October 2008 Board Meeting Minutes

October 16, 2008; 7:00pm

Location: Swantown Inn Bed & Breakfast

In Attendance: Luke Bowerman, Tim McLeod, Ann Mataczynski, Nathan Allan, Casey Allan, Sam Schroeder, Jenny Flemming, and Jessica Archer.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm.

Luke asked if anyone needed to review the September minutes.  With no one asking to review the minutes, Casey moved that the September minutes be accepted as submitted.  Nathan seconded.  Passed with no objections.

Luke told the board that Thurston Regional Planning had asked the ENA to put their name to a grant for money to get a mid-block crosswalk at Madison Elementary.  The issue is that the school encourages parents to use the parking lot at the Methodist church when dropping kids off and picking them up, but there isn’t a crosswalk there, and most kids and adults do not walk up or down the block to use the crosswalk.  City of Olympia has agreed to pay for the striping and signage, but asked the Olympia School District to pay for the ADA ramps and they don’t have the budget for them.  The crossing guards can’t use a crosswalk without the ramps.  Luke, Sam and Whitney voted at the September Board meeting to allow to use of the ENA’s name to the grant, as this has been an issue that has been raised with many of the neighborhood residents.

Jenni Fleming has volunteered to be Treasurer.  She will serve the remainder of Mark’s term, which is until February when we have elections.  Jenni, Luke and Mark will be getting together shortly to have “Treasurer Training.”  Luke and Mark are going to go to the bank to get the accounts taken care of.  The issue is that to remove a person everyone on the account must agree and there are several signatories on the account who are no longer on the board, but the primary (Mark), can close the account, so they will close the account and open a new one in ENA’s name with Luke as the first signatory and then add Jenni.  It will be discussed at a future board meeting if anyone else needs or should be named on the account.

Luke presented a question from Chad Akins regarding newsletter advertising.  He was curious to know if there was any rule that the advertisers had to be within the ENA boundaries.  Everyone agreed that there weren’t any such rules.  Sam pointed out that his business had advertised and they aren’t within the neighborhood boundaries.  We tried to think of a business or business type that we wouldn’t want advertising in our newsletter and couldn’t think of one.

Luke attended the Coalition of Neighborhoods Association general meeting.  The CNA functions as a clearinghouse to disseminate information to all the Neighborhood and Homeowner Associations in Olympia.  They aren’t officially recognized by the City of Olympia, but appear to have been more active in the past 6 months or so.

There were three topics raised at the CNA meeting.  The first was a presentation by Army Assisted Services which is an on-base resource center that helps the enlisted get in touch with the services they may need; i.e. counseling, financial, etc.

The second topic was a proposal that has been submitted to the City by the Northeast Neighborhood Association, called “Sidewalk Connectors.”  They are low-cost sidewalks for homeowners who live on auxiliary streets where currently there are no sidewalks.  They are called Terra Blocks and are a porous rubber / plastic square that are staked together.  The biggest issue is that the city may still require a contractor to install them.

The third topic was a public participation grant through Washington State Department of Ecology.  The Thurston Public Health and Social Services Department’s Environmental Health Division has asked neighborhoods to apply for a grant to be used for their Pesticide Free Neighborhood program.  This same project was done last year as a test in the East Bay Neighborhood.  They are looking for at least 10 households in a neighborhood to participate.  It would be a 10 month commitment, they would evaluate the current chemicals you are using, remove the harmful ones, and provide ecologically friendly alternatives as well as tools, information, and monthly classes.  The folks from the Thurston Public Health can assist in providing wording for the grant, but can’t apply for it for our neighborhood.  The cost is $19,595 ($16,500 staff, $3,095 materials) for the first neighborhood and $6,595 for each additional neighborhood.  It is not a matching grant so the ENA doesn’t have to worry about making or paying any money.  Luke asked if anyone was interested in completing the application for the neighborhood as it has to be submitted before November 3rd.  Jessica Archer and Tim McLeod volunteered and Luke will forward the information to them.

The last thing to come out of the CNA meeting was that they have openings on the steering committee for short-term appointment (until February 2009) when they hold their elections.  Luke offered to ask for one of the positions and asked if anyone had any objections, none were raised.

Nathan asked if Luke was still in communication with the city regarding Madison Scenic Park.  Luke calls David Hanna about every 6 weeks.  There is currently money set aside for the park but they expect 20 – 30K to go towards repair of the trail and hill stabilization.  They will know when the final budget is set how much they will have and in early spring they will have the first meetings for community input.  The biggest hurdle that may stand in the way of the garden project is that a park is “for the public good.”  If private individuals are growing food for their private use, how is it for the public good.  Other cities have overcome this, so we should be able to as well.  The other issue is that there will need to be a partner organization to actually manage the garden.  GRUB has said they aren’t necessarily interested as their plate is full, but Olympia has numerous organizations with experience in this.

The General meeting is scheduled for November 13th.  Currently on the agenda is a 5 minute Open Mic, TerraCommons has a presentation and Tim and Chad are going to talk about winter gardens, and send around a list to sign up for garden tours.

The newsletter will be going to print soon. There will be an article for the elections in February, and the ENA’s new vandalism / graffiti program.

There has been an increase in reported vandalism in the neighborhood, but according to our neighborhood officer there hasn’t been an increase worth noting in our overall district.  We talked briefly about how to handle calls about vandalism, whether to send out an email immediately or not.  We all agreed that they haven’t been that frequent and they should go out immediately with suggestions on crime prevention.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15pm.

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