Top

RNA Report January 2005

Announcements were made about the Jan. 13 public hearing regarding reservoir reconstruction; the Jan. 19 hearing regarding the docking of a military ship at the lake front; and the Jan. 22 spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Riverwest Co-op. Presentations: Bernadine Bradford, candidate for District 4 School Board Position, discussed her platform. Ms. Bradford, former MPS substitute teacher and graduate of Riverside High School, said she will work for broader communication and parental involvement. Her contact information is The primary will be held Feb. 15, and the general election on April 5. Steve Servais, RNA Board Member, presented his plan for a new home on the vacant lot next to his current residence on Bremen Street. His plans call for environmentally friendly construction, the incorporation of green space and water conservation. Due to a neighboring buildings proximity, as well as the physical slant of the property, he would like to build the new structure toward the back of the lot. He will need the City to approve this zoning variance and has a hearing scheduled with the Bureau of Zoning/Appeals on January 20th. Mr. Singh, owner of both the liquor store on Holton Street and North Avenue and the Midget Mart grocery at 2500 N. Booth St., proposed closing the liquor store to instead sell a limited selection of liquor at the Midget Mart grocery, where he currently sells beer. This would necessitate a change in his liquor license at 2500 N. Booth. Mr. Singh emphasized that he will make substantial changes to the facade of the store by installing glass windows, and furthermore install a walk-in cooler and deli. He also said he will not advertise liquor sales with excess signage, and noted that he has been at this location for 10 years without any violations. He does not yet have a hearing scheduled with the Utilities and Licensing Committee. Don Sargent, Riverworks Coordinator, added that Mr. Singh has applied for a facade grant with which he can make substantial improvements to the Midget Mart appearance. Drawings for the facade plan were not available for this meeting. He also stated that it is not planned to sell small liquor bottles. The meeting was then opened for discussion, and issues arose regarding safety. It was felt that selling liquor at this location would bring a less desirable element to the neighborhood. Families with young children in blocks near the Midget Mart expressed concerns regarding creation of a negative environment and potential reduction in home values, and it was suggested that the store is fine the way it is. It was also noted that there are several other liquor stores already in the area. Conversely, several neighbors expressed the desire to keep a successful, good businessman in the neighborhood and encouraged him not to move if the liquor license were not approved. Mr. Kmet, owner of the Midget Mart property, supported the request for liquor license. He feels that Mr. Singh will be responsible and that the neighbors would be well served to have a selection of liquor at this location. His mother, who lives in the building, is also not opposed to the sale of liquor. Some residents also suggested that people who live in the neighborhood are as responsible as in any area of the city and would not misuse the sale of liquor at this location. They felt it was not respectful to imply that sale of liquor here would lead to criminal activity. A motion was made to call for a vote of those present, regarding support for a change in the liquor license at the Midget Mart location. A motion was made by Vince Bushell, and seconded by Lorraine Jacobs. In a vote taken by hand, 12 were in favor, 18 opposed, and 11 abstained. Committee Reports: Holton Street Revitalization Committee Jim Wilson and Don Sargent reporting It has been decided not to pursue the Main Street Grant for Center Street this year. The team continues to build a cohesive business owner association, with the goal of applying for Main Street Grant in the future. Development Group Committee Sonya Knauss reporting Sonya announced that she has resigned from this committee. She is seeking a new Chair and committee members, and volunteered to bring those interested up to date on issues. No update on the Johnson Controls property, RFP’s are being received. No update on the “Linear” park plans along the railroad right of way through the neighborhood. Don Sargent mentioned the recent concerns expressed via email regarding the “odd noise” just north of Keefe. He works closely with the businesses in this corridor and would like to establish the source of the noise. It was agreed that Don and Suzanne Zipperer will organize a meeting of the concerned neighbors and report at the February RNA meeting. Guardians of Green Space Vince Bushell reporting Vince Bushell urged people to attend the two public hearings in January regarding Reservoir Park and the docking of a ship at the lakefront. Youth Issues Self Wise Allah reporting Goals this year are to publish and distribute the Youth Services Directory and build the committee. Suzanne Zipperer, MPS Liaison, explained progress regarding feasibility of the Gaenslen School pool. It will cost $7000 for life guards, for which funds are being sought from area youth organizations. Plans call for it to be open one evening and one weekend day. The Principal is supportive. Administration Nancy Centz reporting Laura Martin explained her plans for a Tsunami fundraiser, Feb. 13 at Club Timbuktu, with funds to be designated for the Red Cross. She requests that RNA be one of the sponsors, basically lending the name to the effort. There is no financial obligation as a sponsor. It was so moved by Vince Bushell and seconded by Nancy Centz. It was approved by those present to include RNA as a sponsor of this fund raising event. 5th District Safety Update Jim Wilson/Tim Vertz reporting Chief Nancy Hagerty will be at the May 4 meeting to address concerns of the neighbors. It will be at the 5th District police station, at 5:30 pm. It was stressed that this is the best opportunity for residents to talk directly with the officers who patrol the neighborhood, and imperative to attend and be heard. Tim Vertz mentioned that he is part of a task force committee to establish Block Clubs and create an initiative to train Block Club leaders. The next RNA meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 PM. At the YMCA/CDC office at 604 E. Center St.