Riverwest Neighborhood Association Minutes September 17, 2002, YMCA CDC OFFICE

1. Invocation by George Singleton. 2. August 20 minutes approved. 3. Announcements a. Jan Christiansen distributed a set of maps noting the location of crimes in the Fifth District. b. Tess Reiss reminded everyone of the Center Street Celebration c. “Slow Down” signs are being used throughout the neighborhood, particularly on Sunday at the Garden Park Green Market. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and AAA produced them. UWM is purchasing more for distribution in Riverwest.d. Tom Schneider of COA reminded members of the Riverwest Park Planning Trust Committee Meeting of a September 18 meeting. 4. Liquor License Renewal — Circle A Cafe — Tabled for next month 5. Mian’s Gas Station plan: see article to the right. 6. Postage for future mailings of the RNA Meeting Agenda and Minutes: Christiansen led a discussion regarding this topic. The number of agendas mailed has increased from 60 to nearly 200 which is good news. More people are interested in the activities that in which RNA is involved. Unfortunately, the mailing budget did not anticipate numbers of this size and is now expended. An idea for coping with this situation is to ask those with Internet access to relinquish the U. S. Postal Service mailed agenda and minutes for an email distribution. A postcard has been created to send to individuals to select this option or continue to receive the paper agenda. Several members present agreed to this option and the post card will be sent with the next agenda mailing. A draft letter explaining the budget problem was distributed as well. Several suggestions were made for modifications to the letter. It will be sent with the agenda and post card. Other strategies included charging dues, asking for contributions of funds or in kind donations of first class stamps, and to rely on the Riverwest Currents announcements of the meetings. In any case, the agenda mailing list needs to be winnowed to those who wish to receive it. 7. Where do we go from here? The Future of the Riverwest Neighborhood Association It appears that the neighborhood and RNA will lose its two paid staff members at the end of 2002. Christiansen and others are exploring grant-funding options. The group reviewed an option that had been suggested earlier, and that is the incorporation of RNA as a tax-exempt organization. After much discussion, the following motion was made. Motion: The Riverwest Neighborhood Association should apply for designation as a non-profit organization by submitting applications to the State of Wisconsin for a Chapter 181 status and to the Internal Revenue Service under code section 501(c)(3) for federal tax exempt status under section 503(c)(3). The motion will be discussed further at the next RNA meeting and a vote will probably be taken on the motion at that time. Methods to seek funding for a non-profit RNA were debated at length. Further investigation is required. 8. Reports of Committees a. Holton Street Revitalization. A funding proposal has been prepared and submitted to CDBG for an Integrated Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy grant to aid in rehab of businesses on Holton Street.b. Guardians of Green Space. Two articles, published in the September and October issues of the Riverwest Currents, outlined the history of what is now Garden Park and suggested possibilities for its future. One of two organizations may take ownership of the Park for further development and maintenance. They are Milwaukee Urban Gardens and the Urban Ecology Center.c. RISE (Riverwest Initiative for a Safe Environment). Brad Montgomery is going door to door in the neighborhood on Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm. He is sharing information regarding block clubs and RISE. d. Credit Union. Kevin Flahertry forwarded the following Brewery Credit Union report. BCU now has about 90 “registered” Riverwesterners. There is some concern that there be more Riverwest resident members that are not registered as such. Riverwest residents who open accounts need to ask that they be coded as Riverwest accounts. As of 8/19/02, loans exceeded $250,000, and deposits exceeded $360,000. The credit union is having a strong financial year and has been generous in sponsoring Riverwest and area events. In addition to Locust Street Days, BCU recently donated funds to the Hillside Housing Center and to the YWCA earlier in the year. Budget approval has been received to buy or lease an ATM to install in the Riverwest area. Possible sites include the new “Lena’s,” on Holton (old Kohls) or at the Riverwest Co-op. e. Development. Chair, Jerry Patzwald, commented that the Subcommittee had begun work on a Gentrification Position Paper, a draft of which will be presented to the RNA upon completion. Ideas and suggestions for this position paper are encouraged. Discussion ensued noting that gentrification is unlikely to be stopped, but some actions can be taken to aid moderate-income people to remain in the neighborhood. It was suggested that RNA keep up-to-date on what developers are planning. The next Development Group Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8, at Jerry Patzwald’s house. 9. Next RNA Meeting — 7:00pm, October 15, 2002
by Jay Kirk