BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES – Meeting of January 7, 2016

PRESENT:  Matt Ruben, President; Michael Coyne, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Janet Finegar, Secretary; Troy Crichton; Larry Freedman; Sasi Judd; Monika Kreidie; Jeremy Lindemann; Don Phillips; Chris Somers.

ABSENT: Jesse Gardner; Frank Maimone; Barbara Saverino; Anne Waginger

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

Motion: By Troy Crichton, seconded by Sasi Judd:“To approve the minutes of the November Board meeting as presented.”  Passed 10-0-0

President’s Report, January 2016

  1. PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND POLICY
  • Piazza/Liberties Walk – After Westminster General Manager Sean Gavin’s visit to the December NLNA General Membership Meeting, we’re working on moving forward in collaboration with him to try to keep lines of communication open and help nudge things in a positive direction. The 300-car parking garage on Germantown Ave continues to be under construction. NYC-based co-working company WeWork is still slated to move in to the Piazza in Q1 of this year; and indications are that some relatively high-profile restaurant tenant will soon be moving in to the old King’s Oak space on 2nd St across from Liberties Walk.
  • Construction Impacts – Complaints continue, but still at a notably lower rate than in the summer and early autumn of last year.
  • Spring Garden – The new metalwork and lighting will be installed by the spring. A series of small technical snags (relating to inter-agency cooperation) has delayed things, but the overall project is still on track, and sidewalk upgrades and other improvements already have been installed
  • 2nd St and 5th St – Neighbors have been complaining (in some cases for years) about speeding traffic and lack of sufficient controls on these streets (5th from Poplar to Girard, and 2nd from Germantown to Poplar). We are in various stages of working with the Streets Dept and the Councilmen’s offices on this. Updates at our meeting.
  1. FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
  • Alarm System “Call List” – We need a list of people who get a call from our alarm company if the alarm goes off. Our current list is outdated. We need at least two people, preferably four. I will be asking for volunteers at our meeting.
  • PTSSD Grant Application for Building and Grounds – Details at our meeting.
  • Legal Update – Details at our meeting.
  1. EVENTS AND OUTREACH
  • TreeCycling – Our 2016 Treecycling event is this Saturday, January 9, 10AM-4PM at the 3rd St. side of Orianna Hill Park (right across the street from Liberty Lands).
  • General Membership Meetings – We need to have general membership meetings in April and May, in order to nominate (April) and elect (May) new board members. If anyone has an idea or proposal for modifying our election procedures, now is the time to make suggestions – otherwise we will have the two consecutive meetings.
  • In addition, I believe there might be some interest in getting our Council reps and Streets Dept. reps to a meeting on the 2nd and 5th St. traffic issues noted above. We could do that in April – or we could have a special meeting in February or March. As always, I am open to the board’s thoughts on this.
  • Mid-winter Party – I believe this is slated for February 14 (the Sunday before President’s Day), at North Bowl as usual. Michael Coyne is heading this up, and of course he needs all our help, and in particular the help of one or two board members willing to commit to being go-to folks with him.
  1. COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICITY
  • Internet – All seems to be well, and growing. The NLNA’s Facebook group is now up near 1,700 members and growing faster than the email list, which is at just under 2,800.
  1. OTHER ITEMS
  • Board Polls – Ratification of any online or online board polls since last month’s board meeting.

New Business:

Don and Monika reported to the Board that our neighboring community group, NLArts, has a new Director. NLArts and NLNA have a barter relationship for community center staffing and use: the two executive boards will meet soon to discuss how that relationship should continue through the possible additions at the community center, but Katrina Mansfield will continue to fill the office staffing hours that NLArts donates to the NLNA until that meeting.

 

TREASURER’S REPORT – JANUARY 2016

2015-16 Budget: December Financials – tables attached

  1. For the three months ended on December 31st all funds income was $42,231; this was nearly $5,300 more than projected. Expenses totaled $32,443, which was about $1,800 less than anticipated. Net income was $9,788 – $7,100 more than projected. These amounts include $750 in income from grants and about $2,000 in grant expenses.
  2. 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: $41,481 — $5,260 more than anticipated.
    • GF, CI & LL Expenses: $30,418 — $2,200 less than anticipated.
    • GF, CI & LL Net Income: $11,063 — $7,460 more than anticipated.
  3. Significant variations from budgeted projections through December include:
    • Net income from fundraising activities was $1,800 higher than anticipated. The most significant contributing factor was the Annual Appeal, which was $3,100 ahead of projections and only $440 short of its goal of $15,000. Separately, corporate [sic] donations totaling $4,605 were received from PTSSD for Operation Santa, Krampuslauf and the Fall Fest. The total received from corporate [sic] donations exceeded expectations by nearly $3,400. Thus far, expenses for the events funded by PTSSD have totaled approximately $2,600. Any remaining unspent funds (about $2,000 thru December 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 (-$2,800), and for professional and program services (-$1,800). This difference is almost entirely due to slow billing and seasonality.
    • Higher than anticipated spending for capital improvements mitigated the lower level of overall This is entirely attributable to the cost of transporting and installing the new fence on 3rd Street. The board approved this expense in November. Should we be successful in obtaining a capital grant from PTSSD (see below), this expense may be reimbursed.

Other Items

  1. Capital Grant from PTSSD – A grant application totaling $185,000 was submitted to PTSSD in December. 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 appears to have been well received, although we have been asked to increase our contribution to the project and consider a funding schedule that would extend to next fall or winter. We have responded to this request and are awaiting a response.
  2. Fiscal Intermediary Agreements – In December we executed agreements with Kearny Friends and Bamboo WiFi. In both cases we will provide fiscal oversight and administration of funds. With regard to Bamboo WiFi, we are a co-sponsor of their grant from PTSSD and will receive a 5% administrative fee.

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

Fundraising Committee: Michael Coyne:

Michael reported that the mid-winter party is scheduled for Valentine’s Day from 1-5 at North Bowl. He updated the Board on some logistical details.

Liberty Lands Report   January 2015

  • The Krampuslauf was, as usual, really great. We’ve changed the official name to Liberty Lands Parade of Spirits to reflect what it really is and will, again, spend the year thinking about traffic control as this strange parade continues to grow.
  • We asked to keep the piano a while longer, which was cool, but now we have to pay Seth to haul the damn thing to the dump for us. My mistake.
  • Seth’s working on a proposal to have a couple of different metal artists do 50′ each of the garden fence – more interesting, and also a more manageable endeavor for the local artists. We’ll submit that to PHS to see if we can get Legacy Landscapes funding for it.
  • It’s winter and it’s cold now, finally. We still have some bulbs in the shed donated by PHS. They may not get planted. Oh well.

Report on Operation Santa/Krampuslauf grant:

  • After quite some time organizing (there were more than 30 receipts attached to this years’ grant), I have the grant report for the Krampuslauf/Operation Santa nearly finished and ready to send in. We spent almost exactly $50 more than we received from the PTSSD for the two events combined (with a total budget of $3,805) so I feel rather proud of us for toeing the line so well. Naturally, I’d like to expand things next year.
  • I would like to discuss how we can expand Operation Santa to cover more of the need in our surrounding neighborhoods. A few people in Fishtown have said that they’d be interested in helping with this and with the board’s approval, I would reach out to the NKCDC to see if they are interested. The restricting element in expanding OpSanta has been deliveries, but I think if we can either organize several groups to do deliveries in “their” neighborhoods OR run it as a pick-up service, we can get around that problem.
  • This would be contingent upon being able to continue to get support from Waterfront Square and PTSSD so that NLNA would not be losing money on it. But I think Operation Santa is a feel-good program of the NLNA – the kind of thing that makes it easier for our community to like us as well as know that they need us – and I also think it’s important for us as an organization to be a leader to the surrounding community groups for these kind of programs.
  • I’m glad to say that the Parade of Spirits (Krampuslauf) doesn’t want or need to grow any faster than it’s doing naturally. However, 2016 may be the year that the NLNA needs to be the voice communicating to the neighborhood about it, because it’s now big enough to be a traffic issue.
  • And finally, for the 2016 request to PTSSD, I want to include the costs of the tree-chipping in the grant so that we can ask for donations and get them when we do, but can also focus more on getting as many trees recycled as possible. (Lara and I have been talking about ways to start collecting earlier in order to make the whole thing work.)

Operations Committee: Monika Kreidie:

Monika reported that the office staff is working on cleaning out the basement in preparation for anticipated repairs.

Steve reported that the alarm technician will be coming in to try to repair the increasingly faulty alarm system at the community center and that we will be looking into replacing the system.

 

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

(See December Zoning Minutes in full in Addenda below)

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Jeremy Lindemann. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 958 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘We support this project with the following provisos: all access to the restaurant is limited to the 2nd Street entrance; trash pickup cannot occur before 7 a.m.; trash cannot be placed on the sidewalk; a trash can should be placed inside the restaurant near the doorway; there is no outdoor seating in the backyard; the backyard cannot be used by employees; there will be no application for outdoor seating on 2nd Street without bringing a proposal back to the zoning committee for review; there is no hot cooking on the premises; there is no outdoor music; and the hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.’”  Passed 10-0-0

 

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Jeremy Lindemann. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 807 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘We support this project with the following provisos: all access to the restaurant is limited to the 2nd Street entrance; trash pickup cannot occur before 7 a.m.; trash cannot be placed on the sidewalk; a trash can should be placed inside the restaurant near the doorway; there is no outdoor seating in the backyard; the backyard cannot be used by employees; there will be no application for outdoor seating on 2nd Street without bringing a proposal back to the zoning committee for review; there is no hot cooking on the premises; there is no outdoor music; and the hours of operation will be Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m-7 p.m.’”  Passed 10-0-0

 

Old Business

Sasi updated the Board about the ongoing process of City voting about bus shelters: the spots she proposed were turned down by the City because they need tangible evidence of future development that will increase ridership, and neither of the upcoming projects we anticipate (SoNo or development at the Finnegan’s Wake building) are far enough along in development to count. However, it is a 5-year plan, so Sasi will re-approach them when possible.

 

The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 8:25 p.m.

 

Addenda:

Zoning Committee Meeting Monday 12/21/15

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

 

958 N. 2nd St. – CMX2.5 – Mahmoud Chaabane:   A proposal for restaurant/fast food service. Poke Bowl will only use raw fish, vegetables and fruit. There will be no hot cooking and therefore, no ventilation required. Counter seating will accommodate 7-8 people. The basement will be used for storage only. There will be no deliveries. Owner will pick up produce and fish every morning and return to store around 7 a.m. Signage will be a 2 ft circle of their logo hanging perpendicular to the wall with a kind of light shining on it. Trash will be stored in back of store in yard. Trash will be brought through the store onto 2nd Street for weekly pickup by contractor. Discussion: Were advised of the potential for strong odors from the garbage in the backyard. Owner said he might consider using a garbage disposal. Strong concern of nearby neighbors regarding the potential expansion of seats in backyard.

Motion (Group): Vote 7-0   We support this project with the following provisos: 1) All access to the restaurant is limited to the 2nd Street entrance. 2) Trash pickup cannot occur before 7 a.m. 3) Trash cannot be placed on the sidewalk. 4) A trash can should be placed inside the restaurant near the doorway. 5) There is no outdoor seating in the backyard. 6) The backyard cannot be used by employees. 7) There is no outdoor seating on 2nd Street. 8) There is no hot cooking on the premises. 9) There is no outdoor music. 10) The hours of operation will be: Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday 10 a.m to 10 p.m.

 

807 N. 2nd St. – CMX2.5 – Gregory Schaub:   A proposal for a juice bar/café. Less than 20 seats. There will be no hot cooking on the premises. Compost will be stored in the basement and it will be removed twice a week through the Bilco doors on 2nd Street. There will be no outside seating in the front or rear of the store. There will be a sign inside on the front window. The backyard is only accessible by the 2nd floor apartment.

Motion (Group): Vote 7-0 We support this project with the following provisos: 1) All access to the restaurant is limited to the 2nd Street entrance. 2) Trash pickup cannot occur before 7 a.m. 3) Trash cannot be placed on the sidewalk. 4) A trash can should be placed inside the restaurant near the doorway. 5) There is no outdoor seating in the backyard. 6) The backyard cannot be used by employees. 7) There is no outdoor seating on 2nd Street. 8) There is no hot cooking on the premises. 9) There is no outdoor music. 10) The hours of operation will be: Monday-Saturday   7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m to 7 p.m.