SRG Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 at Soulard Station

Meeting started at 6:44 p.m.

Members present: Nancy Kelly, Beth Bennett, Sean Cochran, Luann Denten, Jackie Parker, Steve Parker, Michael Pastore, Alicia Stellhorn, Jill Weissgerber and Mike Ziemann.

Members absent: Jeremy Mehrle

Guests: John Durnell, Richard Eaton, Jay Morris and Vicki Morris

Soulard Station Project: John Durnell and Richard Eaton presented a proposal from a Ladue Horton Watkins High School senior who wants to do an Eagle Scout project outside Soulard Station. A gazebo-style structure (suitable for weddings) would be built at the far end of the property next to Gravois Avenue, and would serve as somewhat of a buffer. The student would be responsible for raising his own funds and providing his own materials. He would do all the work. He would keep in contact with Jay and Vicki Morris, who said she would want to ensure that the project doesn’t conflict with the station’s busy season.

Soulard Station Music for Mardi Gras: Jay Morris presented the proposed expenses for the band from 2014: $288 for staging, $300 for sound, $450 for the band. He would like a commitment from the board for playing this year from approximately 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Board members later in the meeting gave such a commitment by general consensus.) He noted that we had priced a 20-foot by 40-tent rental last year at about $1,370. Board members indicated that was too expensive, and that excessively cold weather would keep attendance down anyway. Sean Cochran said the “drag races” at Nadine’s this year should draw more people to the station area and that a closed-off tent would give the appearance of a private party.

Soulard Station Brick Project: Vicki Morris said orders are placed in groups of 10. She said it provides an excellent fundraiser with little effort. She asked that someone else oversee the project, and said that person should be computer-savvy, be able to work alone and value accuracy. The call for a volunteer might be posted on Nextdoor and will be put in the next Blaster.

Soulard Station cleanup: Vicki Morris asked for volunteers to help pick up trash outside the station. Beth Bennett and Nancy Kelly both indicated a willingness to do so.

Treasurer’s Report:

Alicia Stellhorn presented reports on Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows.

She noted confusion with Madco Printing over double-billing and old invoices. She asked that we discontinue our charge account at Madco. Future dealings should be done by filling out a check request or submitting expense forms and receiving reimbursement. (Nancy Kelly sent out an email Thursday, Jan. 15, to Board members outlining those procedures.)

Tax returns for 2012 and 2013 have been filed.

Smarty Gras: Nancy Kelly thanked Jackie Parker for running such a smooth and successful evening, and both of them noted that many Board members had been among an excellent group of volunteers. Jackie Parker said the evening appears to have been a financial success, with silent auction revenues increasing but table revenues declining slightly. Figures are still being tabulated.

Old Business:

Soulard Alliance: Nancy Kelly said that the Soulard Business Association wants the SRG to support in spirit the effort for a Soulard Alliance. She said that lawyers were drawing up papers for Soulard Alliance, a non-profit that would spend money for marketing and promotion of Soulard. Nancy Kelly said the public relations firm hired by the Soulard Alliance to promote the Parlour Tour had been successful in attracting media attention. Several Board members indicated that the SRG could spend for marketing the Parlour Tour. Several Board members said the SBA was just asking for open lines of communication concerning Soulard Alliance. Some were concerned that the new organization might increase competition for a limited pool of fundraising dollars, or might drain volunteers. A motion that the SRG in theory supports the Soulard Alliance in its efforts to better the neighborhood failed 4-5. Board members said more information is needed. (On Jan. 23 Nancy Kelly informed the board by email that she has Jim Price to attend the Feb. 18 board meeting to help address concerns.)

Vices & Virtues Ball Fiscal Update:  Luann Denten gave an update on expenses and revenues to date, which Alicia Stellhorn tallied as $15,300 in expenses (with no more to come) and $15,038 in the bank (with more income to come.) Luann Denten said revenue sources the night of the ball would include a photographer, royalty ballots and a tarot card reader. She said four corporate sponsors had provided $1,050.

Entryway Markers:

Luann Denten said input was being received from Mardi Gras Foundation, the SBA and the SRG. Markers would be mounted on metal-looking 12-foot poles. Funding currently allows for markers at nine entry points. Bids were sought from nine firms and three estimates were received: from Empire Fence, from Signature Ironworks and the Classic Metal Craft. Empire’s bid was highest at $23,850, and Classic Metal’s was lowest at $12,142.

57 people attended the “unveiling” of the proposals on Nov. 20 at Soulard Station. Participants were asked to choose their favorite among four proposed designs, with the vote splitting 12-3-6-23. The design receiving the most votes was done by Linda Kurdi.

Board members were unanimous in wanting one design at all of the entryways, which Luann Denten said also was the opinion of the MGF and SBA boards.

MGF and SBA members, like the vote at the station event, favored Linda Kurdi’s design, but thought that the Soulard Star in it should be more prominent than the two fleur-de-lises.

After some discussion, the Board unanimously supported Design #4 with modifications: Elevating the Soulard Star and eliminating the fleur-de-lises.

After some discussion whether grants should be sought from HUD and the CDA, it was decided that further delay wouldn’t be worth the small amount of funding that needs to be provided. MGF is providing all but $2,100 of the seed money.

The Board unanimously backed Classic Metal as the firm to do the work.

New Business:

SRG Mardi Gras Booth: Sean Cochran agreed to be the booth captain. He will ask Billy Tomber for the list of advance ticket purchases in past years. Jay Morris and The Pedestrians will play.

Family Winter Carnival: MGI wants $750 from SRG to help fund this year’s Family Winter Carnival. A letter from Gary Toribio was circulated in which he counseled against SRG supplying funds. Michael Pastore said he disagreed, noting that MGI can’t get corporate sponsors for the family-friendly event Jan. 24, which cost $5,000 last year. Alicia Stellhorn noted MGI has an added expense because the carnival requires putting up the event tent a week early. Mike Ziemann said that many people in the neighborhood consider the Grand Parade a colossal nuisance and that the Winter Carnival is a means for MGI to give something back to the community in exchange for creating that nuisance. The Board voted to donate $750 this year, but to address the matter before next season.

There was some discussion about the relationship of MGI and MGF. Nancy Kelly said she would obtain their bylaws. Michael Pastore said he considers himself a representative of the SRG and the neighborhood when he sits on the MGI Board. Nancy Kelly noted that Tim Lorson will be at the next monthly General Membership Meeting.

Committee Reports:

Fundraising: Trivia was a success.

Communications: Renaissance should hit the streets Feb. 4.

Membership: No report.

Soulard Station:

New sign going up soon.

Anyone with questions about station finances can ask Sean Cochran.

Zoning: No report.


Committee meeting is tonight about security cameras.

$500 was donated for the police dinner.


Luann Denten showed the historic Soulard afghan. It will be sold for $40.

People have asked that Soulard merchandise include scarves, hats and flags. Sales of merchandise have been very good, with wine glasses and hats among the few remaining items.

Local hour Thursday Feb. 26 will be at Pizzeoli.

The meeting adjourned at 10:13 p.m.