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McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 6/10/14

i Jul 12th No Comments by

Board Meeting June 10, 2014


Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting Called to order 6:10 p.m.

Board Members Present (5): Walter Kroll (Pres); Elizabeth Stevens, (Treas); Lloyd Creswell (Asst Sec/Clerk); Greg Gavin, Donna Jordan {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.

Board Members Not Present (6): Brandi Gamble-Lucas, (Secy/Clerk); Ishaq Harris (Asst Treasurer), Tawreak Eddington, Colin Kirby, Elizabeth O’Gilvie, Ben Swan, Jr,

Neighborhood Members: Andrea Garde, Bryan McFarland, Maritza Laracuente, Jin Dong, Michael Stevens, Angela ______, Jack Dubose, Stephen White, Damian Phillips

Guests: Pastor Doyle St Louis, Kevin Shea

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


  • Pastor Doyle St Louis of the All Nations Church of God, and architect Kevin Rothschild-Shea, presenting update on the renovation of the former Faith Baptist Church at 217 St James Avenue.
  • Acquired property in fall of 2013. Will relocate church from Kenyan Street once the renovation is completed. Church activity includes regular services on Sunday and a prayer meeting on Tuesday. Food pantry to distribute food takes place once a month.
  • Renovation work commenced this spring. Met with Historical Commission for initial approval to board up windows. Asbestos abatement 80% complete. Work is being followed by State inspectors, and City has visited site several times.
  • Now moving forward with City to attempt to obtain Special Permit to rezone vacant lot on Buckingham Street for use as a parking lot. Architect presented preliminary drawing of proposed parking lot, with a ring of greenery around the perimeter as a landscape buffer and a wrought iron fence. Will preserve a large tree growing on the lot. Plan includes 26 parking spaces.
  • Audience questions included: Size of church membership—80 to 100.Where will food pantry clients be coming from—neighborhood families; distributes food boxes, not hot meals.Hours of services—Sunday 1130—130pm; and Tuesday 700—900pm.Have the abutting neighbors to the parking lot been contacted—no.What will the proposed parking lot be surfaced with—asphalt.


  • Will the building include any apartments or living quarters—no.
  • Potential capacity of church—up to 200.
  • How much noise will be coming from the church on a regular basis, music, etc.—only during regular services, will also be including some sound-proofing in renovation plans.
  • Parking lot fence, open or gated—open.
  • Parking lot lighting planned—no, but can be considered.


  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Brandi Gamble-Lucas, absent)MOTION: (DJ moved) to accept as presented; (LS seconded); (WK called); Unanimous vote.
  • Lloyd C presented minutes from 3/11/14, 4/08/14, and 05/13/14 for acceptance. Call for corrections or additions.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)        MOTION: (GG moved) to accept report as presented; (LC seconded); (WK called); Unanimous vote.        MOTION: (DJ moved) to accept budget amendment; (LC seconded); (WK called); Unanimous vote.
  •        Budget amendment for $50 submitted for consultation from Fiscal Solutions to review books.
  • Liz S reported a current bank balance of $ 4,965.95. Third quarter CDBG reimbursement of $ 2,139.92 not yet received from City. Distributed balance sheet for review.

NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor

  • Several residents came forward with concerns and questions about recent letters received from City Code Enforcement. Letters reportedly required residents with peeling paint and other exterior deterioration to paint and make repairs within 30 days or face fines. Concerns expressed about hazardous lead abatement issues, the burden of the expense, the short time period, and the fairness of who received the letters.
  • Walter K urged residents to contact Dave Cotter, head of City Code Enforcement, and to cooperate with the process through open communication and make their circumstances known. City does grant extensions in certain cases. Council will do some checking and follow the issue.
  • Problems on St James Avenue reported—near the convenience store strip and the stucco house in the 300 block of St James. Drugs, alcohol, litter. Housing and Code will follow.

NEW BUSINESS—Ongoing Business—Board

  • Neighborhood Target Improvement Grants—Received approval for new historical signs and hanging flower basket proposals. WMECO withholding permission to use poles for baskets; still investigating. May use trees on the tree belts.
  • Newsletter—At publisher, Sir Speedy, should be mailed out before block party
  • Block Party—Scheduled for June 21. New vendor found to supply package including bounce house, hot dogs, popcorn, and snow cones. Peter Pan Futurliner reserved for event.
  • Elections for Board of Directors—Deadline for nominating papers June 20.


  • Rail Trail (Elizabeth Stevens, Chair)


    • Feasibility study applicants still being reviewed by City. Article in Spring newsletter will describe progress.
  • Public Safety (Walter K, Chair) 


  • May public safety forum somewhat successful in interfacing with the police. Greater presence in weeks following the forum, with good effect.

8:00 ADJOURNMENT:   MOTION: (LC moved) to adjourn; (GG seconded); (WK called); motion carried.