The Blog

McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 6/09/15

i Jul 12th No Comments by

Board Meeting June 09, 2015

Approved July 14, 2015

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting Called to order 6:10 p.m.

Board Members Present (10): Walter Kroll (Pres), Elizabeth O’Gilvie (Vice Pres), Brandi Gamble-Lucas

(Secy/Clerk), Lloyd Creswell (Asst Sec/Clerk), Colin Kirby (Treas), Tawreak Eddington , Damian Phillips, Elizabeth Stevens, Ben Swan, Jr, Paul Swenson, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.

Board Members Not Present (4): Jack Dubose, Greg Gavin, Bryan McFarland, Donna Jordan

Neighborhood Members: Alison Messier, Steve Piper, Deb Papagno, Ed Zuckerman

Guests: Representatives from the Mental Health Association—Joan Ingersoll, Cheryl Fasan, Christine Palmten, Linda

Christman; Representatives from the Piooneer Valley Transit Authority—Joshua Rickman, Nora Patton, and

others; Scott Hanson, Planning Dept, City of Springfield; Charles Rucks, Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept,SPD

Officer Witherspoon

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


  • Representative Josh Rickman from the PVTA presented information on “Bus Rapid Transit–BRT”.


  • BRT is an enhanced bus system that operates at faster speeds in dedicated bus lanes, combining the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail.
  • Will be instituted on the State Street/Boston road Corridor—running from Union Station to Eastfield Mall.
  • Concept has been successfully instituted in Albany, NY, Lansing, MI, Hartford, CT, and Chapel Hill, NC, which are cities of a similar size to Springfield.
  • Fares will not increase.
  • Mental Health Association (MHA) director Joan Ingersoll presented an update on the Magazine Street apartment building.


  • Original number of MHA clients occupying units has increased from 14 in the original proposal to 16, and the change was approved by the Zoning Commission.
  • Apartment complex will include community space and staff space.
  • Expected completion date September 2015.
  • A separate building has been added as a community center for MHA clients from other locations.
  • Building is 2900 square feet, and will generally be open 9-5. Expected use by 20 to 30 people a day maximum.
  • In response to concerns from Bowdoin Street residents whose lots border the property, assurances were offered that the entire lot is to be fenced and will include plenty of landscaping barriers to insure privacy for all parties.


  • Officer Witherspoon introduced himself as the quality of life officer assigned to McKnight. He is generally scheduled Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. He can also be reached through Nextdoor McKnight. Also any messages and complaints about property or negative activities which are reported to the City’s 311 line, are referred to him.
  • Alison M of Thompson Street, raised concerns about all of the construction equipment staged on the corner of Thompson and State and that it is being operated prior to 7am. Walter K to follow up with DPW.


  • PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter Kroll)granddaughter is available to volunteer. Set up at 10 am on Saturday.


  • Block Party final plans—still need a face painter; Ben S says he has face painting supplies. Lloyd C to see if his
  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Brandi Gamble)MOTION: (EO moved) to accept as presented; (LC seconded); (WK called); Unanimous vote.
  • Brandi G submitted the minutes for May 09, 2015, for review and approval. .
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Colin Kirby) MOTION: (BS moved) to accept as presented; (LC seconded); (WK called); Unanimous vote.
  • Colin K distributed a budget summary for year to date. Current balance of $5,666.73, Remaining CDBG funds for the year is $3191.15.


  • Walter K—appointment of officer nomination committee.
  • Elizabeth Stevens to serve as Chairman, with further representation from the board by Paul Swenson. District residents include Ed Zuckerman, District 1; Deb Papagno, District 2; and Alison Messier, District 3.
  • Damian P—renaming Worthington Street portion in McKnight, Worthington Street; and privatizing Thompson Triangle Park.
  • To rename the street would be complicated, but there is an avenue to rename it as an area. Would need agreement from majority of home owners, and then seek approval through City channels. Damian P to obtain further information.
  • Discussion of privatizing Thompson Triangle. Purpose would be to have more control over it, e.g. being able to close it at dark. It was pointed out that City Parks are already required to close at dark; discussion about getting signs posted and enforcing the ordinance. Also privatizing it would require the costs of maintenance, and was that worth it. Agreement that few benefits, if any, would accrue from privatizing the park.


  • Housing & Code (Colin Kirby)
  • Walter K reporting that the DPW will be replacing the guardrails on the dry bridge on St James in the next month. Communications (Ben Swan Jr)
  • Ben S reporting that website is updated.  
  • 8:00 ADJOURNMENT:   MOTION: (BS moved) to adjourn; (BS seconded); (TE called); motion carried.