Board Members Not Present (6): Tony Anthony (VicePres.),Ben Swan, Jr, (Asst Clerk/Secy.), Frank Buntin, Katie Foster, Arthur Jones, Donna Jordan
Neighborhood Members Attending:Shannon Curran-Trzepacz
Guests:Charlie (Jose) Ramos
Welcome by WK; board member introductions; audience introductions.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT:(Walter Kroll)
oWK encouraged Board to continue expanding and building on the Council’s current projects and continuing to be consistent in activities and faithful with the follow through.
VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Tony Anthony); absent, no report.
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens, Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
oMinutes of Board Meeting, December January 11, 2011, submitted for acceptance.
MOTION: (DM moved) to accept as presented; (GH seconded ); (WK call for discussion) ;( WK called the question); Motion carried 8 yea; 1 abstention.
TREASURER’S REPORT: (Marianne Winters)
oWeed & Seed grant of $628 received.MW observed that $300 of this is needed for the newsletter costs, but consideration could be given to using the remaining amount to help fund the land appraisal needed for the rail trail.
oPartners for a Healthier Community grant of $2000 received for development of rail trail.$650 spent on industrial weed whacker for use in rail trail development.Motion required to formally accepting grant.There is a September 30 deadline for the money to be spentMOTION: (MW moved) to accept funding up to $2000 toward development of the rail trail from Partners for a Healthier Community; (GH seconded ); (WK call for discussion) ;( WK called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
oRequest from Deb Albury of the Primus Mason Fit Team for MNC to act as fiscal agent for that group’s grant from PHC because group does not have official non-profit status.Grant is comprised of two components—a “President’s Challenge” fitness program for neighborhood children; and the funding for a safe crosswalk at Magazine Park. Discussion by Board about exactly what role MNC would play and how much responsibility this would entail.LS observed that MNC paid a 10% agent’s fee to Gasoline Alley under similar circumstances.Issue tabled until Board can obtain more information about the proposal.
oAnnual Spring Block Party planning begun.Event scheduled for June and co-sponsored by Neighborhood Watch.WK observed that this event has been growing stronger in scope and neighborhood attendance and deserves long range and thoughtful planning to continue its success.
§LS suggested the possibility of changing the location this year to the new Rebecca Johnson Playground to help celebrate its opening.EK observed that the traditional location at Thompson Triangle was more desirable because of its central location and people expected the event to take place there.Location decision tabled.
§In addition to the open grill and potluck, events tentatively included are a live band and open mike opportunity for residents; photo booth run by EK; Orlando Worthy’s fitness hoops, bounce house, sidewalk art, and bubble making for the kids.MW suggested inviting Springfield College students to be involved in developing events for the kids.
oMinor Home Repair Opportunity—Sponsored by the Lutheran Conference for June 4.Invitation to submit proposals from “under-resourced” residents for projects involving minor carpentry, painting, and yard work.Resident needs to provide materials and tools, and project will be executed by an appropriately matched group of volunteers between 11 am and 6pm that day.Submission deadline is February 28.
§Discussion included how to reach residents with this information; need to contact neighbors and spread the word.
§Church on the corner of Clarendon & St James cited as potential proposal; Rev Bailey to be contacted with information.
NEW BUSINESS—OPEN TO FLOOR
oEK commented on the serious problem of unshoveled sidewalks, particularly on Bay Street.Has called 311 to report with no success.Quality of life officer Reggie Miller notified, who is issuing citations to offending landlords.Agreement that DPW is inundated because of the ongoing heavy snowfall and that there is no easy solution.
YOUTH COUNCIL (Jesse Lederman, Chair)
oJL reported latest developments in the Youth Council’s effort to help stop the building of the biomass incinerator in East Springfield, mentioning extensive article in Valley Advocate which included an interview with Council president Walter Kroll.
oTentative plans announced for organizing a summer concert series at Thompson Triangle.
PUBLIC SAFETY: (Walter Kroll, Chair)
oWK acknowledged Officer Charlie Ramos who now works with the Watch and was present at the meeting.Despite February Watch meeting canceled because of weather, the Watch has been very active, pursuing a problem on Bay street where narcotics were being sold to minors in the area of one of the convenience stores.
oWK also reported a recent car chase with shots fired in the vicinity of Amherst and Harvard Streets which resulted in apprehension and arrest.
oImportance of report, report, report stressed by both WK and Officer Ramos.
HOUSING/ CODE: (Vacant Chair)
oWK reported that Merry Boone has volunteered to do some work with the Housing & Code committee, and that GH has volunteered to become involved.
oDM reported that 400 St James Avenue, which has many code violations, has been transferred back to the previous owner.Status of progress on code violations now uncertain.
oStatus of bank owned properties with code problems to be discussed at a future date.
o62 Bay Street in grave disrepair, has $174,000 owed in back taxes.
COMMUNICATIONS(Marianne Winters, Chair)
oMW reported that work on the newsletter is underway by subcontractor Bob McCarthy.Expect call for articles.
oDM recommended an article on the status of the grants for which MNC has applied, successful and unsuccessful, to let the neighborhood know the results.
FINANCE & FUNDRAISING (Marianne Winters, Chair)
oMW reported one meeting had taken place in January and that she will schedule another one.
oPossibilities discussed for raising some funds for the rail trail through the house plaque and flag sales; and by running a campaign for direct donations to the rail trail.
GOOD NEIGHBOR: (Ceil Lewonchuk, Chair)
oDiscussion on Welcome Packets for new neighborhood residents.General agreement to add to the comprehensive packet that neighborhood realtor Jim Boone has been passing out for many years.GH passed out a sample Welcome to McKnight sheet from the Council to be added to the packet.LS suggesting adding website to the MNC letterhead; MW agreed to execute change.
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS
MASON SQUARE LIBRARY:(Liz Stevens, Chair)
oLS reported plans for grand re-opening in April underway, with ribbon cutting scheduled for April 13, sock-hop planned; collaboration with Taj Mahal for possible appearance.
RAIL TRAIL/ RJS PLAYGROUND: (Liz Stevens, Chair)
oLS reported completion of a presentation of project packet for the rail trail.Packet is for distribution to interested parties and potential advocates and contributors.EK delivering copy to Congressman Neal; JL distributing copies to Governor Patrick and staff.
oLS & MW in process of applying for five different grants in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 for rail trail development.Next steps are land appraisal and an environmental assessment for which cost estimates are being obtained.
oExploring possibility with Springfield College for an Americorp volunteer to help with capacity building, developing a group of volunteers to clear trail, and overall expansion efforts toward development.If obtained, volunteer will begin work in September.WK observed that the city department of Neighborhood Services has a volunteer named Mohammed who is available for neighborhood work and that he can do anything except solicit funds.
HEALTH & GREEN SPACE (Katie Foster, Chair)
oDenise Moccia reporting on participation in EPA CARE grant. LS went to initial meeting; DM and Lisa Gaudreau went to next meeting; LG will continue to attend.DM submitting three sites in the McKnight area and on border that are of environmental concern:380 Bay Street, Cohen Bros and Roy’s Towing, the latter two being Brownfields.DM to write letter to Mayor outlining continuing concerns and problems, re: 380 Bay which is a McKnight property.
oWK shared information on a new recycling option, Green Monster Recycling, newly opened on Cottage Street.Facility accepts a wide range of items including refrigerators, washers, and dryers; some items for free, some for a fee.
CLOSING CALL FOR ANY OTHER BUSINESS
oJL asked status of McKnight Facebook page and offered to design it if MW had not had time to do so.MW agreeable.
MOTION:(LS moved) to authorize JL to set up Facebook page for MNC; (EK seconded); (WK called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
oWK juried Board to see if the 6 pm start time for the monthly meeting is too early.General agreement by Board members present that it is still a desirable start time.Members recommitted to being more timely in arrival.
8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT:MOTION:(JL moved) to adjourn; (EK seconded); motion carried.
NEXT MNC MEETING:Tuesday, March 08, 2011
REBECCA JOHNSON SCHOOL, 55 Catherine Street
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 03/08/2011.