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WEST END ASSOCIATION
Association Meeting Minutes
January 7, 2003


The association meeting began at 7:00 pm at the Tise House.

2002 Board members attending: George Bryan, Ann Doherty, Linda Kirby, Steve Joiner, Kathleen Ramich, Bill Gibson, David Poythress, Amy Lindsey, Lee Ann Manning, Alex Flowers, Andrea Thomas, Andy Lester-Niles, Jack Campbell, Susan Hutson and Reidar Wallin

Announcements: George Bryan announced the following:
· The Films on Fourth series has had a great turnout.
· The old Morning Dew location will be a pizza restaurant: Burke St. Pizza
· Morning Dew is open at their new location; still waiting on some certifications for complete food service. Fiddle and Bow will have their performances at Morning Dew.
· Building that housed I Can't Believe It's Yogurt has been sold

Approval of Minutes from November Meeting: Lee Ann Manning asked if there were any corrections to the minutes as provided. None were made. Motion was made to accept as presented; seconded, and passed unanimously.

Northwest Ward Meeting: George thanked everyone for the great turnout for the November 19th northwest ward meeting with Mayor Allen Joines and Alderman Wanda Merschel. George noted that Wanda really appreciated the support of the attendees.

Treasurer's Report: Steve Joiner noted that he did not have a formal report, as he is still closing out the 2002 year. He did note that Linda Kirby has already secured many business ads and memberships for the 2003 year. He reminded everyone that memberships are now due and encouraged all to help with memberships by asking neighbors to join. He noted that the Homes Tour provided much income, which he would let the Homes Tour Committee report. Informally, Steve reported that the checking account has approximately $20,000, and the CD has approximately $10,500, so the assets currently are approximately over $30,000. The WEA will begin the 2003 year, before membership renewals, in good shape. George reminded Steve that the WEA voted to provide $500 for the statue of George Black for downtown.

Membership Drive: George praised Linda Kirby, Toni Phillips, and Dewey Yarborough for their work securing business memberships and ads. He suggested that the WEA have a goal of 200 household memberships for the 2003 year. It's important to encourage neighbors to join, especially neighbors who are renting properties in the area.

Historic House Signs: David Poythress reported that he is still working on the prototype for the house signs with the manufacturer. He hopes to bring a good-looking, affordable prototype to the next meeting.

Business Report: Linda Kirby noted that last year, each newsletter had 2 advertising inserts. At this point, all inserts are available, and she encouraged everyone to let potential advertisers know about these opportunitites.

Homes Tour: Lee Ann Manning reported that by best estimates, approximately 625 guests attended the Homes Tour on December 8th. Income from the event = $7854.00. While there are still some receipts to be paid, estimated expenses are $3300. Estimated total profit from the event should be approximately $4500.

Nora Garver noted that while the area shops that participated by offering special hours did not see a big increase in business that day, the businesses were appreciative of the opportunity, and have asked that the WEA continue to involve them in such events. The restaurants and City Beverage were very pleased with the response from guests. She noted that for the next homes tour, the committee suggests that the WEA consider having the tour on a Saturday, with longer hours.

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Warren Sparrow noted that many van drivers for the event used their own vehicles. Since YMCA vans were not available, Big Brothers/Big Sisters let the WEA use their van, as they have for the last three years. He asked if the WEA would consider making a donation to BB/BS for the use of their vans. Steve Joiner made a motion that the WEA make a gift to BB/BS; the motion was seconded. Jack Campbell asked if there are other in-kind contributions that the WEA should address if we make this contribution to BB/BS. The Home Tour co-chairs replied that there were no other similar donations from groups. Bill Gibson noted that the BB/BS goal doesn't conflict with WEA purposes. The motion passed unanimously.

Kathleen Ramich suggested that for future tours, the WEA consider a "preview" so volunteers have the opportunity to see the homes.

George pointed out that with the profit from the Homes Tour, the WEA needs to consider ways that we'd like to use money available. He noted that special thanks be given to Lynette Matthews-Murphy for the publicity assistance she provided that helped make the tour such a great success.

Social Committee: Alex Flowers polled the attendees on whether the monthly Friday night socials should be continued … does everyone think the events are a good idea? Discussion included that while attendance has declined in the last couple of months, the holidays probably affected attendance; different groups of neighbors will attend at different times, as will different groups based on the locations of the events. All of these factors mean that the socials will be able to include a greater variety and number of West End residents.
The Social Committee will look at whether the best date is the first or second Friday of each month. Amy Lindsey asked that each host let the group know whether it is appropriate to bring children.

Police Report: George reported that before Thanksgiving, the police arrested someone on four counts of breaking into cars. George has asked that the police let him know when the case comes up. There have been no break-ins since that arrest. Attendees also noted that in the last week, more arrests were made in another area of the city for car break-ins, that might account for fewer crimes reported. The crime report for December was very low. Lisa Elam suggested that based on thefts of city-provided yard waste carts, each homeowner record the serial number of the assigned yard carts, as well as painting the house number on the cart. If the cart is stolen, the police will ask the homeowner the serial number of the cart.

Peters Creek Toxicity Report: George noted that the report from Trigon Labs shows Peters Creek has 72 units of "perc." After checking, George found out that the perc has been traced to the North School branch of Peters Creek. He is checking to see if any businesses have legal discharges into the stream. The state's test of Peters Creek happened to be taken the same day as the test by WEA; the results of the state's test showed 11 units of perc. The legal amount is .8 parts/billion. 72 units is not safe for animals to drink. The amount of discharge depends on the time of day the test is taken, but the 11 units is pretty consistent for most of the day in Hanes Park. The hydrocarbons could come from car places, dye finishes, dry cleaners, etc. Reidar Wallin and Amy Lindsey both asked that the WEA keep this issue current because it is very important for the health of the community. Many attendees asked why this hasn't been a bigger issue so far for the city.

George will follow up in the following ways: 1) He has a request in to the state to know who has a storm drain water permit to release to the creek; 2) He needs to find who has the permit for groundwater spills.
Kathleen Ramich asked if it's possible to get funds from groundwater funds for tests from the taxes that we all pay. Bill Gibson suggested that the WEA pursue the issue for the benefit of all who use Hanes Park, which is used by people from all areas of the city. George said that he will continue reporting as he finds out more. He will talk with the West Salem Neighborhood Alliance about their interest in the project.

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Historic Properties Resources: The next meeting will be Jan. 8th at 4:00pm, which will be the first meeting since the two groups merged. Kathleen Ramich plans to attend this meeting regarding a sign she'd like to put in front of her apartment building. Kathleen showed the attendees a computer drawing of her proposed sign, which Robbie King (former HDC employee) helped her design. Much discussion followed about the proposed sign and design, points which included: actual location of sign and whether it would hang over sidewalk; size of sign, etc. Lisa Elam reminded the attendees that previously when a rental management group wanted to post a sign, the WEA suggested appropriate sizes. It's important that the WEA not change the message that we give on which types and sizes of signs are appropriate. Kathleen said that the discussion helped her to see that there are still many issues about the proposed sign, so she will ask the HPR if she can withdraw her proposal until she can bring a new sign proposal to the WEA.

Other issues that will come before HPR will be: issue of closing alleys, and landscaping timbers.

South Central Area Plan: George thanked the board members who replied to his e-mail about the proposed wording for the textured concrete in the SCAP. Thanks to the replies, George suggested to Margaret Bessette that the wording include that in historic areas, real cobblestones be used whenever possible; that in other neighborhoods, the textured concrete would be okay.

WEA Board Retreat: The WEA board members will have a strategic planning retreat in the near future.

Newsletter Distribution: Plan for newsletter distribution is being worked out.

Burke Street Business Association: Plans continue for the Burke St. Business Association. They have asked if a rep can sit on the WEA board, and have a WEA rep sit on their board. Someone could sit on the WEA board as an ex-officio member. Steve Joiner volunteered to sit on the Burke St. Business Association.

Industrial Area Foundation Conference: Amy Lindsey reported that the IAF meeting held in November was small but productive. The top 5 issues that came from the group attending were: 1) protecting natural environment; 2) schools; 3) sprawl; 4) economic development; and 5) transportation. She asked if the attendees wanted to add any additional points or add support for those already noted. The group added the following: 6) safety; and 7) historical issues. These will go to the larger IAF group for prioritization in the entire city.

Curbside Pickup: Kathleen Ramich asked the group about attendees' interpretation of the garbage curbside pickup issue that arose at the northwest ward meeting. How would curbside pickup affect the many multi-family dwellings in the West End? Does that mean each of these locations would have dumpsters? If so, where would these dumpsters be located? Should the West End neighborhood oppose curbside pickup? Alex Flowers noted that we need to face the fact that at some point, curbside pickup will be inevitable. The question includes many issues that need to be addressed, because one answer will not fit all situations. Kathleen and Bill Wise will form a committee to investigate the issues.

Vintage Homes Photo Contest: Teresa O'Brien of Coldwell Banker Triad Realtors invited the attendees to submit photos of their homes for the Vintage Homes Photo Contest they are sponsoring. She passed out information about the contest, aimed at encouraging interest in the West End. She said that Coldwell Banker's home sales in the West End have been down in the last few months.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Lee Ann Manning
Secretary