Meeting Minutes

Announcements All Peoples Church, 2600 N. 2nd St., is offering a summer program for youth. It includes learning gardening and cooperative work skills. The youth are paid for the summer and are encouraged to start a bank account. Also, the church is sponsoring a long-term alcohol and drug rehabilitation center for men. It will open soon and has space available. Call the church at 414/264-1616 for details about both programs. Avery Jenkins visited the RNA meeting from Milwaukee Women’s Center. He is organizing a program to help young men in middle school grades overcome the cycle of violence and abuse. Also, on Father’s Day, June 20, there will be a fundraising Walk for the Women’s Center. See their web site for more details, Committee Reports Holton Street Revitalization Don Sargent (Riverworks Development Corp.) / Jim Wilson (YMCA) reporting The Riverworks Development Corp. has been approved as a Community Development Entity by the Federal government. This allows the organization to plan redevelopment and apply for New Market Tax Credit funds. One project being considered is the redevelopment of the Holton and Keefe corner location of the former Outpost Store. Jim Wilson distributed sample packets of information about the Riverwest neighborhood, which would be made available to people who plan to start a business in Riverwest and current business owners who wish to expand. The packets include economic information, history, housing, population, and demographics. These packets are available at the Center Street YMCA. Development Group Committee Sonya Knauss reporting Johnson Controls continues to negotiate with the City regarding the extent of remediation they are willing to complete on their property, pending the development of the land. Water Works head Carrie Lewis had not yet received scale model plans for Reservoir development. Snail’s Crossing is seeking local business owners to help supply t-shirts as thank yous for volunteers on the neighborhood park project. There will be an Opening Celebration on June 11 at the park (3000 block of N. Bremen). There was some discussion regarding the reassessment of property values in the neighborhood. Riverwest homeowners experienced some of the highest increases in the city. It was suggested that concerned citizens may seek, as a group, to petition their representatives to change the State Constitution and allow a varied tax structure in order to make accommodations for the elderly and those on fixed incomes. Discussion ensued on the real and perceived effects of the property tax increase on residents. Youth Issues Self Wise Allah/Laura Martin reporting The Youth Issues committee is finalizing the Youth Directory, and is making one last request for information. Tim Vertz will pursue the Greening Milwaukee project in partnership with Pierce School. The committee has agreed to coordinate the Gordon Park Fourth of July talent contest. Administration Nancy Centz reporting The RNA Board met last month and will be presenting some changes on structure of the meetings and the agenda. One goal is to have the agenda available to neighbors via RNA mail two weeks prior to the meeting date. Non-Profit application needs a projected budget and then will be sent in to the State. Crime Meeting Update Sonya Knauss reporting Chief Hegerty provided an overview of a focused support program for new parolees to assist in their re-entry to the community. Faith-based communities will be partners in this program. Also, the Chief is working on changing attitudes, improving police interactions with the public, enhancing the communication of officers, all with a focus on community partnership and police professionalism. The Lighting Program, which offers back yard and alley lighting fixtures at a discount from Home Depot, is now in place. Stop in at the Center Street YMCA to view catalogues and receive the paperwork you will need to take to the store for your discount. City Wide Housing Coalition Jim Wilson reporting The neighborhood housing stock has been surveyed by volunteers. This information will be put into the database and then the city will send letters to property owners informing them of needed repairs. Guardians of Green Space Vince Bushell and Don Sargent reporting Update on the bike trail on former railroad land from Burleigh Street through to Holton Street/Keefe Avenue. The land was purchased by Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. Final legal investigations will be done and then the land will be purchased in its by the City. Plans for development of the land as a bike trail have not been provided. It was agreed that this is a development in which RNA should provide leadership. RNA Board was urged to write a letter in support of the finalization of land acquisition for the Beerline Bike trail. This is a trail along the river from Gordon Park to downtown on the West and East sides of the river. When complete it will be a continuous loop for biking, hiking, and enjoying the river. There are some easement agreements that are pending and the property owners are holding up completion. A federal grant may expire if the negotiations are extended. Next RNA Neighborhood meeting: June 8, 7 p.m., 604 E. Center St. YMCA-CDC. Possible agenda items include a review of the draft Position Paper regarding the Reservoir development, a presentation by Carrie Lewis of Milwaukee Water Works, and a review of the letter of support for the Beerline bike trail land acquisition.