RNA Meeting Minutes – April 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Nick Harper, Jeff Bentley, Peggy Wise, Sue Ekstam, John Melton, and Jim Lohmeyer. Mike Brothers was present later in the meeting.

Others present: Chuck and Pat Johnson

Call to Order – 7 p.m.

Review of Minutes – Nick Harper moved to approve, Jeff Bentley seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report – Peggy Wise presented. There is currently $2,059.44 in the RNA account. During the past month we have received $185 in membership dues representing 6 individual memberships (2 of these are renewing and last year comprised one household membership) and 5 household memberships. Expenses of the last month were $24.35 for new checks. Laurel moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report.

Laurel mentioned we could apply for a FedEx account at the local office to receive discounted copy services. Sue Ekstam suggested we do that. Peggy Wise also stated we can get our copies made at UHBC for a minimal fee and providing the copy paper. We currently have almost a case of copy paper on hand.

Bylaws Update – Laurel Bryant brought up the bylaws, which we have discussed updating. Laurel mentioned we need the bylaws to reflect the policies regarding the requirements for membership on the RNA Facebook page. Sue Ekstam has suggested a bylaws committee be formed. Sue Ekstam and Peggy Wise volunteered to be on the committee. (Note since that time, Jeff Barber has also joined the committee).

Facebook – How the membership requests for Facebook had been handled was discussed. Laurel states we will have a tab on the Rountreenews.org website to explain Facebook membership. The membership guidelines will also be posted to the Facebook page.

Neighborhood Cleanup – Peggy Wise gave an update regarding the Neighborhood Cleanup scheduled for May 6, 2017. The post cards to households should be mailed this week. Habitat for Humanity, Missouri Council of the Blind, Community Partnership of the Ozarks will be volunteering and on site. We will also have a gentleman that volunteers with Habitat for Humanity will provide scrap metal hauling. iHeartRadio will be making some public service announcements for us.   We can ask for volunteers that are performing community service and CASP will contact Community Partnership of the Ozarks with scheduling those persons.   Volunteers should be present at UHBC by 7:30 a.m. CPO has asked if we want to ask a donation fee. CPO has stated that most neighborhood associations seek a donation. Discussion of types of items we cannot accept. A resident asked what the boundaries of the neighborhood were pertaining to the clean up event. The boundaries of RNA are the east side of National to the west side of Glenstone and the north side of Catalpa to and including the north side of Cherry. Our service area for the cleanup, however, extends to Sunshine on the South and St. Louis on the north.

Rountree News Website – Laurel discussed the website updates. She and Mike Brothers met with Lincoln Whisler and the website should be back up and running by this weekend. Laurel and Mike will be administrators. Please provide Laurel or Mike with pictures that can be added to the website of neighborhood events, changing seasonal pictures in the neighborhood. Having a newsletter was also briefly discussed. We all agree we would like to have a newsletter but having someone prepare it has been the issue. Laurel pointed out the City now has a quarterly all-city neighborhoods newsletter and are taking content contributions from the neighborhoods.

PAR Officer Update – Issues in the neighborhood are the traffic/visibility issue at the corner of Kentwood and Catalpa, and at Kentwood and Delmar. Laurel Bryant also mentioned the owners of Tie & Timber have been cleaning up the property just west of the train tracks on the northwest corner at Weller and Cherry and have found used needles and the majority of a box of unused needles near the tracks. Officer Schlup stated that theft is currently a major issue all across the city. People arrested for theft and property crimes with no other crime are booked and released currently. Possible causes of the increases in these crimes are drugs and poverty and an increasing homeless population. He reminded us to keep car doors and homes locked and to report any theft. It helps them to keep track of trends in different areas.

We discussed traffic speed tracking regarding Cherry Street, which continues to have a problem with speeding. Jeff Bentley spoke with City personnel and the City will be doing a traffic calming study on Cherry Street, thanks to grant funding. Jeff Bentley has been named to a task force for this grant/study and will follow up with any new information from the City of Springfield. Also discussed speeding motorcycles. This has been a problem on Grand Street. Officer Schlup had contacted a residence in the 1600 block of Grand occupied by students that had issues with blocking the driveway. That issue appears to be resolved.

Brief discussion regarding Neighborhood Watch. Officer Schlup discussed a new program that is an enhanced Neighborhood Watch with Watch Captains and neighbors that walk portions of the neighborhood and report any issues noticed. We can contact Officer Schlup if we would like to do this.

Cherry Street update – Laurel Bryant discussed the RNA survey regarding Cherry Street corridor. No further changes are requested. Laurel will post the survey to the website for neighbors to take.

City Planner Alana Owen has contacted Laurel and says the city wants to begin the process of reviewing the UCD. The city needs to hold a larger “kick off” meeting for the neighborhood in May but would like to meet with us in the next week to plan some details for that. We need to remind our neighbors that even when this process begins, it’s going to take a while and we need to maintain engagement throughout.

Other Business – Laurel mentioned there is a Bissman homes tour in early June. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing maintenance of the Maple Park Cemetery gazebo. It’s $25 to tour the general houses.

Discussion about the Air Services property on Grand. It’s for lease but is grandfathered in as commercial and must be leased to a similar type of business.

Peggy brought up the idea of maintaining memberships on a calendar year rather than based on the school year. It used to be based on what is now Owlapalooza, but now we don’t have that under our purview any more. Sue spoke with Josh at Cherry Picker about a similar kind of celebration at Cherry and Pickwick. Curtis Marshall with Tie & Timber has mentioned a desire to have a street festival once he gets his brewery open.

Should we come up with a policy for people who want to address the RNA meetings? Should there be a difference between issues and sales pitches? Will put it on the agenda for next time.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.

About Mike Brothers

Mike is a Pickwick Person; husband to Maureen and dad to Vivian and Dorothy. He has lived in the neighborhood since 2011 and has lived in Springfield for over 20 years. He the PR director for Drury University. He was previously a communications specialist with the City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Health Dept, and before that a features writer and music columnist with the News-Leader.
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