Webber-Camden Neighborhood Organization
Monthly Board Meeting
April 11th, 2022 — 6:30-8:30 PM
Attendees: Krystin Eldridge (WCNO Chair), Kip Vantrease (WCNO Vice Chair), Jane Riley Best (WCNO Treasurer), Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight (WCNO Executive Director), Monica Colberg (WCNO Board), Paul Arllen (WCNO Board), Daniel LaCroix (WCNO Board), Eric Hoffer (WCNO Secretary), Keon Blasingame (LSE Architects), Bruceann Phillips (LS2 Group), Amanda Dobbs, Kevin Aldwaik, Brandon Burbach, Colleen Harris (WCNO Staff), Rochelle Washington (WCNO Staff), Maria Ahlgren (WCNO Staff), Jeff Schmidt.
6:34 PM Meeting called to order by the Chair, Krystin Eldridge
6:35 PM Approval of meeting agenda.
Moved by Kip Vantrease. Seconded by Jane Riley Best. Approved unanimously.
6:38 PM Community Presentation from Keon Blasingame about “Camden Flats”
Keon brought greetings from Houston White, the developer, who couldn’t be at the meeting. Houston and his Camdentown organization are seeking to expand upon their existing building on the corner of 44th and Humboldt with the construction of 9 market-rate apartments (and one community room) geared toward young professionals.
As part of the construction, they have requested a variance from the city of Minneapolis, hoping to lower the required set-back from the street from 30 feet to 0 feet. This presentation is to inform the community, answer questions, and gain support. The city, however, will make the variance decision irrespective of official support from WCNO.
Q&A followed. See the full conversation in the shared recording, visiting the “News” section of wcno.org.
6:59 PM Community Presentation from Bruceanne Phillips about the merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Railroads and its impact on the community
Bruceann shared that, if this merger happens, there is a likelihood that 200 jobs will be lost, train traffic will meaningfully increase, and the levels of exposure to harmful chemicals often carried by the trains (such as ammonia and ethanol) will be much higher.
Bruceanne works with a coalition of other communities and organizations impacted by this merger, and is requesting that WCNO (and anyone involved!) send letters or statements of disapproval to the surface transportation board.
Q&A followed. See the full conversation in the shared recording, visiting the “News” section of wcno.org. Email email@example.com for more information and/or a template of a community feedback letter.
7:15 PM Approved March meeting minutes.
Moved by Monica Colberg. Seconded by Paul Arllen. Approved unanimously.
7:17 PM Finance Report shared by Jane Riley Best, WCNO Treasurer
Highlights: WCNO is doing well financially. WCNO has $28,720.54 in equity, so it has some additional dollars besides only those contracted through the city of Minneapolis. WCNO’s accountant still recommends seeking more sources of income and fundraising, as we are able. Patricia noted that WCNO was also informed of the the large amount of uncontracted NRP dollars we could have access to, and suggested we have a conversation about other programming ideas. Kip volunteered to be in that conversation.
See the full presentation in the shared recording, visiting the “News” section of wcno.org. Additionally, WCNO financial statements are open to review by WCNO members (i.e. neighbors), available by appointment.
7:30 PM Operations Committee Update from Paul
Paul worked with Patrici to interview and hire new staff. Now, WCNO has hired Colleen Harris as Communications and Admin Manager and Rochelle Washington as Outreach Coordinator! By state requirement, WCNO will update its employee handbook to indicate that full time is 40 hours per month, not 32 hours as previously stated.
7:40 PM Youth, Family, and Housing Committee Update from Krystin
The housing fair will be moved to June, though the date is TBD. Several youth events are upcoming this Spring–including sports-related and beekeeping!
7:50 PM Outreach and Safety Committee Committee Update from Monica
WCNO’s Clean Sweep event is coming up on April 23rd–sign up your block and help out!
Monica shared more of her impressions from the March 15th event, hosted by CM Latrisha Vetaw, which included block club and other community leaders. It was a very successful beginning, and Monica made sure to advocate for the work WCNO is up to, including the youth council. The youth council replies to the question: “What would your dream neighborhood look like?” was shared with neighborhood leaders (Pools, tennis courts, block parties, ice cream socials, environmental education, etc…). There is a meeting on April 19th planned as follow-up.
8:00 PM The Executive Director’s Report shared by Patricia.
Updates given on time spent, and welcoming new staff members. Patricia shared about the Community Connections Conference on May 22nd and invited WCNO members to attend. WCNO is still working on a candidate forum for Hennepin County Attorney, in partnership with Shingle Creek Neighborhood Organization, Victory Neighborhood Association, and the League of Women Voters. Date TBD. Space TBD–possibly Henry?
8:15 PM Decided that WCNO’s May 9th mtg. will be in-person at Webber Park.
8:20 PM Paul shared the response of Hamilton Manor’s residents’ council to the questions about their ideal neighborhood and what activities they’d like to see…
Q1: Cleaned up potholes/repaired roads. Greenway built up, including bike air pumps, benches, and water fountains. More security.
Q2: Access to community center for seniors activities. More neighborhood gardens and connected programs.
8:30 PM Meeting adjourned by the Chair.
Respectfully submitted by Eric Hoffer, WCNO Secretary.