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April 2017 Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

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April 20, 2017 EHNA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
6 P.M. Expo, 6:30 PM. Meeting, Spirit Lutheran, Eau Claire

Members in attendance: Susan Bauer, Chris Buske, Cortney Draxler, Gina Keenan-Klages, Tania Mathews, Traci Ohlmann, Shannon Paulus, Chad Rowekamp, Mark Ruddy

Members absent: Eric Anderson, Luke Stordahl, Michael Rasmussen,

Expo & Other Guests: Andrew Schlitz-Bluebird house Eagle Scout Project – Troop 31; Shelly Sutley & Alicia Benner – Bluebird Experience; Traci Ohlmann – humanKind; Chris Buske – Boyd Park River Access; Kim Cronk – Eau Claire County Board Supervisor; Kathy Mitchell – Eau Claire City Council; Dave Strobel – City Engineer; Officer Wade Beardsley; Officer Noah Young; Residents of East Hill (approx. 45 total in attendance).

Welcome, Thank You and Introductions: Mark Ruddy welcomed guests to East Hill Spring Meeting. Thanked Spirit Lutheran for use of building and providing treats. Steering Committee introduced themselves.

Treasurer’s Report: Started month with $592.61. Expenses: Domain name/host $104.50; Legal Zoom Reimbursement $107.02 , Upcoming expenses: Name tags, $20 donation to Spirit Lutheran for Little Library. New balance $595.13. (see discussion #1, below for additional assets).

Secretary’s Report: The minutes for our March 16th meeting were approved via email.


1. Mark explained the leftover money ($1,611.13) from the Boyd Park restroom project. This was due to the fact that our fund raising for this Community Development Matching Grant was beyond the $4025 goal (actually raised $570.97) and the project cost less than estimated. This asset is being held for us in the Community Parks Association (CPA), at no further cost to us and is “seed money” for any future matching grant projects we want to initiate. To use the CPA account to enable donors to get a tax reduction it costs us a 4% Administration Fee on the total cost of the project, even including the city’s matching amount.

2. Our Association secured a significant victory when the City Engineers granted our hard fought request over 18 months for the speed limit on Margaret St to be 25 mph. We succeeded through Neighbors contacting the City Council, Council persons Mitchell and Werthman lobbying for us and the hours of dialogue and research with the City Engineers via Jason Duba, Eric Anderson, and Mark Ruddy. This is a salient example of how our strong Association has credibility with City Administration.

Attendees were polled about whether our Association should continue to advocate for a 4-way stop at Margaret Street and Highland. The hand vote was about equally divided. In the future we will decide how to continue to work with the City on our other requests such as more painted crosswalks and the 4-way stop.

For traffic calming on Margaret Street the City will plant 21 trees in the total of 34 boulevards that do not already have a tree. In addition they will plant 5 trees in the area north of Hogeboom that do not have boulevards. We will work toward maintaining the perennial plants in the boulevards and to building the infrastructure that would lead to more boulevards planted to perennials rather than grass/weeds.

3. Traci Ohlmann gave report on humanKind. Our neighborhood is welcome to all. Yard signs for sale. Just Local and Tangle Up in Hue will sell signs for us. School district is also looking to get signs for all the schools. Money received will go back into the committee for future events. Anyone interested in joining or helping out the humanKind Committee is welcome to do so. A survey is available to find out what neighbors would like to see; humanKind also has a facebook page.

4. Introduction of Presenters: Kathy Mitchell, Kimberly Cronk. Eagle Scout candidate Andrew Schlitz talked about his bluebird project as part of the Bluebird Experience. His project included setting up 10 bluebird houses total on the east and west side of Forest Hill Cemetery, monitoring them and getting Neighbors involved.

5. Police Officer Wade Beardsley and Officer Noah Young were introduced. Residents were asked if they had any concerns. One concern is the break-ins occurring in the neighborhood. Springtime has lots of break-ins occurring in our neighborhood, but also in other areas as well. Keep car doors and sheds locked.

6. Discussion on how to get old furniture removed. Should call the city inspector – John Goettinger. They will tell property owner to remove it.

7. Chris Buske – Boyd Park River Access – Discussion on the river access point at Boyd Park. Has talked to DNR, City Forester, Parks & Recreation. The river is in the city waterways plan. Permission was granted to start cleaning dead debris from riverbank area. Start by doing a clean up on Earth Day – Saturday, April 22 during Eau Claire Cleanup. Will go forward from there.

8. Shannon Paulus – Thrift Sale – Saturday, May 20 – website will be up soon to sign up.

9. Tania Mathews – Discussed Earth Day clean up – April 22, 2017; Over 400 volunteers registered so far. Many groups to join if interested. Lunch/prizes/camaraderie after clean up at Boyd Park.

10. Boyd Park Recreational Equipment – Residents were told of plans to add sports/recreation equipment in bins at Boyd Park. Residents were asked to keep an eye if anything laying around to put it away. Possible donations of equipment via those having thrift sales.

11. Lead Pipes – residents can check on lead pipe contamination with Scott – (715) 839-5045. If house is approx. 1930’s or older most likely lead pipes should be replaced.

12. Neighbors concerns, issues:

* Ted Barr discussed smell coming from Banbury. Asked for support from East Hill to figure out what the smell is, when we are smelling it, and what changes might be made.

* Neighbor brought up Nextdoor App – good way to communicate with neighbors: 400 have signed up so far. Book clubs, Bible Studies, and other activities have started; items for sale, contractors wanted, etc.

13. Dave Solberg – City Engineer: Discussed East Hill future projects. Chapin/Hogeboom completion early June; Emery/Isabel – future construction; Emery Street from cemetery to Dodge Street replacing retaining wall; 10-year plan to improve alleys 50 years & older. Future plan in late summer and early fall to block off intersection of Lee Street/Harding and Roosevelt/Harding to assess how this affects traffic; in 2018 the Harding Street hill will be redone. This is a catalyst for discussion about how the future Harding Street Hill area can be friendlier to bicycling and walking.

14. Other discussions:

* Parking problem on corner of Highland/Margaret – not enough space for bus to turn, hard to see oncoming traffic, etc.
* Underpass at Boyd Park, south end – still needs to be stained – possibly when stain new construction at Confluence.
* Bike Paint at Keith/Brackett – paint is almost gone – will be replaced soon.

15. Artist in Classroom project – Mitchell Spencer – Donations are being accepted for endowment for Artist in the Classroom. An artist will be accepted to work with art teacher in classroom. A piece of their art will stay with the school. Story in Volume One regarding this project.

Next meeting: May 18 2017, 6:30 p.m. Boyd Park Shelter.

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