Minutes - July 2016 SRG Board Meeting

Date: July 20, 2016

Location: Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St.

Officers and directors in attendance: Beth Bennett, Bill Clendenin, Luann Denten, Venessa Kobrin, Jackie Parker, Neil Putz, Christopher Schwarz, Gary Toribio, Wade Weistreich

Officers and directors absent: Scott Plackemeier, Mike Ziemann

The meeting was called to order at 7:13 p.m. by SRG President Bill Clendenin

Old Business
Bill Clendenin provided an update on the Soulard camera system project. The ongoing camera project, including the scope of Phase I, was reviewed with the following motions:

Motion: Luann Denten motions to begin the camera project Phase I as stipulated in the memo provided to the Board. The memo includes certain confidential information (i.e., the map of the planned locations) and will not be attached to the minutes.  

Second: Venessa Kobrin seconds
Approved: 9-0

Motion Amendment: Chris Schwarz motions to allow up to $500 of SRG funding for unprojected costs related to the camera project. Any amount in excess of that would require Board review. 

Second: Gary Toribio seconds
Approved: 9-0.

New Business

1. CVC Signage Program
The sign at issues are the CVC red and black signs that are visible from the highway. The proposal is to extend the signage project for another five year term, to include maintenance and replacement signs. The total cost to the SRG would be $1,331.25 for the five year period. Other neighborhoods groups, like SBA and MGI are also being asked to contribute. If we chose to not continue, Soulard would eventually be removed from the signs.

Motion: Wade Weistreich motions that the CVC signage project is extended for additional 5 years at a cost of $1,331.25 to the SRG and that a non-conditional inquiry be made to add “Soulard Historic District” as the text for future replacement signs. 

Second: Luann Denten
Passed: 9-0.

2. Community Improvement District - Richard Eaton
ichard Eaton provided the Board with an update on efforts to create a Community Improvement District (CID) for the Soulard neighborhood.  Discussions about a Soulard CID started several years ago, and have been stop and go. But the concept is starting to move forward again. Eaton said that Luke Reynolds, Jack Coatar, Bill Clendenin, Lisa Otke, Phyllis Young, John Durnell, Cathy Weldon and others have participated in the recent working group discussions.

The current concept for the CID would be a 1 percent sales tax that would be used to pay for improvements like sidewalks, lighting, and parking and services like trash pick-up and marketing. Under the current proposal, there would be no real estate taxes or special assessments. 

CIDs can be found in Euclid, CWE, the Grove, Midtown, South Grand, Laclede’s Landing, North Park, and Ballpark Village.

A question was raised regarding the effect of redistricting on the proposed CID. This question will be discussed at the next CID working group meeting

3. Membership Chair
Jill Weissgerber is stepping down after an incredibly successful 9 year run as the Membership Chair. Her work has been incredible and tireless. Weissgerber’s absence will be a huge loss to the SRG Board and the SRG as a whole (but she intends to remain an active member). A replacement Membership Chair has not been identified at this time.

4. Code Enforcement
Henry’s has been the source of resident complaints regarding the highly visible port-o-potty and the fence located in their outdoor space. This was brought up at the General meeting. Calling the Citizen’s Service Board Hotline is the primary mechanism for addressing these issues.The phone number is 314-622-4800. Bill Clendenin will inquire on possible next steps.

For certain major code enforcement issues, the Board discussed ideas for taking additional actions. The Board discussed the idea of preparing a statement signed in the same manner as the Neighborhood Impact Statements, which the neighborhood submits in criminal cases.

5. Treasurer Meetings

The Treasurer has suggested regular meetings with committees and committee chairs. This would provide a regular opportunity for committees and chairs to sit down with the Treasurer and the committee liaison. In addition to verifying where committees are in their budget, the meeting would serve identify long term goals and projects from a financial perspective. These meetings also provide transparency between the board and committees as a whole, facilitate timely requests for monies over $500, promoting partnership and regular interaction with the Board. Chris Schwarz would like to start this by the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Resistance from some committees is possible, but the Treasurer is committed to transparency of accounting for the board and general membership as a whole. Also, these periodic meetings will decrease the workload of the committees when it is time to prepare the annual budget in May.

It is essential to shift the paradigm of finances so money is no longer be a once a year topic of discussion but an ongoing topic of discussion.

Committee Reports 

1. Communications and Fundraising (Jackie Parker): Sept. 2 is the deadline for Renaissance. A beer booth at LouFest, Sept. 10-11, is a possible fundraising opportunity. There are still no updates regarding Oktoberfest.

2. Beautification (Luann Denten): The Garden Tour was a success. Luann D. is stepping down as the chair and Amy Grove is taking over as the chair. Beautification continues to improve the Station gardens and they are looking gorgeous.

3. Code and Zoning (Beth Bennett): The 13th and Russell developers sent a new plan to PRT. Revisions to the new plan were requested and returned to the developers.

4. Membership (Beth Bennett): Discussed previously.

5. Residential Promotions (Luann Denten): Residential promotion just wrapped up Bastille Days celebration. The attendance at Marie’s Last Dance was less than desired but this is attributed to it being the first year of the event. Given the new venue and change in the event itself, Marie’s Last Dance was a success. The parade had very high attendance and was, by all accounts, a huge success. The parade included stops at several neighborhood bars. Some bars were not ready to accommodate the amount of parade participants.  Future years will target bars who choose to specifically participate in the event itself. The total cost for the event is just under $600.

6. Safety (Scott Plackemeier): National Night Out is Aug. 2. Further updates in the Blaster and the General Meeting.

7. MGI (Jackie Parker and Gary Toribio): Report given during executive session.

8. Parlor Tour (Mike Ziemann): The liaison was not present to make a report.

9. Soulard Station (Neil Putz): The Soulard Station is in its high season. Since the last meeting, Neil Putz has attempted to facilitate communication. Vicki Morris is now supplying involved parties with a weekly email identifying events and availability.

Adjournment: Venessa Kobrin motioned to adjourn, Wade Weistreich seconded and the meeting adjourned at 10:03 p.m.