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AGENDA & MINUTES March 08, 2011

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AGENDA
6:00 – 6:15 pm:  OPEN MEETING, WELCOME
o   Introduction, Board of Directors
o   Audience Introductions
6:15 – 6:30 pm:  GUEST
o   Mario Mazza, from the Springfield Department of Public Works, speaking on the City’s proposal for a graduated trash fee system utilizing different sized trash bins.
6:15 – 630 pm:  OFFICER’S REPORTS   
o    PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
§  Update on historical house plaques—early order form attached
§  Update on neighborhood block party – tentative date June 18
o    VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (vacant post)
o    SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens & Elizabeth Lederman, admin staff)
§  Minutes of February 08, 2011 meeting
o    TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Marianne Winters): Asst Treasurer, Greg Hession reporting;
§  Monthly financial report—see attached report
6:30 – 6:40 pm:  OLD BUSINESS
o    Minor Home Repair Project — Update
o    License Board Law under review by City Council Subcommittee – Update
6:40 – 7:00 pm:  NEW BUSINESS
o    Kat Wright, presenting on the Mason Square Library Grand Re-opening
o    Open to the floor
7:00 – 7:30 pm:  GUESTS
o   Jonathan Palmer and Lee Ann Pasquini from the Springfield Office of Finance, presenting information on the possibility of instituting “payment in lieu of taxes” for the City’s large non-profits who consume many city services but pay no taxes.
o   Daniel Daigle, seeking Council recommendation for opening a used car lot at 11 Batavia Street & 526 St James Avenue.
7:30 – 8:00 pm:  COMMITTEE REPORTS – Any committee updates (5 minutes each)
o    Youth (Jesse Lederman)                                                                   
o    Public Safety (Walter Kroll)                                                               
o    Housing/Code (vacant chair)
o    Communications (Marianne Winters)
o    Finance & Fund Raising (Marianne Winters)
o    Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS:
o    Mason Square Library (Liz Stevens)
o    Rail trail/RJS playground (Liz Stevens)
§  Updates on grant activity
o    Health & Green Space (Katie Foster)

8:00 pm – Close Meeting

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council
Board Meeting: March 08, 2011
Meeting Called to order 6:05 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (11):  Walter Kroll (Pres.), Liz Stevens, (Clerk/Secy.), Ben Swan, Jr, (Asst Clerk/Secy), Gregory A Hession, (Asst. Treas.), Katie Foster, Chip Gorra, Donna Jordan, Ed Kelly, Jesse Lederman, Ceil Lewonchuk, Denise Moccia, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (3):  Marianne Winters (Treas.); Frank Buntin,  Arthur Jones
Neighborhood Members Attending:   Lisa Gaudreau, Kat Wright, Timothy Bouknight
Guests:  Jon Baldwin, Andrew Bushey, Daniel Daigle, Delania Barbee,  Mario Mazza, Greg Superneau
Welcome by WK; board member introductions; audience introductions.
GUEST PRESENTATIONS
o   Greg Superneau and Mario Mazza, from the Springfield Department of Public Works, speaking on the City’s proposal for a graduated trash fee system utilizing different sized trash bins.  The current trash fee system expires June 30. 
·         The new proposal consists of a 3-bin choice of barrels, with a yearly fee of $40 for a 35 gal bin, $70 for 65 gal, and $100 for 95 gal, with extra bag collection available for a $2 sticker. 
·         The new bins will be gray, and the old green bins will be designated for yard waste pickup. 
·         The basic idea presented  is that the availability of smaller bins at a lower fee increases single stream recycling which will continue to be free to residents—and more recycling means greater savings to the City for landfill costs.
Board members raised the following questions and offered comment:
·         Would smaller barrel options increase dumping rather than encouraging recycling?
·         Need to educate public on what can be recycled
·         Need to address recycling options in multi-family units
·         Need for weekly pickup of recycling bins rather than biweekly
·         Need to incorporate the Springfield School system into the recycling effort
Superneau and Mazza encouraged all residents to call their City Councilors to express their support or opposition to the new proposal.
o   Daniel Daigle, dba as Nice Used Cars, seeking Board recommendation for taking over the special permit from previous owner, Jon Baldwin, of Jon’s Used Cars at 11 Batavia Street & 526 St James Avenue.
·         Jon Baldwin and his son appeared to speak on behalf of Mr Daigle, stressing that he had hand-picked Mr Daigle and offered assurances of the integrity of his character and business intentions.
·         Mr Daigle explained his application and stressed that he intended to operate as Mr Baldwin had operated the business for the past 27 years.
·         Greg Hession reported that he had met with Mr Daigle at the property, conducted an interview and reviewed the McKnight application, the city Planning Department analysis, and tax information—and was satisfied to recommend supporting Mr Daigle’s petition for change in ownership.
                MOTION:  (LS moved) to accept application and recommend to City Council; (GH              seconded); (WK call for discussion, none); (WK call for vote) motion carried unanimously.
WK welcomed Mr Daigle to the McKnight community, and stressed the responsibility of participation in neighborhood activities, as well as the Watch and police beat resources.
o   Lee Ann Pasquini from the Springfield Office of Finance, and Richie Allen (standing in for Jonathan Palmer who was originally scheduled) presenting information on the possibility of instituting “payment in lieu of taxes , PILOT programs, for the City’s large non-profits who consume many city services but pay no taxes.
·         There are three types of organizations who do not have to pay taxes to the City—non profits, state programs, and federal programs
·         Small non-profits, like churches and community food banks, with income of less than $15 million a year are not involved—aimed mainly  at large scale colleges and medical facilities
·         Currently there is no legal obligation for these types of institutions to pay a PILOT
·         Baystate Medical Center already pays a $500,000 yearly voluntary PILOT
·         City is now beginning to negotiate PILOT agreements into the contracts of current sales of city properties to institutions like Springfield College who have been buying up large parcels
Board comment and questions and concerns:
·         Will this discourage philanthropy in the community on the part of the large non-profits?
·         Currently no legislative tools in place; Boston has failed repeatedly to successfully negotiate Pilots; legislation needed
·         City losing large revenues from properties being removed from tax roles when purchased by non-profits
·         Untaxed parcels owned by old Railroad entities with unchallenged tax-exempt status that is generating income for its owners
Pasquini and Allen answered questions and concluded the presentation with information that no formal policy has been brought forward as of yet, and that they have been meeting with the colleges to lay groundwork and continue to explore the situation.
NEW BUSINESS
o   Kat Wright, presenting on the Mason Square Library Grand Re-opening.
·         Re-opening scheduled for April 13, 14, and 15
·         Shared details of Grand Reopening and distributed flyer calling for volunteers to decorate, greet visitors, assist in children’s activities, assist with the ribbon cutting ceremony, reception and sock hop events—plenty of volunteer opportunities for everyone who wants to be involved in the thee day event

 

 

OFFICER’S REPORTS
PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter Kroll)
o   Historical house plaques now available.  Five houses now have them installed.  Jim Boone will be leaving for the summer, and WK will take over the project.  Order form is attached, and orders can now be placed with McKnight staff Elizabeth Lederman.  Plaques are $35 payable to the McKnight Council.
o   Reminder that Block Party is scheduled for June 18; keep the ideas rolling in.
VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (vacant)
o   WK announced resignation of former Vice President, Tony Anthony.  Will be seeking interested Board member to fill the post.
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens, Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, February 08, 2011, submitted for acceptance.  Correction in meeting attendance noted; Ceil Lewonchuk not present.
MOTION: (KF moved) to accept as presented (with attendance correction); (BS seconded); (WK call for discussion) ;( WK called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
 TREASURER’S REPORT: (Marianne Winters, absent)
o   GH reporting for MW—nothing unusual in budget to report.  Need two budget amendments:
·         Weed & Seed grant money for $628
·         Deb Albury’s Fit Plus $2000 grant to be administered by MNC as fiscal agent
·         Fit Plus amendment tabled until next meeting pending clarification with Deb Albury on grant details and administration
       MOTION:  (BS moved) to accept proposed budget striking line item 10 and 16 (references to Fit 
       Plus monies); (JL seconded); (WK called the question); motion carried unanimously.
OLD BUSINESS
o   WK reported on Minor Home Repair Opportunity—Sponsored by the Lutheran Conference for June 4.  Three proposals received from McKnight residents.  Organization will notify MNC by April 15 as to which proposals have been accepted.
NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor
o   EK raised the question that the current rehab taking place at 9 Clarendon Street may be for a boarding house.  Discussion about the status of the building permits in place.  WK promised to follow up with Code enforcement to check out the situation.
COMMITTEE REPORTS
YOUTH COUNCIL (Jesse Lederman, Chair)
·         JL reported latest developments in the Youth Council’s effort to help stop the building of the biomass incinerator in East Springfield.  Draft air permit public hearing scheduled for April 5.  Stressed the importance of public attendance.  City Council moving toward revoking Special Permit originally issued for the incinerator.
·         Youth Council continuing work on idea to present a series of summer concerts at Thompson Triangle, July 5 through Aug 30.
PUBLIC SAFETY: (Walter Kroll, Chair)
·         WK stressed importance of continuing to call in any safety or crime related problems, even if they are after the fact—stolen property, noise, unsafe events, etc—so that Sector F police officials know that this activity is occurring and the patterns can be tracked.
HOUSING/ CODE: (Vacant Chair)
·         WK pointed out that housing/code still needs an official chairman for anyone who can take on the job.  
COMMUNICATIONS (Walter Kroll, Chair)
·         WK has assumed this chair from MW, and will be working with the new editor Bob McCarthy.
GOOD NEIGHBOR: (Ceil Lewonchuk, Chair)
·         GH will send new MNC flyer to CL; flyer to be included in McKnight welcome packet for new residents.
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS
RAIL TRAIL/ RJS PLAYGROUND: (Liz Stevens, Chair)
·         LS reported that she and EK met with Congressman Neal’s aide to discuss possible sources of Rail Trail funding; meeting went well.
·         Identified grant funds will be needed for land appraisal, environmental assessment, and engineering survey.
·         Will be identifying projects that Americorp volunteer can help with.
HEALTH & GREEN SPACE (Katie Foster, Chair)
·         KF reported that MSHTF will be holding community meeting and dinner on March 17 to advance plans and solicit input for full service grocery store in area.
·         Food Zone now providing local pickup and transportation to and from store for area residents who otherwise have to take the bus.
·         Mason Square Farmer’s market now looking at full year funding possibilities.
 

 

8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT:    MOTION:   (JL moved) to adjourn; (BS seconded); motion carried.
NEXT MNC MEETING:                    Tuesday, April 12, 2011
REBECCA JOHNSON SCHOOL, 55 Catherine Street
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 04/12/2011.

 

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