellor expressing our appreciation. Tim Vertz agreed to write a draft of the letter. There will be a follow up meeting for feed back. Additional Presentation: Henry Cannon wanted to share information about his company services, Wireless Product Systems, LLC. It is a security system available to property owners to provide video surveillance of property. It was agreed that Mr. Cannon would have five minutes to present at the October meeting. Next Meeting: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 7:00 PM YMCA/CDC Office 604 E. Center Street. In addition to Committee Reports, anticipated meeting topics will include: • Discussion of Suzanne Zipperer’s proposal for a liaison position between RNA and MPS • Presentation by Henry Cannon regarding the Wireless Product Systems, LLC • Update on the WE Energies and power interruptions in Riverwest