McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 8/08/17

McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 8/08/17

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Board Meeting: August 08, 2017            

Approved September 12, 2017

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting called to order by President Walter K at 6:15 pm. Board and audience introductions followed.

Board Members Present (6): Walter Kroll, President; Brandi Gamble, Asst Sec/Clerk; Elizabeth Stevens,        Treasurer; Art Jones, Cora Swan, Nikolaos Panteleakis,

Board Members Not Present (4): Ben Swan, Jr, Vice-President; Bryan McFarland, Sec/Clerk; Giselle            Vizcarrondo, Lorenzo Gaines

Administrative Staff: Elizabeth Lederman

Neighborhood Members & Guests who signed in:  Madeline Kroll, Keith Reisinger-Kindle, Robin Tamanglo, Jesse Lederman, Vera Rybaudia, Dee Brown, James Johnson, Steve Gray

Guest Presentation: Bob Bolduc, Pride Stores

GUEST PRESENTATION

  • Bob Bolduc, Pride Stations & Stores—Request for Letter of Recommendation/Business Application
  • Mr Bolduc has held extensive meetings with City Planning and related departments, the Police Dept, and held an open house on site to which the neighborhood was invited to learn about the project and ask questions.
  • The proposal is a Pride convenience store and gas station to be located on State Street—the site will front State Street from Thompson to Westminster Street. Pride purchased the corner lot on Thompson and State Streets from the City, and the parcel included a residential parcel on Thompson. The residential parcel will be sold for residential use. Additionally Pride purchased the lot on State Street that borders Westminster from a private owner. This parcel includes the now-closed Subway and Family Dollar stores, and a Metro Mobile business still in operation. Metro Mobile still has a lease, and a separate space will be provided for them in the Pride Store.
  • The State Street/Westminster parcel borders a vacant lot on Westminster which is owned by the City. If the City and the Neighborhood Council are amenable, Pride is prepared to partner in developing a neighborhood playground on that lot.
  • Pride would prepare and landscape the site, and Columbia Gas has a program that may potentially provide the playground equipment. Once completed, the playground would be turned over to City Parks to maintain.
  • The Pride Store will include the gas station and convenience store which includes a Chester’s Chicken, Dunkin Donut, and Pride’s own bakery/deli. Pride does not franchise, and all employees in the store are Pride employees. Pride gives priority to hiring from within the neighborhood whenever possible. Store will open in the spring or early summer of 2018.
  • The infrastructure includes state of the art monitoring and maintenance of the gas storage tanks, as well as storm water control and drainage from the property. The lighting utilizes “dark skies” technology which directs the light downward, and prevents any light from going off the property. All deliveries will be made from State Street only, with no incursion into the surrounding residential streets.
  • Lengthy discussion about the traffic the gas station will generate. Agreements reached whereby the entrances and exits will be optimized to direct the flow of traffic into the station from State Street and back onto State Street, in order to prevent the residential streets of Thompson and Westminster from becoming thoroughfares to the station. 
  • MOTION: (BG moved) to support Pride’s application for recommendation as presented, with continued input from the Council relative to final traffic approvals; and to engage with the City in partnering with Pride for the potential development of the playground on Westminster; (AJ seconded); (WK call for discussion); (WK called the question). Motion unanimous.

 

OFFICER REPORTS

  • PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter Kroll)
  • The Council co-sponsored the Police & Community Relations Committee meeting for public engagement in Ward 4 on July 25 at Rebecca Johnson. Fair turnout, good discussion.
  • The Council partnered with Bay, Upper Hill, and Old Hill in sponsoring the National Night Out event in Blunt Park on August 1. Good turnout from the community.
  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Bryan McFarland, absent)
  • Asst Sec/Clerk Brand G submitted the following minutes for approval:
  • Minutes of 08/08/17 Neighborhood Meeting
  • Minutes of 08/29/17 Executive Board Meeting  

 

  • MOTION: (AJ moved) to accept as presented; (ES seconded); (WK call for discussion); (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)
  • Final Report, FY17—submitted to Board. Pending the 4th quarter reimbursement of CDBG funds from the City, the Council now has general funds totaling $5,369.71.
  • Proposed Budget for FY18—submitted to Board. The proposed budget based on last year’s expenses is $11, 469.
  • CDBG funds from the City for the coming year are $10,500, leaving a deficit of $969. The deficit can be covered through fundraising efforts without depleting the Council’s general fund. 
  • MOTION: (BS moved) to accept the final FY17 financial report as presented and to approve the FY18 proposed budget as presented; (BG seconded); (WK call for discussion); (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.

NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor

  • Steve G brought forward the subject of the lighting in McKnight, observing that the City has installed historic lighting in many sections of the city and has continued to overlook McKnight despite requests from the neighborhood, and despite the fact that it is the oldest historic district. Steve asked if the Council would write a letter to the Mayor revisiting the issue.
  • Agreement from the Board that it was a legitimate and long-standing issue. Steve also observed that the City was organizing tours of significant points of interest in Springfield, and he felt McKnight should be included in these plans.
  • Rep Art J observed that this issues, and issues like these, should be supported and brought forward vigorously by our elected representatives on our behalf, since they are actually elected to represent us. He recommended inviting City Councilors to our next neighborhood meeting. Referred to the Executive Board for appropriate action. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  • Standing Committees
  • Rail Trail—Elizabeth Stevens, Chair
  • Last meeting with Pat Sullivan of the Parks department covered the acquisition by the State of the section of the trail from Glen Road to Armory. Bridge work on the Armory Street Bridge is in the works, and Rep Bud Williams may help to set up a meeting between the Parks Dept and Mass DOT, to work on acquiring the surface rights to the trail bed.
  • Liz and her husband are also working on a plan to develop marked walking trails in Blunt Park. Hoping to use Springfield college students for help on the project on Humanics Day. Will be contacting Bay Council to get the okay because Blunt Park is in their neighborhood.
  • Public Safety—Walter Kroll, Chair
  • The main topic at the last Sector F meeting was around speeding in all of the area neighborhoods. Two fires on Bowdoin being investigated as apparent arson.
  • Discussion about more efficiently capturing incident.s with surveillance cameras. Also residents can tie the feeds from their private cameras into the police system if they choose to do so in to provide more extensive coverage or in the case of emergency. Could be a much more proactive approach
  • Question asked by a resident about a motorcycle rally around Magazine and Bowdoin early in August that disrupted the neighborhood with a lot of drag racing on the bikes. Was called into Police Department. Public Safety to follow.
  • Housing & Code—Nick Panteleakis, Chair
  • 171 and 175 St James recently purchased by an LLC. Following for compliance with historic codes.
  • 1119 Worthington replacing front porch—it was reported that a stop order was issued by Building department because the materials or the design was not compliant. Will check on status.
  • Ad Hoc Committees

 

  • Debate—Paul Swenson, Chair (Absent) 
  • Walter K reported that plans are in progress for an at-large City Council debate in October. May partner with AIC as in the past, but has contacted Springfield College as a possible venue.

FINAL BUSINESS—Wrap up

Adjournment: MOTION: (ES moved) to adjourn; (AJ seconded); (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.

 

Submitted for approval by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 09/12/17