5:00 Legislation and Intergovernmental committee
Mid-session legislative report from Brian Rice, Maryann Campo and Kirk Pederson MPRB lobbyists
The gist of the report was that the governor was not into funding “individual” city projects so all of Minneapolis got just the planetarium. The rest of the time seems to have been spent trying to keep the money from the sale of the Fuji-ya property and avoiding a funding fight with the non-metro area parks. As to the Fuji-ya sale, the MPRB gets to keep the $750,000 to create the parking facility under the development, and $875,000 of the sale price. It has been earmarked by the legislature for specific projects. $25,000 must be matched and used to start planning for the East Phillips community center and the balance must be matched and spent on the Above the Falls plan ( I think specifically towards land acquisition).
Commissioners asked about using the money toward other projects higher on the MPRB priority list and were told the money was specifically allocated and could be taken back if not used for its intended purpose.
There were also discussions about LGA which seems to be set for the current level, but it is still too early for it to be completely safe. Commissioner Berry Graves commented that all youth employment money seemed to be drying up and that addressing public safety through other means was not as effective as keeping youth working and too tired to cause trouble. There seems to be an effort by many Minneapolis legislators to work on youth employment funding and the MN Twins and the Timberwolves are being approached by Mayor Rybak to fund Phat Summer programming.
A thank you was also mentioned for the MN Twins who gave $60,000 to for the MPRB rookie leagues and fields.
5:40 Administration and Finance committee
7.1 MPRB to enter into an agreement with the Bryn Mawr neighborhood for $3500 for the removal of invasive species (buckthorn et al) at Brownie Lake. ( The MPRB runs the power tools and the Bryn Mawr volunteers drag the brush)
7.2 MPRB enters into an agreements with Sea Salt to operate the Minnehaha Concession using the terms negotiated with the Tin Fish. (The Tin Fish is going to concentrate on Lake Calhoun ). The menu will be more seafood and less hot dogs and burgers but there will be ice cream and popcorn still available. The MPRB will be putting in an employee restroom and upgrading the ventilation system for the grill ( at what cost???? anyone????)
Commissioner Young asks if there is a schedule of what the concessions used to earn so that comparisons can be made as to how much these contracts are really earning the MPRB.
Then there was some discussion of why the new tenants want to offer cooking classes which a few of the commissioners mentioned they ought to take.
6:00 Regular Meeting and OPEN TIME
Victor Grambsch of Nicollet Island / East Bank Neighborhood Association
Recommended that since a discussion held at one of their meetings went so well that they are offering their services as a facilitator of discussions regarding the DeLaSalle issue. He noted that the Neighborhood Association unanimously passed 2 resolutions: (1) opposing DeLaSalle’s current plan of building on leased park property and a vacated city stree, and (2) continuing the discussion and working to find a solution that all can live with.
Ms. Fried attempted to obtain a copy of the minutes of the Standards and Conduct Committee meeting of the October 20, 2004 meeting where Commissioner Dziedzic’s conduct at a previous meeting was called into question. Since this meeting started before 5:00pm it was not recorded by the new system (DVD of the broadcast) and the audio tape machine had not recorded this earlier segment. She was dismayed and recommended a more diligent maintaining of records. (Maybe all public meetings should be schedule to begin at 5:00 when the broadcast starts).
Ms. Hune believes that treatment of the Elm Trees would be dollars spent wisely to combat dutch elm and would like the MPRB to help facilitate making the preventative measures available to home and multi unit dwelling owners through group discounts or possibly by making payments through their tax bill. She believes preventative measures would be cheaper than removal and replanting over time.
Would also like a preventative method used on Elm trees. New studies are showing the methods to be effective and that the present system is like putting out a fire with a juice glass. The MPRB should be finding a major donor to get a prevention/protection component into their Dutch Elm program.
Mary Lou Hill Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association
The Bryn Mawr neighborhood has contacted the MPRB on both August 3, 2004 and February 21, 2005 about the possible and prospective uses for Bryn Mawr Meadows. Both of the letters were regarding whether the MPRB would follow the Basset Creek Valley Master Plan and the Bryn Mawr Land Use Plan. they would like at least an acknowledgment that their letters were received and would like a clarification of the MPRB’s position in regard to the plans.
6:15 Planning Committee
Commissioner Young would like to amend the agenda to include a Bryn Mawr discussion. There is some squabbling over the new rules which do not allow this and it became a study item as did the MPRB master plan. She also would like to add DeLaSalle and Commissioner Olson says that is already being handled by himself and the Superintendent.
4.1 Staff and the Friends of the Wildflower Gardens make a presentation on the upgrade to an area in the bird sanctuary in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Gardens and Bird Sanctuary for which the Friend’s are providing the money for the materials.
4.2 A presentation is given about the new light fixtures to be installed by public works along the Grand Rounds parkways ( about 100 lights per year, of a total 2343, and parts from the replaced lights will be used to extend the life of those remaining) The lights will be funded in 3 parts $6000 apiece installation and $1200 per fixture by public works and $600 per fixture by the MPRB (and why they could not find an acceptable $1200 fixture that would have cost the MPRB nothing was never addressed which would have been nice).
4.3 Retention of URS to provide consulting services for the Edgewater Park Master Plan Implementation, for a fee not to exceed $112,075.00
Discussion of Bryn Mawr and Bassett Creek Valley master Plan
Commissioner Erwin said he knows of at least 4 plans for the area and could we have a review at some point to see how or if the plans fit together.
Commissioner Mason asked that if a discussion is to be held during the next meeting that the neighborhood be invited.
Commissioner Young asks that receipt of the letters at least be sent.
The discussion then moves on to a Master Plan for the entire MPRB system.
Commissioner Erwin makes a motion for a sub-committee to be formed to work on the MPRB Master Plan
Then the discussion turns to whether it should be a sub committee or special committee or a working group.
Regular Meeting called back into session at 7:10 pm.
The agenda is amended to include a discussion of some police incidents specifically Hidden Beach and appointing members to the Master Plan group. Commissioners Young and Berry Graves asked why the need for satellite offices in Longfellow and Wirth House as the new headquarters was suppose to centralize staff and now they want to create field offices. The superintendent was asked to bring information about this to the next meeting and he requested it come before the board during the first meeting in May.
A motion passed, 7 for 2 against ( Fine and Dziedzic) to suspend the rules to add the Hidden Beach and Master Plan items to the agenda.
Superintendent Gurban noted that with the loss of Teen Teamworks funding and money from the Youth Coordinating Board for Phat Summer that MPRB summer youth employment took a $200,000 hit.
Commissioner Hauser was willing to give up her travel allowance and Commissioner Mason asked about using money from the Innovation Fund
( what is the deal with that fund?? does it or does it not exist and what are the rules for its use?? it’s a half million dollars that is just hovering around and the public is curious)
Commissioner Mason also asked why she is no longer receiving the MPRB police statistics that used to come with the superintendent’s predecessors reports? She would like it back. Whenever there was a significant incident in a park the commissioner for that district was notified and that has also stopped happening, and she heard from either the press or the neighbors for the last 2 happenings in her district.
Superintendent Gurban then made a fiery statement regarding how safe our parks are and that to his knowledge no changes have been made and recommended a Public Safety report from the Park Police Chief.
GM Siggelkow reported that the MPRB was open for golf
GM Schmidt reported on Earth Day, Saturday April 23rd ( check minneapolisparks.org for a site near you) and about the $60,000 from the Twins and another $20,000 from them for field improvements ($80,000 total GO TWINS)
The MPRB paid some bills and the vote on the Sea Salt concessions at Minnehaha Park passed with Mason voting NO and Berry Graves and Young Abstaining
Report on Summer Lunch Programs by District Manager Jon Oyanagi, River District manager
Due to changes in the MPS food distribution system the school lunch program was suspended after the summer of 2003. This was due to a change in how the meals were delivered and the extra costs associated with that ( early openings, transportation, refrigerated storage needed etc…) This led to a decrease in number of children coming to the facilities where the free lunches had been offered. Though the MPRB would like to offer the lunches again the issue of how to get the food from the MPS facility to the parks was discussed and suggestions ( have the Park Police deliver or maybe ask Meals on Wheels volunteers) were made but no definitive answer was found. If the lunches were to be provided the MPRB would look to supplement the many places they are currently available to cover areas that may be underserved. ( a page and a half of sites that offer summer lunches was included in the information the commissioners received ).
Bureau of Mines Property Report
Commissioner Kummer states that most of the pollution has been cleaned up by the Fish and Wildlife Department.
The estimated cost to re-hab the building is $12,000,000
It’s beautiful but the MPRB has no funds
Director of Planning Reitkerk stated that planning staff member Jennifer Ringgold went to the meetings and that the MPRB status is to keep its options open and are operating under that plan.
Vote on the addition of more sites to the MPRB list of where alcoholic beverages may be sold/served all present voted YES
President Olson appoints John Erwin to Chair the Working group for the Master Plan with Commissioners Fine and Kummer.
Commissioner Young would like a report about the Police behavior
President Olson states it is alleged behavior
Commissioner Erwin would also like a report and backs up the statement that the commissioner used to get calls on the more serious incidents
Commissioner Mason stated that she heard about the robberies on the Cedar Lake Trails on the news but would have liked the news when it happened and has requested the police inform her and is still not getting calls.
Petitions and Communications
Commissioner Mason has the neighborhood near Parade asking about the Circe de Soliel, they are not happy
Many commissioners are still getting DeLaSalle calls, letters and e-mails
Many commissioners are getting calls about de-centralizing the staff after the expense of the new headquarters
The cable broadcasts of the meetings seem to be having some technical difficulties with voice overs
Commissioner Erwin stated that when the weather gets nice and the buildings are not yet open that there need to be porta-potties ( or the bushes take some abuse)
Commissioner Kummer has been to meetings regarding the Longfellow House and would like to see cost comparisons on opening it for staff vs. maintaining it while it is closed.
Commissioner Dziedzic has been getting lots of MPRB questions at political events and states that the MPRB needs to be a team
Commissioner Fine attended a Minnehaha Creek Visioning Meeting and the staff did a good job presenting the MPRB’s plan to the Corps of Engineers.
Meeting Adjourned 8:12