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McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 02/10/15

i Jul 12th No Comments by

Board Meeting February 10, 2015


Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting Called to order 6:10 p.m.

Board Members Present (9): Walter Kroll (Pres), ): Elizabeth O’Gilvie (Vice Pres), Brandi Gamble-Lucas (Secy/Clerk),

Lloyd Creswell (Asst Sec/Clerk), Tawreak Eddington , Greg Gavin, Bryan McFarland, Elizabeth Stevens, Ben

Swan, Jr, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.

Board Members Not Present (5): Colin Kirby (Treas), Jack Dubose, Donna Jordan, Damian Phillips, Paul Swenson,

Neighborhood Members: Patricia McFarland, Stephen Gray, Bruce Arnold

Guests: Richard Griffin, City of Springfield Planning Dept; Lou Boynton, Lamont Boynton; Irene Rivers, Family Dollar

Welcome by Walter K, board member introductions; audience introductions.


  • Richard Griffin, from the Springfield Planning Department, presenting information on the Storefront Improvement Program and the grants and loans currently available to small business owners.
  • Storefront Improvement Grant—up to $15,000
  • Business must be located in a CDBG eligible area
  • Cannot be a home based business
  • Business must be up to date on taxes
  • Must have been in business for at least one year
  • Must have at least one full time employee
  • Must repay 10% of total cost plus taxes and remain in business for another year
  • Allowed improvements: lighting, awning, windows, doors
  • Small Business Loan—for internal improvements and equipment—also up to $15,00—must repay 50% of loan at


      • 0.25% interest
  • Building owner can improve tenant spaces, with each tenant space qualifying for the full grant amount
  • Planning Dept works closely with those who apply, helping them through the process at each step


BOARD—New Business

  • Irene Rivers, Manager of Family Dollar, on State Street attending the meeting to discuss some of the neighborhood concerns related to the store. Walter K welcomed her, and stressed that the Council wanted to develop a good working relationship with our business neighbors in order to solve problems that arise.
  • Chief complaint from neighbors near the store concerned how loud the outside speakers are, and that security announcements can be heard at all hours of the day. Manager responded that these checks should only be heard at the store opening and closing, when employees are entering and exiting; otherwise they should only be heard inside the store during store hours. Speakers are controlled remotely from corporate headquarters off site. Manager will check in with corporate to work on solving the problem; and report back to the Board.
  • Second issue around trash overflowing from dumpsters. Manager aware and said that they are getting a second container for cardboard. They are having some problems with dumping; and are getting locks for the dumpsters. Employees sweep the lot in the morning, and the landlord cleans it once a week. Will arrange for more frequent policing of the lot for trash.
  • Family Dollar has lost 36 shopping carts since it opened; Manager requesting that neighbors call her if they see any carts in the neighborhood and they will come and pick them up.


  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Brandi Gamble-Lucas)MOTION: (EO moved) to accept as presented; (LC seconded); (WK called); Unanimous vote.
  • Brandi G minutes for January 13, 2015. Call for corrections or additions.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Colin Kirby)
  • Colin K absent. Treasurer’s report tabled.


  • Lou Boynton, and son Lamont, introduced themselves as the new owners of the commercial property on State Street across from the Indian Motorcycle building, recently acquired through the RFP process from the City. Shared plans for the future development of the property, part of it will be demolished; remainder will be upgraded with needed repairs and new façade. Networking with business consultants to find an anchor tenant. Have expressed interest in renting to City’s Health Department which is looking for a new location. They welcome feedback and are committed to working collaboratively with the neighborhood. The Board encouraged him to think broadly as he considers tenants and the future use of the property.
  • Mr Boynton also is the longtime owner of the Cozy Corner Bar at Thompson and State. Some discussion from the Board about the noise levels and disturbances for their residential neighbors, particularly from the outside court yard. Mr Boynton says he is installing some sound proofing panels this year; and will continue to work with residents who should feel free to contact him if the music gets too loud.


  • Rail Trail (Elizabeth Stevens)
  • Liz S reported that the Parks Commission met last Thursday (Feb 05) and took approval of the feasibility study for the Rail Trail under advisement; and will be inviting the Mayor to a future meeting to approve it.
  • Public Safety (Walter Kroll)
  • Walter K reporting that it is basically quiet due to the snow. Focus on Bay Street as current hot spot in the neighborhood.
  • Housing & Code (Colin Kirby)
  • Complaints still occurring about the four-house cluster of group homes on St James. Walter K to check in with Code Enforcement.
  • Communications (Ben Swan Jr)
  • Ben S reporting that he has updated part of the neighborhood business list while preparing for this month’s presentation; will finish updating list.
  • Beautification (Bryan McFarland)
  • Bryan M reported that he is continuing to work on some of the proposals discussed at the last meeting for lighting improvements, the dry bridge, etc.
  • 8:00 ADJOURNMENT:   MOTION: (BG moved) to adjourn; (BM seconded); (WK called); motion carried.