Riverwest Neighborhood Association General Meeting-Minutes, June 8, 2004 Center St. YMCA/CDC In Attendance: Don Sargent (Riverworks Development Corporation), Nancy Centz (RNA Board), Jim Wilson (YMCA), Lorraine Jacobs (RNA Board), Tim Vertz (RNA Board), Self Wise Allah (RNA Board), Vince Bushell, Jeff Schmidt, Sonya Knauss (RNA Board), Ted Anderson, County Supervisor Willie Johnson, Crystal Graf (Assistant to Alderman D’Amato), Janice Christensen, Nada Michael, Michael Peragine, Josie Osborne, Carol Wood Invocation: None offered Note Taker: Lorraine Jacobs Minutes from meeting of May 11, 2004 were approved: Motion Tim Vertz, Second Nancy Centz Announcements • Vince Bushell announced a weekly “Weed Out” of the Beerline trail during the month of June. Meet at Gordon Park, Wednesday evenings, at 7:00 PM. • Grand Opening of the Snail Crossing Park, Friday, June 11 from 11:00AM — 7:00 PM • Annual Co-op Rummage Sale, June 26th & 27th • The “Fit, Fine and Fabulous” young women from COA are selling hand made dolls as a fundraiser for a trip to visit southern colleges. They will be available to sell the dolls at Locust Street Festival and Gardener’s Market. • Locust Street Festival, Sunday June 13th • Ted Anderson, representing the Wisconsin Community Services, provided information on the many services and programs available to citizens who may become involved, are involved or were involved with the criminal justice system. There is a Residential Services Center in Riverwest, The Joshua Glover Center, 2705 N. Booth Street. Materials describing all the programs were made available to those attending. Committee Reports • Holton Street Revitalization Committee, presented by Don Sargent/Jim Wilson The city has again approved funds for the Main Street Program. Riverworks will apply again, for Center Street. There are limited funds and Center Street may not be selected this year, but it is important to continue working on the process. Currently Center Street does not have the concentration of business activity nor as strong of a business association as some of the other applicants. Don Sargent and Jim Wilson will continue to work with the business owners to strengthen the commitment and activity. The question was raised as to whether Riverworks had a commitment to housing in Riverwest. Don Sargent explained that the focus of the organization is on building businesses, particularly at the industrial level. • Development Committee, presented by Sonya Jongsma Knauss 1. The Reservoir Revitalization Position paper, summarizing Riverwest Neighborhood Association interests and opinions was reviewed. A few editing suggestions were discussed. The motion was made (Vince Bushell) and Seconded (Tim Vertz) to accept the Position Paper as read and edited. Also, final copies be sent to: Department of Water Works, COA, Supervisor Willie Johnson, 3rd and 6th District Alders, Urban Ecology Center. The motion was approved. It was agreed that Sonya will make the final edits and forward the letter to Lorraine (Secretary) for mailing. Sonya Jongsma-Knauss (Chair-Development Committee) and Nancy Centz (Chair of the Riverwest Neighborhood Association) will sign it. The motion was approved. 2. It was reported that the Andy Bussalacci condo development is expected to be available for sale in Fall, 2004. 3. The Gordon Knoll neighbors met recently to discuss construction changes to the original proposal for that development. It seems they are working together on a solution. 4. Crystal Graf distributed a “map” depicting the Josey Heights development as an example of the type of development that could take place on the Johnson Controls property. It was noted that the Johnson Controls site is smaller than the Josey Heights space. • Guardians of Green Space, presented by Vince Bushell 1. The City received a $125,000 grant from the DNR for restoration of the Garden Market space. The land is contaminated and will need to be rehabilitated. This will entail digging into the current plantings, however it will be restored as a garden space. It will be managed by M.U.G. with neighbor input, programming, facilities and gardens. 2. Continued discussion on progress of the Beerline Trail. The River Revitalization Foundation has raised the funds to purchase the RR right of way from Gordon to Wright Streets. Federal Funds are available to complete the trail however a land swap between the City/County and ReadCo continues to block final progress. This delay could jeopardize the Federal Funding, which has a deadline for implementation. A meeting was held today of all parties involved and little progress was made. Vince Bushell presented a proposed letter of RNA support, to be sent to the governmental representatives The letter will emphasize RNA support for the land swap and successful completion of the trail which would provide a loop of public access and connect with proposed trails leading North and South along both sides of the river. The letter was reviewed. A Motion was made (Sonya Jongsma-Knauss) and Seconded (Tim Vertz) to approve the letter as presented and to send it to the City/County representatives. Vince will prepare and send the letter. The motion was approved. 3. Information and photos were distributed regarding the David Middlebrook public art sculpture which will be installed in Gordon Park in June/July. Assistance, on many levels, is needed for the installation. A Motion was made (Sonya Jongsma-Knauss) and Seconded (Tim Vertz) to authorize Vince Bushell to write a press release regarding the sculpture and installation. The Motion was approved. 4. Vince is seeking to build the subcommittee and anyone interested in participating should contact him after tonight’s meeting. . Youth Committee, Self Wise Allah reporting 1. Final editing is being accomplished on the Riverwest Neighborhood Youth Directory. 2. The Committee is working on plans for the Gordon Park 4th of July Talent Contest. • Administration, presented by Nancy Centz 1. Nancy Centz reported that final information and signatures were obtained and the application for the Riverwest Neighborhood Association Non-Profit status is complete. She will send in this week. 2. Lorraine Jacobs suggested that the Riverwest Neighborhood Association consider an avenue for expression of our sympathy to the family of Tia Woodley and Temisha Warren. Some discussion and suggestions followed. It was decided to include our expression of condolence in the minutes, as they are printed in the Riverwest Currents, to send a card from RNA to the family and to present public recognition and sympathy for the family’s grief through Riverwest Currents. District 5 Police Meeting Update, presented by Jim Wilson/Tim Vertz • An announcement was made that a Red Cross Life Saving Class will be made available to interested neighbors. More information to follow. • The district currently has a higher incidence of thefts (not robberies), otherwise our statistics are compatible with other districts. Neighbors are cautioned to not leave items unattended, put equipment and valuables away and to watch out for each other’s property. • Also, we were reminded that it is important to call the Police as well as the Grafitti Hot Line when reporting incidents. City Wide Housing Coalition, presented by Jim Wilson • There have been 65 letters sent to property owners notifying them of needed repairs, as noted in the recent housing survey. Some phone calls were received. This information will be forwarded to the city housing office. • There is a city program to assist homeowners with minor repairs, max. $750. Eligibility is income based and applications are available at Jim Wilson’s office. Other • Jim Wilson announced that Rafael Garcia has been hired as the new assistant at the Center Street CDC office • Tim Vertz thanked everyone who helped with making the Kilbourn Park Celebration on Friday, June 21st, a success. • Tim Vertz met with representatives of the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association and it was suggested at the meeting that area neighborhood associations plan a gathering as a fundraiser for the Urban Ecology Center. After some discussion it was agreed by consensus that the Riverwest Neighborhood Association continue to participate in this collaboration. Tim Vertz will represent RNA at future meetings. The meeting was adjourned. Next Meeting: July 13, 2004 7:00 PM YMCA CDC Office, 604 E. Center Street.