Neighborhood Meeting Minutes July 2019

7/17/19 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm

Attendees:

Board members – Nathan Allan, Sherry Chilcutt, Jim Sweeney, Amy Hill, Jim Rioux, Roger Horn, Sheena Pietzold

Treasurer’s Report

  • Checking: $473
  • Savings: $1059
  • Signs: $1302
  • Legion Way Trees: $152
  • Community beautification: $408

Neighborhood picnic – There was a miscommunication when trying to reserve the shelter at Lions Park and we didn’t get it reserved for 8/17 from 4-7 like we’d planned. Brian booked it for the only available day, 8/25 from 4-7. Jim R. will follow up with the City tomorrow to see if any other times are available for 8/17 or earlier times available on 8/25. We still have to pay for reservation but won’t have to pay for insurance this year.

Block Parties – We discussed how the marketing wasn’t on point this year, and will try to improve it in the future. We talked about some pros and cons of having the block parties on multiple nights/weekends, and agreed that we liked doing it this way because it allows for more people to host because it’s more convenient for them and people can go to several of the block parties easier. The block party on 5th between Fairview and Edison had 60 or so people attend (two hosts combined). The block party on Lybarger between 10th and Union only had 10-15 attendees on the same day. More block parties are coming up on 7/19, so it’ll be interesting to see how those go. Perhaps we can invite block party hosts to the board meeting prior to the block parties (either May or June) to organize/coordinate efforts next year. Perhaps some could combine with neighborhood garage sales in the future. 

Neighborhood policing seems to be working well – we had a brief discussion on how it seems they’ve had good response times and are focussing on and addressing problem houses very well.

Cider press event – Not really considering doing it again this year unless we can find a volunteer to run it.

Plum street village – The first Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Plum Street Village happened. Nathan and Brad attended and plan to attend the future monthly meetings. They are scheduled for  an hour, but perhaps could benefit from being longer. There are 30 or so houses and 29 residents. While they didn’t have stats on how many have been kicked out, we do know that 6 people have already successfully transitioned out. According to the surrounding businesses, people who live at the village are doing just fine, but periphery people are more of a nuisance. In general, the village seems to be doing really well. They’re providing more social services to the folks who transition out. One discussion point was regarding how the advisory committee can help interface between the village and the community/neighborhood? They’re trying to figure that out still. We discussed how we think It should be two-way street, if we see problems, we can say something and if they need help with something specific, they can let us know. We want them to feel like they’re part of the community because that’s going to help them be more successful. One of the first things the village does for the residents is help them get identification, jobs, and healthcare. Someone pointed out that the city has a weekly newsletter related to homelessness but we’re not sure it gets out very well.

Candidate forum – Roger reserved Wednesday, Oct. 9th from 6:30 or 7 for an hour and a half at the Elks Lodge. We will be partnering with 3 other neighborhoods and will finalize who to invite after the primary on 8/6. There may be another forum getting organized for the westside.

Variety show follow-up – Merging with Bigelow Highlands really helped and it was a really good show. We’re planning on doing it again next year, possibly in March instead of June. The Salvation Army welcomes it back again. Some of the performers said they’re interested again too.

CNA update: Jim R – it was a very packed agenda and had good neighborhood repsresenation.

  • A number of things are going before Land Use and Environment Committee in Aug/Sept, including the airbnb/short term rentals issue, and affordable low income and market rate housing issues.
  • There was an overview of the water rates.
  • Lydia Morehead filled a position for supporting neighborhoods generally and staffing the CNA. She is the new main contact for sub area plans.
  • The city said the multi-unit tax incentive has been helping downtown, but was not seen favorably by folks in the room. They also spoke on a few items related to housing including the old Bailey’s hotel, the next village on Martin, and low income housing. There is a meeting at the VFW hall (on Martin) on July 22nd at 6pm for community outreach.
  • They discussed waste resources and how Olympia is one of few communities that collects its own wastes.  The recyclables, which get sold, have subsidized the program in the past, but now we are paying people to take it away. There has been a lot of market shake up and no one is sure where it’s going to end up. We will probably see changes in what is accepted sometime soon.

Sub-area plan – We went over the details of a timeline with Lydia (the new City staff and point of contact) at the last core team meeting. We are trying to pull it all together and make time for lots of reviews from many different groups including the ENA board, City Committees, etc. The timeline is looking like October now, but there will be a draft for the board to reveiw next month hopefully. We narrowed it down to about 10 action items for each of 4 topic areas, but we don’t want to lose all the ideas that came up. We talked about potential ways to keep that information somehow, like in an excel table, etc.

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