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AGENDA & MINUTES January 10, 2012

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McKnight Neighborhood Council, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, January 10, 2012:  6-8 pm
Rebecca Johnson School, Music Room
55 Catharine St., Springfield MA
6:00 – 6:15 pm:  OPEN MEETING, WELCOME
o   Introduction, Board of Directors
o   Audience Introductions
6:15—6:45  GUESTS
o   Avdey and Kirrel Adzigirey of Albany Street Auto, 370 Albany Street, appearing before the Council to seek a letter of support for a special permit petition to the Springfield City Council. .
o   Carol Kroll, representing the Tapley Street Apartments, appearing to ask for a letter of support for their application to the state for historic-related funding to repair damage from the October snow storm.
6:45—7:00  pm:  OFFICERS’ REPORTS  
o    PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
o    VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Demetrios Panteleakis)
o    SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Ben Swan, Jr & Elizabeth Lederman, admin staff)
·         Minutes of December 13, 2011  meeting (see attachment)
o    TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Liz Stevens)
·         Monthly financial report
7:00—7:15 pm:  Old Business
o    175 Bowdoin Street—future development by SMOC
7:15—7:30 pm:  New Business
o    Open to the Floor
7:30—7:50 pm: COMMITTEE REPORTS – Any committee updates (5 minutes each)
o    Standing Committees
·         Rail Trail (Liz Stevens) 
·         Public Safety (Walter Kroll)                                                       
·         Housing & Code (Demetrios Panteleakis)
·         Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
o    Ad Hoc Committees
·         Community Center (Demetrios Panteleakis)
7:50–8:00 pm:  Wrap Up—Final Business, Open to Floor                                       
8:00 pm—Close Meeting
Next McKnight Neighborhood Council Meeting 
Tuesday, February 14, 2012               6:00-8:00 pm             Rebecca Johnson School
Approved February 14, 2012
Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council
Board Meeting:  January 10, 2012
Meeting Called to order 6:05 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (8):  Walter Kroll (Pres), Demetrios Panteleakis (Vice Pres), Ben Swan, Jr, (Secy/Clerk), Liz Steven, (Treas), Ceil Lewonchuk  (Asst Secy), Ed Kelly, Jesse Lederman, Corey Singleton {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (5) Frank Buntin, Katie Foster, Arthur Jones, Donna Jordan, Stephen
Neighborhood Members Attending:   Colin Kirby, Simone Mason, Warren Clark, Councilor Henry
                Twiggs, Karen Twiggs
Guests:   Daryl Moss, Avdey Adzigirey, Kirrel Adzigirey, Kathy Kroll
Welcome by Walter K; board member introductions; audience introductions.
o   Avdey and Kirrel Adzigirey of Albany Street Auto, 370 Albany Street, appearing before the Council to seek a letter of support for a special permit petition to the Springfield City Council.
·         Demetrios P gave a summary of his interview of the applicants and their property reporting that the proposed auto repair business would serve as repair center for the fleet of ambulances which the applicants also operate on St James Avenue as National Ambulance; serve additional business with fleet servicing, and also be open to the public
·         Facility is in old Verizon building—has been upgraded with state of the art equipment and was exceptionally well done; with ample and appropriate parking and an above average security fence
·         Very positive recommendation offered
·         Business hours 8 am to 6 pm, Monday—Friday; with on call service vehicle for repairs 24/7
·         Taxes are paid
·         Councilor Twiggs present and supporting recommendation
MOTION:  (JL moved) to approve letter of recommendation; (DP seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote.
o   Kathy Kroll representing Home City Housing on the matter of Tapley Court Apartments on Bay Street, appearing to ask for a letter of support for their application to the state for additional historic-related tax credits to repair damage from the October snow storm.  Received approval in September for $2 million dollars for repair expenses to slate roof and windows.  October snow storm damages requiring an additional $250,000 in repairs.
·         Architect Charles Schmidt & Assoc , original architect from 1984 restoration, checked windows and roof;  Roofers will be examining shortly
·         Application deadline January 17.  Letter of support needs to be mailed from Council directly to Mass Historic Preservation
·         Counselor Twiggs reporting he has met with group and also submitted letter of support.
·         Board members offered praise for renovation of building and its continued architectural value in the neighborhood
MOTION:  (DP moved) to approve letter of support for historical tax credit; (LS seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote.
o   Walter K deferred—will  report activity in committee reports.
VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Demetrios Panteleakis)
o   Demetrios P—no activity to report. 
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Ben Swan; Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
o   Minutes of Board Meeting December 13, 2012, submitted for acceptance. BS called for corrections or additions.
MOTION: (JL moved) to accept as presented; (LS seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote to accept. 
o   Liz S explained current budget report.  Bookkeeper has listed CDBG budget total as $13, 500.  Should be 12, 500.  Motion to accept tabled pending bookkeeper corrections.
o   Walter K reporting the appointment of Corey S to an open seat in District 3, noting that he has been a lightning rod at 15 Girard Street, stepping up to the plate and being proactive with resident issues.
o   Report on 175 Bowdoin Street  by Walter K:
·         Originally a joint venture between SMOC and Sheriff’s department.  Sheriff has withdrawn since Council sent letter outlining problems with that location and the overall status of group homes in the neighborhood.
·         Councilor Twiggs brought forth a resolution in December for a hearing by the Public Safety Committee on the Bowdoin Street project and the oversaturation of group homes in McKnight; City department heads have been directed to gather information; hearing will be scheduled once the information is available
·         Council submitted FOIA request to City on 12/05/11
·         Neighborhood Services Deputy Director Ed W met with mayor and SMOC and has directed  SMOC to contact the Council; SMOC has yet to do so
·         Demetrios P noted that despite the fact that SMOC has made no overtures to the Council, work is moving forward at the property
·         Colin K reporting that an individual appears to be living on site
·         Property has not been issued certificate of occupancy;  inquire with City about status
·         Demetrios P observed that  stopping the project is unlikely since SMOC is claiming exemption from zoning under the Dover amendment; but they are required to observe safety codes
·         Ben S asked if there was a venue to which an appeal can be made to dispute the Dovert Act exemption; Demetrios P responding that it almost always prevails when disputed
·         Ben S remarked that if project  cannot be deterred, then we should require it be the best facility possible
·         Simone M observing that CT has licensing rules for these types of facilities which she helped write and inquiring if SMOC has credentials for the population they plan to serve
·         Walter K answering that SMOC has not revealed new plan since Sheriff withdrew
·         Elizabeth L reporting that City Attorney projected cost estimate of fulfilling FOIA request will be approximately $300—discussion followed as to potential benefits of information; agreement that it is important to uncover the process of how the decision for this project came about.
MOTION: (BS moved) to authorize up to $300 in MNC funds for FOIA request costs; (JL seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote to authorize.
o   Councilor Twiggs observed that he has learned that the City has still not provided the list of City owned properties in McKnight that was requested; will follow up.
o   Jesse L reporting that City Council appeal of building permits issued for biomass incinerator to be heard on January 25 by the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Encouraging residents to attend and show the City Council their support.
o   Jesse L reporting that new City Council president Fererra announced that he intends to visit each of the neighborhood councils
o   MOTION: (JL moved) to invite President Fererra to February meeting (BS seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote to invite.
o   Rail Trail (Liz Stevens)
·         Liz S reporting MNC has received $2000 grant from Partners for a Healthier Community to use for the Rail Trail. 
·         Liz S recommending that money be used to surface the first several hundred feet of the trail that adjoins the perimeter of the Rebecca Johnson Park with a stone dust composition, which is the preferred material for hiking trails.  Map distributed showing proposed area.
·         Corey S raised concern about safety of area and a hiking trail in that location because drug dealing is known to take place.  Liz S explaining that it actually discourages illegal activity because the space becomes more public and is used more. Corey S and Liz S to discuss trail development and plans at a future time.
·         Liz S has checked with Planning officials re possibility of partnering with the City to collaborate, along with volunteer labor, so money can be used for materials—received initial positive response—need to present idea to Mayor
·         Liz S willing to dedicate herself to coordinate communication and plans with City
MOTION: (BS moved) to use $2000 grant for initial development of stone dust trail; (CS seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote.
o   Public Safety (Walter Kroll)
·         Walter K reporting that December Watch/Beat meetings were quiet—a few break-ins reported and some petty theft.  January meeting to focus on youth at risk—who do you call and who can help?  ROCO and the Mayor’s Violence Task forces as resources for information.  Juvenile Commissioner to talk about the process of juvenile probation.
o   Housing & Code (Demetrios Panteleakis)
·         Demetrios P reporting that activity has been focused completely on sorting out the situation on Bowdoin Street since November
o   Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
·         Ceil L reporting that she has sent out 22 letters this month to residents who have bought property in McKnight during last year.
o   Community Center (Demetrios Panteleakis)
·         Ed K asking about status of church property on corner of St James and Clarendon.  Elizabeth L noting that sign says price has been reduced.  Demetrios P to make inquiries.
8:00 ADJOURNMENT:    MOTION:   (BS moved) to adjourn; (JL seconded); (WK called); motion carried.
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 02/14/2012.


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