February 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

Board Business Meeting — Zoom

February 4th, 2021 — 6:30-8:30 PM

MINUTES

Attendees

WCNO Board/Staff: Sheree Breedlove (Chair), Krystin Eldridge (Vice Chair), Eric Hoffer (Secretary), Kevin Aldwaik, Maria Ahlgren, Shannon Glenn, Kenneth Frazier, Jeff Schmidt, Tiara Brown, Monica Colberg, Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight (Executive Director), Em Matson (Communications Coordinator).

Community Presenters: Jim Hasnik (CEE), Jamil Ford & Andrew McGlory (Baldwin Square), Envision Community (Rochelle Washington and others from Envision)

Several Community Members

Minutes

6:35 PM Call to Order: Sheree Breedlove, Chair

MOTION: That WCNO Board accepts the resignation of Vamsi Grussing and Anna Gerdeen. MOVED by Krystin. SECONDED by Tiara. Unanimously APPROVED.

Discussed next meeting date (March 4th, which will include an election for one open board spot) and reviewed January 2021 minutes.

MOTION: That WCNO Board accept the consent agenda items, including January minutes. MOVED by Maria. SECONDED by Tiara. Unanimously APPROVED.

6:40 PM Community Presentations [Please review recording for full transcript. Highlights are included below]

Baldwin Square – Jamil Ford and Andrew McGlory

Overview of the Baldwin Square project

Project came out of a City of Minneapolis’ RFP process. New drawings were shown. The developers value local support first and foremost, but also seek a national attraction. Heard desires for a restaurant, community bookstore, black box theater/art gallery, and office space on the second floor. Followed extensive city guidelines. Looking to bring a major restaurant to the location, working with the National Restaurant Association. Anticipating a little under 100 seats in black box theater—curated locally with national connections. Second floor has tenant agreements with Neighborhood Development Corporation, wanting to use the space for working and co-working space—geared especially to start ups and local small businesses. Hoping for space for WCNO, including presentation and meeting space, and possibly office space. Printing services entity on second floor. Office space for Jamil and Andrew’s architecture firms, respectively. Shared book keeper and shared receptionist. Safe place for all backgrounds, including a space to embrace differences. Wanting to keep streetcar era facade aesthetics. 

Baldwin Square Finances 

Final financing step is securing a bank loan. Have already secured city and state and facade grants, in addition to a MNDOT grant. The Met Council environmental abatement grant program has also been successfully applied for. 

Received grants: about $3 million dollars. Total project cost is $5.5 million. 

Baldwin Square Timeline

Starting construction in springtime. Ideally completed late-fall. Rentable space is 100% leased already, including a waiting list.

Additional Notes

Baldwin Square doesn’t go all the way to 42nd and Fremont, but potential purchase agreement is being arranged. If that happened, the hope would be to keep the T-Shoppe functioning as is.  Parking is a little over 20 short-term spots in the rear lot, and look at valet options for larger events. Planning on some underground parking nearby, and continuing to do community engagement for further options. Expansion and parking options could include the house next to the building–if that happens, the homeowner would be well taken care of.  Baldwin Square is not against the Envision development, but is focused on their community-developed plan at the moment which does not include Envision. They are open to further conversations.

Center for Energy and Environment – Jim Hasnik

CEE (a nonprofit formed to administer building loan and grant programs through the city, county, and energy companies) was administering program for 3% home improvement loan and grant up to $5,000 through WCNO. 16 loans in 2019. 4 total in 2020.  WCNO does not have a program with them anymore, but money is available to begin anew. Changes in parameters, goals, and restrictions of the program are able to be determined. Next step: reach out to Stacy Sorensen from the city for guidance, then reconnect with Jim.

Envision Community – Rochelle Washington and Envision Leaders

Intro to Envision

A BIPOC-led intentional community, focusing on truly affordable housing. Envision leaders shared their stories—Freddy, Junail, Sherry. Envision will be able to be a place to belong and call home. Tasks Unlimited will be leading the support for residents and is the fiscal agent + managing partner. Envision is a vision for a new type of community-focused affordable housing, made up of more than 20 organizations. Envision is intentional community around shared values and prioritizing relationships. They would like to help make Baldwin Square successful—wants to get to know ALL the neighbors and have the neighbors get to know them.

QUESTION: Has Envision connected with Haven House? Or other Northside organizations? 

Envision has a relationship with “Freedom From the Streets” and Tasks Unlimited has worked with Avivo and Haven House in professional capacities before. Envision has reached out to a large swatch of community organizations, businesses, faith communities, and nonprofits around North Minneapolis. However, it has not directly reached out to Haven House or similar housing providers for their input–but will now. 

QUESTION: What’s the big picture timeline?

Envision is open on the timeline. They want to focus on relationships, which brings with it a slow, steady pace. 

Envision will present in more detail at the February 10th (6:30 pm) WCNO Housing Committee meeting, including addressing community questions–based on what they’ve already heard and more that arise throughout the presentation.

7:30 PM Treasurer’s Report: Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight, E.D. (board packet)

With the timing of the Treasurer’s resignation from the board, a full report was unable to be finalized, though we’re doing okay financially. She will get all information from previous Treasurer for reports. TABLED (will have reports for two months next meeting).  

7:35 PM Executive Director’s Report: P. Deinhart-Bauknight (board packet)

Patricia’s time was spent supporting committees, doing quite a bit of admin work, and working with the city’s NCR department to learn more about how the city will be financially supporting neighborhood organizations, since the CPP program is ending after June 2021. The new program “Blueprint for Equitable Engagement”  will emphasize equity and collaboration across neighborhood organizations and other local groups/institutions in a competitive environment. It is not known exactly when applications and financing will be put in place.  She is working with Victory and Shingle Creek on possible areas of collaboration in an effort to be prepared for applications.

There will be a lot of upcoming work on organizational training and development events—board training, strategic planning, and mediation. Should we spend the remainder of CPP dollars, we can tap into some of the NRP dollars for development and engagements. 

Em is doing great work, including what will now be a 3rd board election in 4 months. A WCNO newsletter is in the works and we have a volunteer website developer.

Patricia is working with CURA at the University of MN around procuring demographics for our neighborhood, including around businesses and housing (possibly more). This will be very helpful as she plans and implements the Great Streets grant as well as for strategic planning.

We’ve identified a potential office property in Webber Camden that we’ll look at this Saturday.  She has met with Baldwin Square and Envision and will continue to monitor their progress.  NDC has also asked for a meeting around small business support. 

7:48 PM Committee Reports

Going forward, committees are expected to keep their own minutes, not automatically assigning to a staff person.

Finance Committee–Patricia, since Vamsi has resigned

MOTION that WCNO approve up to $1,000 of funding for the Youth and Family Snow Crew program. MOVED by Krystin. SECONDED by Monica. APPROVED unanimously.

MOTION that WCNO allow up to $5k from approved NRP funds be spent for approved organizational development as needed (strategic planning, mediation, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Training). MOVED by Shannon. SECONDED by Kevin. APPROVED unanimously.

Krystin will be acting chair of Finance Committee, until a new one is determined.

Housing–Sheree

Tiara Brown will be the new chair, following the February 10th meeting with Envision (6:30pm). After the Envision meeting, a housing survey will be distributed.

Board calls for advertising the 2/10 meeting in a variety of ways, including potential KMOJ radio ads and venues besides Facebook alone. Request for an Envision survey, or additional ways to gather community feedback. 

Operations–Sheree & Patricia

Committee chair is Jeff Schmidt.  At last meeting, Operations reviewed neighborhood organization requirements by City/NCR. The list of required tasks from the city will be split between Operations and Finances. 

Approving WCNO Project Document TABLED. Approving revised ED job description TABLED. Board requests motions in writing prior to next meeting–not only for these motions, but as often as possible for every committee.

Board seat election scheduled for March 4th at the quarterly general membership meeting. Will be publicized beginning February 5th, well in advance of the 25 day notice requirement.

Youth and Family

Bingo night! Covering liability for Snow Crew project from The Leos. Working with Lania Caldwell (Folwell) and Markella Smith (McKinley). 

MOTION that WCNO approve snow crew project with PHHS students. MOVED by Monica. SECONDED by Krystin. Unanimously APPROVED.

Commercial and Land Use–Kevin 

Check-in on Upper North Minneapolis Business Collaboration. Request: We need to do an Envision-specific survey and news articles and further engagement as well. 

Communications–Eric 

Eric Hoffer will be chair. Not met yet—will focus on communications schedule/plan, website, and facebook…then non-electronic communication.

Outreach and Safety–Monica

No longer includes Communications, which has been broken into a separate committee. The committee reviewed marks of success of a neighborhood, particularly a block club. Following those marks of success, a focus of the committee will be panel discussions and learning opportunities for community members and block clubs–focusing on a variety of viewpoints and relationship building with community safety officers. First panel will be on youth mentorship and its relationship with public safety.

8:38 PM         2021 Budget Update (January-June): P. Deinhart-Bauknight

TABLED.

8:39 PM Listening Session Plan: S. Breedlove

TABLED.

8:40 PM Mediation Update: S. Breedlove

Get in your mediation surveys! Watch for Conflict Resolution Center emails to sign up for 1:1 appointments prior to February 27th’s full-group session. 

DATES TO REMEMBER: February 27th Mediation (9a-12pm). March 13th training w/ Ariah (9-11a). March 27th (9-11am) strategic planning. Board requests that dates are sent out via email, including google calendar invites. 

NOTE: Kenneth wants to be on Outreach/Safety + Youth/Family Committees.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Kevin is receiving at least 200 COVID saliva test kits to share with the neighborhood!

8:46 PM Adjourn 

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