Monthly Meeting - February 8, 2017

Belknap Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting
February 8, 2017

(Attending: Jim Dailey, Chris Ward, Hadley Hury, Ann Massey, Bo Manning, Bob Manning, Barbara Mercer, Mary Beth VanMeter, Craig Harman, Mandy Schott Learn, Karla Spencer, J.D. Franklin, Dwight Marcus, Lara Augustine, Lynn Just, Robert Pieroni, Joel Lalto (sp?), Alan Rubin, Brandon Coan–8th Dist. Metro Council, Jeff Brown–Publ. Works, Erin Thompson–Urban Forestry Supvr., Mary Ellen Cassidy–Upper Highland Nbhd. Assn., Officer Amy Matthis–LMPD, 5th Prcnt.)

* The meeting was called to order at 7:01 by president Lara Augustine. All in attendance introduced themselves. On a motion by Karla Spencer seconded by J. D. Franklin, the January minutes were approved as posted to Belknap email lists and in the Belknap closed Facebook Group.

* Officer Matthis gave the monthly neighborhood crime report: theft from an unlocked vehicle and one shoplifting incident at Kroger. Councilperson Brandon Coan reminded everyone that crime reporting is available in the District 8 website and asked again that everyone sign-up for regularly receiving Dist. 8 email news…/metro-co…/subscribe-stay-informed

* Public works representative Jeff Brown, urban forestry supervisor Erin Thompson, and Mr. Coan led a discussion on the recent tree removals on Boulevard Napoleon. Two of the trees were seriously unhealthy or in late decline, but the sidewalk contractor made a mistake in working in proximity to the roots of two healthy trees. The contractor will be paying for replacement trees. Ms. Thompson will coordinate with BNA officer and Tree Program Coordinator Hadley Hury on the process of exact tree selections, and says that replanting will occur perhaps in the coming Spring weeks or, at latest, this Fall. The contractor will receive additional training and supervision in order to keep their contract and to prevent such an egregious mistake from happening again. Mr. Coan also is working with public works to ensure that neighbors and homeowners will not, in future, be caught off-guard. When sidewalks need repair, every effort will be made for the least possible impact on trees. Assurance was given that—as per the city’s, non-profits organizations’, and neighborhood groups’ concerted efforts at replacing the city’s tree canopy—trees are to be recognized as a vital environmental, aesthetic, and property value resource with highest possible priority.

* Lara provided a brief treasurer’s report in Nik Snyder’s absence. Current balance is approx. $29,000. 

* Robert Pieroni, who is designing our new BNA website—with the input of BNA board members—presented the results, including proposal hand-out, of the planning meeting with Karla and Lara. The new site will be far more appealing, inviting, engaging, interactive, and utilizable. Consideration is being given to marketing, membership generation and maintenance (and ease of payment), donations, documents access, etc. On a motion by Chris Ward, seconded by Karla, $3,000 was approved for the design with a $220 annual maintenance fee.

* Hadley presented an update on the BNA Tree Planting & Canopy Replacement Initiative, and reminded the Board that the fate of potential grant monies from the MSD Urban Reforestation fund remain in doubt until closer to their July 1 annual budget date. Having met with the other officers, he proposed that BNA commit on its own to 40 hardwood trees in 2017 regardless of whether the MSD partial reimbursements funds materialize or not. If they do, we will be able to plant, as in the past two seasons, many more (in November-December 2015, 80 were planted, and last November-December, 106). Motion to approve—along with a homeowner investment of $65 per tree—was made by Bob Manning, seconded by Dwight, and passed unanimously. 

* Mary Beth VanMeter reminded everyone that Deb Reese still has the multi-lingual “I’m Glad You’re My Neighbor” yard signs. Please see postings in Facebook about how, when, and where to pick up.

* Lara reported that the Easter Egg Hunt in Warheim Park will be Saturday, April 15, at 2:30 p.m.

* The BNA newsletter, which Laura Heiskell is putting together for us, will be in mailboxes by the end of March. Anyone with articles must get them to Laura ASAP.

* Dwight reported that we’re already getting sponsors for the Belknap Fall Festival. Watch for planning meeting dates soon—we need volunteers in all capacities and all are welcome at these planning meetings.

* On a motion by Karla seconded by Hadley, the meeting adjourned at 8:05.

Submitted by,
Hadley Hury