The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
Members Present: Anthony Arrigo, Jim Barfoot, Grant Dulgarian, Martha Fraenkel, Anneliese Greenier, Kerry Kohring, Britt Page, Sheila Perlow, Joan Retsinas, Thomas Schmeling, Dean Weinberg.
Members Absent: Sierra Barter, Chris Bull, Daren Bulley, Claude Goldman, Harriet Hemphill, Daniel MacLellan, Jesse Polhemus, Mary Ann Rossoni, Peter Sandby-Thomas.
Guests: David Kolsky, Ed Graves, Amy Patenaude. Marcus Mitchell.
President’s Report (Dean Weinberg):
Dean again encouraged members to join a project such as the music festival, 9th Street park or, yard sale. We discovered we have an active Paypal account with a balance of roughly $200.
Welcome guests: Amy Patenaude is an interested neighbor. Ed Graves is the new manager of Rochambeau library. He wishes to maintain the connection between SNA and the library. Marcus Mitchell is with Rhode Map RI (see below)
Minutes: Minutes for June were unanimously approved on a motion by Kerry, seconded by Sheila.
Treasurer’s report (Dean Weinberg): Motion to accept by Tom, seconded by Anthony, unanimously approved. There was a brief discussion of whether we need to retain the telephone number or whether it can be replaced with a free option. No action was taken.
Events committee (Dean Weinberg):
Music festival planning is going well. We are on a track for the biggest and best event so far. There will be 2 nationally known bands and 3+ local bands. $6,650 has been raised so far, much of it from business sponsors. The total Budget is $7,500.
Sheila noted that the movie in the park sponsored by Christ the King church left a mess behind, which was reported to city. Many of the attendees seemed to have come from outside Providence. SNA is careful about cleaning up after our events and locals tend to pick up after themselves. Nonetheless, we will need cleanup volunteers. The event Saturday Aug 24th, 1-6 p.m. Volunteers needed for 10 a.m.
Other events: Some possibilities were discussed for a 3rd annual cook-off. The first two featured apples and pumpkin. No decision was made.
Elections are not until 2014, so this fall is too early for a candidate forum. We discussed briefly the possibility of some other political forum, perhaps focusing on property taxes. No action.
Rhode Map RI. Marcus Mitchell introduced us to the project “Rhode Map RI”- which is being done in conjunction with the state planning dept. It involves creating visions for the future involving sustainable communities, economic development, etc. There will be regional forums at the beginning of August (5th-8th). There will also be local community forums. One already too place last week at Rochambeau Library but Marcus would like to have another. Martha volunteered to stay in touch with Marcus as our liaison. Dean suggested this discussion could be part of our annual meeting. The website for the project is http://ideas.rhodemapri.org
Newsletter (Kerry Kohring): The 9th Street Park/ Tot-lot survey results are in. Kerry would like to put the results on our website and write a story for the newsletter, to which the group agreed without objection. The next newsletter will also cover recycling on Hope Street, a profile of Rui David (new farmers’ market manager) and an update on the sewer project and paving. Kerry has talked to the secretary of the Hope St. Merchants Association. We need somebody to take pictures and write a story about the Music Festival. Anthony volunteered to do this.
Yard Sale (Britt Page): Dates are September 21st 10-2 with a rain date of Sept. 28th. The committee needs 2 people for hauling tables from basement at 9am. No volunteers came forward at this point.
SNA Non-profit status (Dean Weinberg): Former SNA president Jim Kelly has been the registered agent with State of RI. Dean would like to submit the paperwork to change it to himself. Tom moved to do this and Kerry seconded. Passed unanimously. Dean noted that we need to file our annual report, which he will do.
T-shirts (Anthony Arrigo). Anthony presented designs for new member t-shirts. Funds for the shirts were approved last meeting. One design’s logo featured a single tree and the other two were variations on a line drawing of houses. After discussion of the virtues of each, a vote was taken. 5 members supported the tree design, 4 preferred the house design and one member voted to keep the old t-shirt design. It was pointed out that our official logo (as on the website and stationary) will not change. Anthony will proceed to finalize the design.
Tot-lot/community garden/9th Street Park (Anthony Arrigo):
Anthony explained the survey that was conducted and reported the results. The survey on-line for four weeks and was advertised at the tot-lot, in the newsletter, and on the listserve. A report of the results was prepared and will be put on our website. There were 177 responses and 81% approved of the plan for the community garden. 11% opposed all of the plan. Good ideas came out in the comments and these were sent on to the landscape architect. We will put the full report on the web and provide a summary in the next newsletter.
The point was made that the garden is a Parks Dept. project. not an SNA project. Our role has been to gather information about community preferences to help with the decisions. After some neighbors objected, the Parks dept. wanted a demonstration of community support before moving forward.
The next meeting with Parks Director Bob McMahon will discuss construction timelines and other planning issues, including lot sizes. 71 requests were made for the planned 40 plots. Numerous survey respondents said that the planned lots were too small (8×4 feet). The choice is to have bigger lots with fewer available or smaller lots with more gardeners. It was noted that SNA is not necessarily the organization that will run the garden. It might be managed by the City (though they do not really have the personnel to do this) or by some group that is created.
As to funding, we must come up with 25% of total (estimated at $50-80K). Anthony is writing grant to Miriam Hospital for $12.5k. Other grants may be pursued with private concerns that have supported such gardens in the past.
Adjournment at 8:35 P.M.
Respectfully submitted, Thomas Schmeling