SRG Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at Soulard Station

Meeting started at 6:41 p.m.

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

Members absent: Alicia Stellhorn, Steve Parker

Guests: Bill Clendenin, Luke Dibler, John Durnell, Richard Eaton, Jim Price

Leadership Projects: Jackie Parker and Bill Clendenin presented their experiences and projects for the Neighborhood Leadership Academy they attended on behalf of SRG. Both Bill and Jackie appreciated being able to attend the program. 

Jackie said Soulard was a model neighborhood for many other neighborhood representatives in attendance. Jackie’s project was a Soulard 411 sheet. It is designed to be a “quick hit” information source for new residents. It includes SRG meeting information, important websites and phone numbers for the Soulard neighborhood, and information about the Soulard Renaissance. Jeremy Merhle helped with the design and the Membership Committee will be including Soulard 411 in welcome bags for new homeowners as well as distributing them to local rental companies for new residents. The Board felt it was a streamlined, effective way to get important information to neighborhood newbies. 

Bill’s project focused on research to bring a security camera system to Soulard. He is working with his Safety Committee on the effort. It would be a limited system to start out, putting cameras at the access points to the neighborhood on existing traffic signals and the facades of some businesses. The big issue with this project is cost (upfront equipment/installation costs and ongoing costs). Bill met with Detective Meyer, who is adamant that cameras are a good idea and would be very useful in catching criminals. The Board thanked Bill for his efforts and encouraged him and the Safety Committee to continue with this project.

Soulard Station Project: Luke Dibler, a Ladue Horton Watkins High School senior, presented a project he would complete at the Soulard Station to work toward becoming an Eagle Scout. 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. Luke is responsible for the funding and building of this project. John Durnell, Richard Eaton, and Jay Morris would act as Luke’s advisors on the project.

The Board discussed the positives of the project which include a nice addition to the Station grounds, a nice aesthetic improvement on the Gravois side, and no initial cost for SRG.  The negatives were the additional soundproofing costs to block the noise from Gravois and the fact that corner is not the ideal place for a wedding ceremony. A motion was made to support Luke Dibler’s project by allowing him to build at Soulard Station. Motion passed 7-1. 

Soulard Alliance: Jim Price presented on behalf of the Soulard Alliance. Jim described Soulard Alliance as a committee comprised of members from various neighborhood groups who want positive PR for Soulard. They are working toward becoming a non-profit organization. Concerns of another non-profit competing for money and volunteers were voiced. Jim said the hope is to attract corporate sponsors to fund the PR efforts. The Soulard Alliance is asking for SRG support in spirit, not monetary support. Jim said the Soulard Alliance will be focused on marketing Soulard to those outside the neighborhood. The website will have links to other neighborhood sites (SRG, SBA, Soulard Market, etc.).

Treasurer’s Report: None.

Old Business:  

Mardi Gras Ball Report: Luann Denten gave an overview of the Mardi Gras Ball. It was a great event and she is receiving good feedback. They are still calculating financials, but estimate a profit of approximately $5,000. Tables are already selling for next year.

Station Mardi Gras Party Report:  Sean Cochran reported the previously planned beer booth fundraiser was changed to an SRG Member party due to weather. Approximately 73 tickets were sold. Expenses are still being processed. All in attendance had a great time.

New Business:

Discussion of possible resignation of President Elect position. No resignation occurred.

Police Luncheon: SRG bought a table.

Taxi Stands: Nancy Kelly proposed starting a letter campaign to the Taxi Commission and the Police Department to enforce use of the taxi stands and ticket cabs that are double-parked. Nancy will make one more effort to contact the Taxi Cab Commissioner and Jim Holloran, McGurk’s owner, before the campaign starts.

Parlour Tour Committee Concerns: Concern was voiced on how homeowners have been treated. Some homeowners volunteered their homes after a panicked need for houses was announced, only to be cut from the tour later. There is also a lack of communication between the Committee and the homeowners. Various homeowners stated they were not given any direction until just a few weeks before the event. It was suggested there needed to be an active liaison from the SRG Board on the Committee. Nancy Kelly will set up a meeting with the Committee to discuss further.

Beautification Committee Golf Cart: Tony and George have moved from the Beautification Committee to the Soulard Station Committee. They have retained the golf cart previously purchased for the Beautification Committee to use in maintenance of the Station gardens.

Committee Reports:

Fundraising: No Report.

Communications: No Report.

Membership: New member events and annual membership party are being planned.

Soulard Station: New sign is up on East side of building.

Zoning: No report.

Safety: Thanks to Jim Rick for opening his home to police officers on Mardi Gras Grand Parade day. Jim and other members of the Safety Committee provided food and a warm-up location.

Residential Promotion: Mardi Gras ball was a success. Blankets are selling well and more Soulard merchandise will be ordered soon. Next Local Hour will be at Pizzeoli on Feb. 26.

Beautification: No Report.

The meeting adjourned at 10:08 p.m.