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AGENDA & MINUTES May 10, 2011

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AGENDA
6:00 – 6:15 pm:  OPEN MEETING, WELCOME
o   Introduction, Board of Directors
o   Audience Introductions
6:15 – 6:45 pm:  GUEST
o   Burt Freedman is one of the founders of the Springfield Public Schools ECOS outdoor environmental learning program.  Burt is presenting an update about the City’s plans for the Phaneuf Center where ECOS is housed in Forest Park.  The new plans call for a renovated facility which can be used by community groups throughout the city
6:45 – 7:00 pm:  OFFICERS’ REPORTS   
o    PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
·         Minor Home Repair Opportunity for Neighborhood Residents—update
·         Spirit of Springfield—375th Anniversary Celebration—Parade May 14th—update
·         McKnight Annual June Block Party—scheduled for June 18th
o    VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (vacant post)
o    SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens & Elizabeth Lederman, admin staff)
·         Minutes of April 12, 2011 meeting
o    TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Marianne Winters)
·         Re-structuring bookkeeping system–update
7:00—7:30 pm:  New Business
o    Annual meeting scheduled for June 14 & Upcoming Elections at June 18th block party
·         Election by Board of Directors of the 2011 Election Chairperson
·         Announcement of the Nomination Committee to select slate of officers
o    Open to the Floor
7:30 – 8:00 pm:  COMMITTEE REPORTS – Any committee updates (5 minutes each)
·         Youth (Jesse Lederman)                                                           
·         Public Safety (Walter Kroll)                                                       
·         Housing/Code (vacant chair)
·         Communications (Walter Kroll)
·         Finance & Fund Raising (Marianne Winters)
·         Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS:
·         Mason Square Library (Liz Stevens)
·         Rail trail/RJS playground (Liz Stevens)
§  Keep Springfield Beautiful Day—report on Rail Trail Clean up
·         Health & Green Space (Katie Foster)
8:00 pm – Close Meeting

Approved June 14, 2011
Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council
Board Meeting:  May 10, 2011
Meeting Called to order 6:05 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (9):  Walter Kroll (Pres.), Liz Stevens, (Clerk/Secy.), Ben Swan, Jr, (Asst Clerk/Secy), Marianne Winters (Treas.); Gregory A Hession, (Asst. Treas.), Frank Buntin, Jesse Lederman, Ceil Lewonchuk, Denise Moccia, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (5):  Katie Foster, Chip Gorra, Arthur Jones, Donna Jordan, Ed Kelly
Neighborhood Members Attending:    Kathryn Wright,  Stephen Thibeau,  Steven Gray
Guests:  Burt Freedman, John Lysak
Welcome by WK; board member introductions; audience introductions.
GUEST PRESENTATIONS
°         Burt Freedman—one of the founders of the Springfield Public Schools ECOS outdoor environmental learning program—presented an update about the City’s tentative plans for the Phaneuf Center where ECOS is housed in Forest Park.
·         The presentation included an architectural rending of the proposed facility.
·         The new plans call for a renovated dual-use facility which can be used by community groups throughout the city and still serve as the program basecamp for ECOS.
·         The School department will continue to fund ECOS, and the city would maintain the building.
·         Revenue will be generated by groups who use the facility as a venue for their events.
·         Renovations to be funded initially as a bond issue project.
·         Burt described this as a project whose time has come, and that the project has been in line for funding for a number of years.
·         Residents are urged to lend their support by calling and writing the Mayor’s office.
MOTION:  (JL moved) to send a memorandum of support from MNC; (LS seconded); (WK called); motion carried unanimously.
YOUTH COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORT (out of order)
°         JL reporting that the Springfield City Council is holding special hearing on May 17 at 430pm in City Hall to amend or revoke the special permit for the PRE biomass incinerator.  All residents encouraged to attend this hearing, and urged to contact Ward 4 Councilor Twiggs, along with the at-large councilors, and voice their opinions to them on this issue.
OFFICERS’ REPORTS
PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walter Kroll)
o   Minor Home Repair Opportunity—update—Pastor Hazelwood from Lutheran volunteer grout inspected the three properties who submitted applications on April 20.  Will get back to us.
o   Spirit of Springfield parade plans for Saturday, May 14.  WK and SG tentatively participating with vintage cars; Youth Council members planning to march.
o   Block party with Neighborhood Watch partnering scheduled for Saturday June 18.  In addition to cookout, activities tentatively in place include bounce house, photo booth, sidewalk art, and rope bubbles from Board members.  Mischa Epstein Is signed on for face painting, Olander Worthy is being contacted about providing hula hoop activities. Preservation Trust and a representative from the EPA CARE grant teams also possible participants.
VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT::  (vacant)
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens, Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, April 12, 2011, submitted for acceptance.  LS called for corrections or additions.  DM cited entry under New Business, a discussion about 69 Bowdoin Street, WK observed that MNC is on record as not being interested, but we could call the city and request a cease and desist.”  Request to strike “MNC is on record as not being interested”.
MOTION: (BS moved) to accept as amended; (DM seconded); (WK call for discussion); (WK called); motion carried unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: (Marianne Winters)
o   MW reported that accountant Amy Grabowski is in the process of transferring information from Quicken to Quick books; and that the budget amendment regarding the change in the auditing and accounting component has been sent to Ed Whitley.
NEW BUSINESS
o   Annual Meeting scheduled for June 14 monthly meeting—to include community potluck.
o   Board of Directors’ elections for 2011-12 scheduled for June 18 at Block Party.  WK called for nominations for election chairperson. 
MOTION:  (MW moved) that EL serve as election chairperson.  (GH seconded); (WK call for discussion); (WK called); motion carried unanimously.
o   WK announced appointment of nomination committee to select slate of officers from newly elected Board:  Liz Stevens and Greg Hession representing the current Board; and Kat Wright, Mike Stevens, and Caroline Cunningham representing the three districts.
NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor
o   SG continues to voice concern about Bowdoin Street property and difficulty of working with city.
o   SG volunteered that he has acquired a number of paintings by local artist Mrs. Del Padre and would be willing to exhibit them at the block party—also considering a display of vintage cars he owns.  Suggested investigating a replica Duryea owned by a Putnam teacher to display at block part.  CL will check on this.
o   KW announced the tentative formation of a new Mason Square Advisory Committee now that the library has reopened—to be made up of representative from each of the five neighborhoods.  Meeting to discuss details on May 27 from 6-7pm at the Mason Square Library.
o   DM questioned who owns vacant lot beside Napoli’s on Bay Street—very overgrown and trashed.  WK advised calling 311 and letting city sort out who owns the lot.
o   Discussion of building at 380 Bay and business operating illegally.  WK reported that Code Enforcement is looing into it.
COMMITTEE REPORTS
HOUSING/CODE:(Walter Kroll, Chair)
·         WK reported that variance request denied by ZBA   for 128 Marion Street to turn two family into three family dwelling..  Two other properties on Marion operating illegally as three family dwellings.  WK will also bring this to attention of Code Enforcement.  New owners at 1111 Dartmouth Terrace have asked permission to put in fence.  DM reports that Historical Commission will visit property to assess need.
PUBLIC SAFETY: (Walter Kroll, Chair)
·         Continuing to work on problem of bank owned properties and safety issues.  Working with City Stat to verify ownership and identify responsible parties.  Owner or property manager required to live within five miles of property.  Neighborhood needs access to accurate database in the interest of public safety.
·         River Inn Apartments on State Street long-term and major public safety issue.  McKnight resident assaulted recently by tenant.  Ongoing problems need specifically addressed with city until area is cleaned up.  Will begin concerted effort to bring situation forward as a public nuisance.
·         Demolished property on Worthington and Armory has not been cleared.  Continuing to report to city.
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS
RAIL TRAIL/ RJS PLAYGROUND: (Liz Stevens, Chair)
·         LS reported on Keep Springfield Beautiful clean-up on rail trail.  Nineteen volunteers cleaned area between Bay and State Street—ten bags of trash and a mountain of stuff deposited on tree belt for city to remove.
·         LS reporting that rail trail grant requests are in to WMECO, People’s Bank, and Mass Mutual.  Will be making presentation with Scott Hanson to State Street Alliance later this month in order to qualify for further consideration from Mass Mutual grant committee.  Next steps in rail trail development are land appraisal, environmental assessment, and engineering survey.
·         MNC to have table at May 21stRiver Walk event to promote Rail Trail.
CLOSING BUSINESS & REMARKS
o   DM reporting that the grant she submitted on behalf of MNC for the Rabbi Guirion Award grant for $1000 was rejected.  EL to calendar and apply again next year
o   KW inquiring about status of newsletter; WK reporting that it is in the works now.
8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT:    MOTION:   (BS moved) to adjourn; (DM seconded); (WK called); motion carried.
NEXT MNC MEETING:                    Tuesday, June 14,  2011
REBECCA JOHNSON SCHOOL, 55 Catherine Street
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 06/14/2011.

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