Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St.
Meeting started at 7:04 p.m.
Members present: Mike Ziemann, Beth Bennett, Bill Clendenin, Sean Cochran, Luann Denten, Jeremy Mehrle, Jackie Parker, Steve Parker, Alicia Stellhorn, Gary Toribio
Members absent: Nancy Kelly
Treasurer Alicia Stellhorn presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget. Bill Clendenin presented the Safety Committee Video Camera Proposal and Vicki Morris was present for the Soulard Station budget discussion.
Safety Committee Video Camera Proposal:
Bill Clendenin said the deadline for applying for the Mardi Gras Foundation Grant is July 30. He said an application would be made for $20,000, of which $10,000 would be this year’s grant and $10,000 would be the unused money from the entry marker project. (MGF’s previous grant wasn’t spent after Anheuser-Busch offered to pay for the entry markers.)
He said the Soulard Business Association had indicated it would pay $10,000 for buying cameras if the SRG also paid $10,000.
The total of $40,000 would pay for the purchase and installation of six cameras. Luann Denten expressed concern that the probable locations for the first six cameras didn’t include locations on the south side of the neighborhood.
The Soulard Special Business District (SSBD) has indicated it would pay up to 4 percent of its budget per year to cover $10,000 in long-term operating costs. Clendenin said that operating costs would be $1,200 to $1,800 a year per camera. SRG Board members acknowledged that the SRG might have to help pay operating costs if cameras are located outside of the SSBD boundaries.
The security cameras would be positioned at entry points. They would be compatible with the Real Time Crime Center.
Sean Cochran asked if the cameras would have License Plate Reader (LPR) capability. Clendenin said probably not initially because of the expense. Jackie Parker noted that the Central West End’s Neighborhood Security Initiative has an elaborate system of some 75 security cameras and many of the cameras were paid for through a grant from Washington University School of Medicine.
The Board voted to spend $10,000 for the purchase of security cameras on the condition that the program be for the entire neighborhood, with locations to be determined.
Soulard Station Budget:
Vicki Morris and Alicia Stellhorn presented the Soulard Station budget request, and presented three “wish list” items: An additional air-conditioning unit in the pavilion, an extension of the aggregate sidewalk and a storage building addition. In addition, a request was made for a camera security system.
The Board indicated it would include $5,000 in capital expenditures to allow for the camera system and probably the air-conditioner.
Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget:
The Board unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget.
Slide the City Observations:
Mike Ziemann presented photos from the Slide the City event held downtown July 11-12. Sean Cochran said that Joannie’s Pizzeria had reported making very little money from its booth at the event, saying that many people brought their own coolers with food and drinks. Cochran asked if the event would benefit the neighborhood if it were to be held in Soulard next year. Ziemann speculated that people would stick around and eat.
Gravois Road Closures Update:
The latest plan calls for updating Gravois Road but not making the side street closures that previously were envisioned.
Star Award Nominations:
Two nominations have been made and at least two more are expected. The deadline is Aug. 1. Nominations will be presented at the September meeting.
Mike Ziemann reported that Billy Tomber and Rick Dungey had told Oktoberfest organizer John McKinstry that the SRG would participate in Oktoberfest on the condition that payment methods are revised, specifically reimbursements for Groupon tickets. SRG participants last year felt that a loophole in the agreement had deprived SRG of money it earned. That loophole has been closed, Ziemann reported.
Beth Bennett said that Shelly’s, 2001 Menard St., had windows on the north side of its building that violate code. The Cultural Resources Office told them to replace the windows.
Mike Ziemann noted that the windows look the same as when Clementine’s was in the building. He said that only an expert on windows would detect anything amiss. He questioned whether owner Mark Packer, who is struggling with finances while trying to open the business, should be asked to pay tens of thousands of dollars more because one person had called the Citizens Service Bureau to complain.
Sean Cochran asked if Packer had pulled permits. Beth Bennett said he had not, so Cultural Resources didn’t get a say initially. Luann Denten wondered if they should be allowed to open with the condition that they come into compliance later. Beth Bennett said that CRO has the final say.
Bennett said that CRO had told Packer to replace the windows, prompting him to ask the SRG Board to write a letter on Shelly’s behalf. The SRG Board decided not to write a letter.
It was suggested that the SBA be added to the reports part of the SRG General Membership Meeting agenda, similar to the monthly American Legion Post 422 report. Dan Shields, SBA president and owner of D’s Place, 900 Barton St., will be offered the opportunity to make a monthly SBA report.
Hot Chocolate Race:
A planning meeting will be held July 23 at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, 1915 Park Ave. in Lafayette Square, to discuss the race. Ziemann said the race would have a minimal effect on Soulard.
Change of Date for August Board Meeting:
The August Board Meeting will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12. President-elect Bill Clendenin will run the Aug. 5 General Membership Meeting because Mike Ziemann will be out of town.
Homeless in Soulard Market:
Alicia Stellhorn reported increasing concerns about problems caused by homeless people in Soulard Market Park. A homeless person was involved in a fight at the July 11 concert. A suspect was pinned down and it took 12 minutes for police to respond, after a GCI security officer allegedly chose not to act because he was alone. There were also concerns about an influx of homeless because of the newly opened shelter at 800 N. Tucker Blvd.
The committee budgeted money to purchase an iPad Square to facilitate sales at various SRG events. Board members noted that the expense should be assigned to the SRG Board Budget because the square can be used at all fundraisers.
The Art in the Garden Tour June 29 was a huge success, with 300 people taking part, up from 130 last year. There was music in every garden. The auction of art from the tour will be Oct. 2.
Beth Bennett noted that the location of the gazebo that had been planned for Soulard Station has been shifted to Aboussie Park, on the west side of South 13th Street between Sidney and Lynch streets.
Code and Zoning:
Beth Bennett referred to the earlier discussion on the windows at Shelly’s.
National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 4. Sites mentioned were Pontiac Square Park, Aboussie Park and the 2600 block of S. 11th Street. Jackie Parker asked that street closings be submitted for publication in the Blaster.
SRG Night at the Gateway Grizzlies game will be Aug. 8. Tickets are $35 a person and includes shuttle rides to and from the game, a ticket to the game, beer at the ballpark and free admission to SRG’s own private after-party at the OZ nightclub prior to its regular nightly opening. Bill Clendenin will throw out the first pitch in Mike Ziemann’s absence.
A Membership Paint Night is being planned. Admission charges will pay for the cost of the events. Details to come.
Soulard flags are on order. Attendance at Bastille en Vogue July 12 at Franco, 1535 S. 8th St., was down from 2014 but it raised more money than last year’s inaugural event.
Luann Denten characterized the Gathering of the Mob parade July 10 as phenomenal.
MGI approved its budget.
The meeting adjourned at 10:12 p.m.