BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES — Meeting of Feb 1, 2016

PRESENT: Matt Ruben, President; Michael Coyne, Vice-President; Janet Finegar, Secretary; Larry Freedman; Sasi Judd; Monika Kreidie; Jeremy Lindemann; Don Phillips; Chris Somers; Barbara Saverino; Anne Waginger.

ABSENT: Steve Richman, Treasurer; Troy Crichton; Jesse Gardner; Frank Maimone.

ALSO PRESENT: Joe Coccio, Transport Workers Local 234; Lara Kelly, NLNA Quality of Life Coordinator

The meeting was called to order by the President at 7:12 p.m.

Motion: By Sasi Judd, seconded by Don Phillips:“To approve the minutes of the January Board meeting as presented.”  Passed 6-0-1

Joe Coccio made a brief presentation to the Board about the digital billboard the Local would like to install facing 95/the El. After he left, there was conversation between the Board about the sign proposed, the precedent that a digital billboard would set, the concern about how a variance would remain with the property even if the Transit Workers’ Union left the building, and a variety of other issues related to the proposal.

Motion: By Don Phillips, seconded by Janet Finegar. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 500 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support the roof top digital billboard at this location.’” Passed 9-1-0

Lara Kelly reported to the Board that neighbor Val Wilson, who lives in the Waterfront Square development and has been a supporter of the Clean Streets initiative for a while, is working to organize a fundraiser for Clean Streets. Don Phillips volunteered to be the Board lead for the event; Michael Coyne will also meet with them.

It was further discussed that April 9 will be Philly Clean Up Day and that the NLNA’s efforts will go toward supporting block cleanups at locations around the neighborhood. Chris Somers will begin a social media campaign encouraging blocks to organize themselves and Anne volunteered to be at the office on the 9th to distribute materials to volunteers.

President’s Report: Matt Ruben.

Matt provided details to the Board about the substantial grant made to the NLNA for renovations to the Community Center, beginning by recognizing the immense efforts made by Steve and Sharon Richman and Ira Upin in securing that grant. The grant will cover improvements and repairs in the main meeting space of the community center (some of which have already begun) and it will allow for significant improvements to the basement to make it a viable rental resource. Finally, the most substantial part of the grant will be re-surfacing and landscaping the yard and installing a 3-season pavilion with electricity so that the yard can be usable and rentable much of the year. The grant fund payments will come in two stages, so a short-term float of funds from the NLNA’s reserve account will be necessary but will not be a problem given the current stability of our finances. If all goes as planned, these renovations should make it possible for the NLNA to greatly increase income and ideally be able to hire a full-time executive director.

Treasurer’s Report: written report distributed.

2015-16 Budget: January Financials – tables attached

  • For the four months ended on January 31st all funds income was $49,016; this was nearly $4,200 more than projected. Expenses totaled $42,443, which was about $1,000 more than anticipated. Net income was $3,147 – $3,100 more than projected. These amounts include $750 in income from grants and about $2,300 in grant expenses.
  • Excluding grant fund activity yields a more accurate representation of our financial position. Thus, if we limit the calculation to income and expenses from the General Fund, Capital Improvements and Liberty Lands accounts, our financial position after the first three months of the fiscal year is as follows:
    • GF, CI & LL Income: $48,266 — $4,180 more than anticipated.
    • GF, CI & LL Expenses: $40,158 — $660 more than anticipated.
    • GF, CI & LL Net Income: $8,108 — $3,510 more than anticipated.
  • Significant variations from budgeted projections through December include:
    • Net income from fundraising activities was $450 higher than anticipated. The most significant contributing factor was the Annual Appeal, which was $2,600 higher than projected and $1,350 ahead of its goal of $15,000. Separately, corporate donations totaling $4,605 were received from PTSSD for Operation Santa, Krampuslauf and the Fall Fest. The total received from corporate donations exceeded expectations by $3,100. Thus far, expenses for the events funded by PTSSD have totaled approximately $4,200. Any remaining unspent funds (about $400 thru January 31) will have to be returned to PTSSD.
    • A shortfall in fundraising revenue and corporate donations for Clean Streets offset the higher revenues reported above. Thus far, no revenue for Clean Streets has been received. In addition, while a $1,000 Activities Grant for Liberty Lands was received from the City, the budget anticipated that the grant would total $1,500.
    • Spending was lower than anticipated for repair and maintenance and utilities (-$1,700). The difference is almost entirely due to slow billing and seasonality. Spending was also lower than anticipated for professional services and communications (-$1,100).
    • Higher than anticipated spending for capital improvements mitigated the savings realized in other categories. This is entirely attributable to the cost of transporting and installing the new fence on 3rd Street. This cost, however, will be reimbursed in February from the funds to be received from PTSSD for the capital grant (see below).

Other Items

  • Capital Grant from PTSSD – As reported last month a grant application totaling $185,000 was submitted to PTSSD in December. The amount requested was subsequently modified to $178,000 based on additional in-kind and hard dollar contributions to be received from two developers. Funding was requested to repair the exterior of the community center, renovate the basement and portions of the first floor, make substantial improvements to the yard and purchase new furnishings for the office, the basement and the main room on the first floor. Our request was well received, and it was approved at the January board meeting of PTSSD. Funding will be provided in two stages — $100,000 this month and $78,000 in February 2017.
  • Sponsorship Award from PTSSD – Our VP, Michael Coyne, was successful in obtaining a $1,200 sponsorship award from PTSSD for Winterfest. Based on past years’ experience, this award should fully cover our expenses for this major fundraiser.

Anne noted that the income from the Annual Appeal has increased slightly since the report was submitted.

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Monika Kreidie.“To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.” Passed 10-0-0

Fundraising Committee Report: Michael Coyne

Michael reminded the Board that preparations for the Winterfest are going forward and noted again that a sponsorship from the PTSSD has ensured that the event will be a financial success.

Operations Committee Report: Monika Kreidie

Monika reported that we have new renters in both apartments and that all is going well with them.

Zoning Committee Report: Larry Freedman; written report attached and reviewed.

Motion: By Barbara Saverino, seconded by Anne Waginger. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 905 N. 5th St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We support the relocation of the lot lines with the following change: The rear property line would be moved 3’ further east toward the intersection of St. John Neumann Way and St. John Neumann Place.’” Passed: 10-0-0

Motion: By Monika Kriedie, seconded by Sasi Judd. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 723 N. 6th St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We support the 2-3 parking ratio but the ground level plan as drawn does not create enough activity along Sixth St. Please return with a plan that does.’” Passed: 10-0-0

Old Business

Janet reported that the date for the Plant Sale will be Saturday, April 30 (which is one week earlier than usual). Janet will work with the Operations Committee to ensure that there is no conflict with the renovations at the Community Center.

Matt notified the Board that he had met with leaders from several other nearby civic associations to discuss plans to try to put together a business service district for the larger community.


The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 8:30 p.m.


Zoning Committee Meeting Monday 1/26/16

Members present: Larry Freedman (chair), Anthony Bottenfield, Abbey Spector, Ira Upin, Kenny Grono, Melissa Magness Members absent: Beth Emig, Kyle Koenig, Michael Simons, Charlie Abdo, Chris Isaacson, Joe Mikuliak, Jonathan Sher, Sharon Richman

905 N. 5th St. – RSA5 – David Orphanides – A proposal to reallocate lot lines – creates a shortage on open space and rear yard setback. The owners of 905 N 5th own 908 St. John Neumann Place as well. They have built stairs from the 2nd floor deck of 908 St. John Neumann Place to access the yard of 905. They plan to sell 905 and want to redo lot lines to enshrine this use. Discussion: The total open space between the two properties wouldn’t equal 30% each. Previously, 908 had approximately 15% open space and 905 was well over. Proposal allocated 22% open space to 905 and 29% to 908. The board discussed adding more yard to 905.

Motion (Kenny) 2nd: (Anthony): Vote 5-0   Thank you for your presentation. We support the relocation of the lot lines with the following change: The rear property line would be moved 3’ further east toward the intersection of St. John Neumann Way and St. John Neumann Place.


723 N. 6th St. – ICMX – Herc Grigos – A proposal for a 30 unit residential building with 22 parking spots. Larry and Ira previewed this project and suggested to the developers that a full first floor garage with no commercial should be changed to one that included some commercial. The total units in the original informal proposal were 24 and parking spots 24. The project as presented included an 850 sf commercial space and reduced parking to 20 spots. Units were increased to 30 and a story was added. The total height is 60’. Discussion: Neighbors agreed with the positioning of the 750 sf roof deck at the corner of 6th and Brown. They were concerned about parking. Board members were concerned about creating a “dead” corner with little activity. It was suggested that what was drawn as a blank wall of frosted glass be turned into a display space that could be used by Kearny.

Motion: Group: 5-0   Thank you for your presentation. We support the 2-3 parking ratio but the ground level plan as drawn does not create enough activity along Sixth St. Please return with a plan that does.


500 N. 2nd St. – I2 – James Pearl – – A proposal for a digital display roof sign (prohibited within 200’ of intersecting streets). 8’x17’ digital billboard would be placed on top of the Transit Worker’s Union to advertise union activities. Discussion: The board did not feel qualified to weigh in on this type of signage. Refusals were for rooftop sign and distance to the intersection of Noble and 2nd St. Board members questioned what the sign might be used for in the future.

Motion: group. 4-0 Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support the precedent setting roof top digital billboard at this location.