Minutes November 2017 SRG Board Meeting

Date:                           November 15, 2017

Location:                    Soulard Station

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by President Wade Weistreich

Officers and Directors in Attendance: Bill Clendenin, Beth Bennett, Luann Denten, Venessa Kobrin, Scott Plackemeier, Neil Putz, Christopher Schwarz, Stephen Shuman, Billy Tomber, Wade Weistreich

Venessa Kobrin served as Secretary for the meeting.

Officers and Directors Absent: none

Guests Present:           Paul Kjorlie, Taylor Bodine, Jay Gibbs

Guests Presentations

1. Paul Kjorlie

Paul K. presented to the Board regarding the current bylaws and a request for clarification of procedure when general membership wants to bring a topic to the floor. Wade W. will compose a clarifying memo prior to the next general meeting and disseminate to membership at said meeting and electronically.

2. Taylor Bodine

            Taylor is interested in serving in the Secretary position. She currently works in a marketing/PR position and is eager to give back to her community and be involved.

3. Jay Gibbs

            Jay Gibbs and Charles Closser presented the plans for 1001 Russell. The plans have already been presented to Cultural Resources, who required brick on the entire façade. The history of the building began with the number of residential units being determined by the amount of parking available, 20 parking spaces. After discussions with PRT and Alderman Coatar, the builder decided to convert a portion of the building (50%) to commercial space. The remaining building will be a split of 8 2-bedrooms and 8 1-bedroom apartments. The number of parking spaces has not increased but the numbers of parking spaces is 20 to a total of 16 units.

            The side façade is being proposed at 35’ of brick, followed to the rear by siding. This is above and beyond the requirement of adjacent alley width+1’.

            The building would be lighted and the parking lot lighted and secured.

            All board members are happy about the commercial space being added to the neighborhood.

            An open house for the project will be held on November 21st, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Soulard Station.


Motion: Luann D. motions for approval of the siding façade, as presented in the most current plans (presented to the Board 11/15/17), contingent on the approval of PRT and an open house on the project for the general public.

Seconded: Christopher Schwarz.

Vote: 8 in favor and 1 opposed.

Old Business

1. Common Calendar

            The official calendar of the Soulard Restoration Group is reflected on soulard.org. This calendar serves as the primary communication tool for events, activities, and meetings to the general membership of the SRG and the public. The calendar and website are managed by the Communications Committee. Because the calendar serves as the official and primary distribution medium for events, activities, and meetings, “placeholders” are not reflected on this calendar. A separate “working calendar” is maintained as an internal working document. This “working calendar” allows committee chairs to schedule events/activities/meetings and avoid conflicting events. The Communications Committees works to ensure that the calendar reflect events held by partner organizations within the neighborhood (SBA/MGI) and potential conflicting events in STL as large (e.g., Cardinals home games).

            Three items are required to move an event/activity/meeting from the “working calendar” to the official (public) calendar and need to be emailed to the entire Communications Committee:

1)    Copy: this is the written description of the event to include date, time, place. This needs to be submitted via email in a format that can be copied and pasted.

2)    Photo/Art: this is the graphic/image that will be used in conjunction with the copy.

3)    The date of the event. If there is a conflict with another event, the communications committee will let the requestor know.

Recurring and already scheduled events, through December 31st of 2018, have already been added to the working calendar. These events are reflected on the calendar that has been provided to all committee chairs and board members. The Communications Committee is actively transferring a year of events to the official public calendar. You are welcome to submit your materials for the entire year now, and we will fill out the calendar. This will not be done overnight, but will be done as soon as we are able. This same copy, art, and date information will be used across soulard.org, Facebook, and NextDoor. We may alter slightly to better reach a specific audience.

            The official calendar, in list format, will be printed and available at all general meetings. Additionally, the calendar will be published in list format in the Renaissance.

2. Star Awards

            The Star Awards are ready to be presented at the December 6th General Membership meeting.

            Luann D. requested that the nominator(s) take part in the presentation of the award to their nominee. 

3. Secretary Position

            President Wade Weistreich appointed Taylor Bodine for the Secretary position. The Board ratified the decision.

4. Market Park Agreement

Motion: Neil moves that the Board accept the November 15th version of the Soulard Market Park Agreement.

Second: Stephen S.

Vote: all in favor.

 New Business

1. Meeting Minutes Archive

Creating a digital meeting minutes archive is Wade W.’s project as President. He is seeking any and all past hardcopy meeting minutes and/or documentation to be gathered and provided to him. Wade will scan all such materials into a shared google drive.

This is extremely important to ensure institutional knowledge is recorded and accessible.

2. Volunteer T-shirts

            Last month Chris S. (Fundraising Committee Chair) suggested SRG volunteer t-shirts be created and printed. The fundraising committee has moved ahead with this idea and a member of the fundraising committee is creating t-shirt design. The idea is for a new shirt to be created each year. The shirts would make volunteers at events immediately identifiable, create a conversation starter for potential volunteers, and serve as an additional “thank you” to volunteers.

            Luann D. stated that she thought that Chris S. had a great idea and, as Residential Promotions Chair, has moved forward with the graphic design professionals at Left Hand Printing to design the t-shirt.

            Venessa K. suggested that the volunteer t-shirts be a project of the Fundraising Committee as they are also the volunteer coordinators (soliciting volunteers, scheduling, etc).

            The fundraising and residential promotion committee chairs agree to discuss and resolve prior to the next Board meeting.

3. Historical Signage Project

            Luann D. is requesting additional funding for the Residential Promotion Historic Signage project. Initially the goal was to create the template and install signs at 10 locations within Soulard. The project is moving forward and has identified 30 sites for signs. The project has also received approval from the Cultural Review Board. Chris S. asked if completing the project in one go would save money. Luann D. explained that it would because the process would be done in bulk and the graphic designer would be paid for one large project as opposed to several smaller projects.

            Completing the project in one go would complete the project’s initial phase. Future funding would need to be budgeted to maintenance of the signs, which would be minimal. This would also allow for additional ideas (e.g., a Soulard historical podcast) to be based upon a final product.

            An opportunity for resident preview and input on the signs will be announced once scheduled.

Motion: Venessa K. motions that the Historic Signage Project budget be given a one-time increase of $10,000. These funds would carry the caveat of being return to the general fund, if not used. If the allocated $10,000 is not utilized by the end of the fiscal year, Luann D. will include the remainder of $10,000 in the budget request for the upcoming fiscal year.

Second: Bill C.

Vote: all in favor.

4. Central Patrol Business Association renewal and donation

Motion: Billy T. motions that the SRG donate $500 to the Central Patrol Business Association holiday fundraiser to ensure that officers receive a Police Christmas bonus.

Second: Luann D.

Vote: all in favor.

Treasurer’s Report

The operating reserve will remain at Carollton Bank but the other accounts will be moved to AB Credit Union.

The Treasurer presented reports and gave status as to how many budgeted dollars have been used to date. The Treasurer also reminded liaisons that check requests submitted which caused a committee to go over their budget would not be paid until the Chair received Board approval. In order to avoid potentially being denied reimbursement for expenses, committee chairs should always request a budget increase prior to committing to any purchase that exceeds the budget.

The Treasurer reminded the Board and liaisons that the Board serves as stewards for the funds raised, used, and maintained by the SRG and is charged with ensuring appropriate usage.

Wade W. stated that the SRG budget is not the place to “ask for forgiveness instead of permission” and reminded liaisons to work with their Chairs to seek permission prior to exceeding their budget.

Committee Reports

Beautification (Beth Bennett)

            The gardens have been turned down for the winter. A group of 8th graders came to Pontiac Square Park and helped to plant bulbs in the beds surrounding the Terra Madonna. The final workday at the Station has taken place.

Communication (Venessa Kobrin/Billy Tomber)

            The movies in the park have been extremely well received and Com Com has already scheduled three events for the coming year. Movies haven’t been selected and suggestions will be solicited from the neighborhood. We are especially proud of the new faces and family attendance at the movie in the park events. There has been a significant amount of positive feedback for this family friendly event in the neighborhood! Since the weather has shifted, the November movie will be shown at Soulard Station. The American Legion is again providing popcorn!

            The next issue of the Renaissance is the Mardi Gras issue. The deadline to submit content to the paper is January 5, 2018 to venessakobrin@me.com.

Code and Zoning (Beth Bennett)

            A golfcart driveway that was installed at a home on 10th and Emmet. This is counter to the historic code of the neighborhood and sets a bad precedent. Wade W. will work with the Alderman to resolve.

            The issue of the golfcart driveway has also turned attention back to the parking lot that was installed in the same area by the Frenchtown Dog Park. The parking lot is against code and the dog park was supposed to resolve the issue 6 months ago but has not. Wade W. will also address this will the Alderman.

Fundraising (Christopher Schwarz)

            Wreaths are being delivered tomorrow but will be handed out as scheduled, stored under the bandstand.

            Smarti-Gras will be held on February 24th. Last year this event was supported by the Membership Committee. They are unable to support this event this year. Venessa K stated that she and Taylor B. are already organizing the Silent Auction for the Vices and Virtues Ball. To avoid seeking multiple donations from the same establishment, they will secure the donations for first, second, and third place winners of Smarti-Gras. Venessa K. stated that obtaining these donations for the Smarti-Gras will not diminish from the Vices and Virtues Silent auction because a business owner should not be approached for a donation multiple times in a 6-month period. Additionally, the funds raised by these events goes to the same place. There should not be competition for donations amongst events.

            The dates for the Soulard Concert series have been selected and the committee is moving ahead with reserving the stages and bands.

Membership (Stephen Shuman)

            The membership committee has been meeting regularly.

Residential Promotion (Luann Denten)

            Santa Comes to Soulard is December 16th at the Soulard Station.

            V&V is moving forward and will take place January 27th.

            Soulard merchandise will be available online.

            November 29th at 7:00 p.m. is the Board Holiday Party at Luann’s.

Safety (Scott Plackemeier)

            CAD reports will no longer be released per the interim police chief.

Holiday Decorating (Venessa Kobrin)

            Decorating has begun! All neighbors are invited to help decorate Soulard Station, building and gardens, December 26-28. Decorating dates will be publicized via a Facebook event.

            The official lighting will be December 1st at 7:00 p.m. Drinks and light snacks will be served.

            The decorating committee will also be awarding homes decorated throughout the neighborhood. More information to follow.


            Motion to adjourn made by Luann D. and seconded by Christopher S., the meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.