WECAN Board Meeting on Thursday July 7, 2011 at Merritt Park Meeting Room
Present: Luke Perry, Mike Kenton, Pattiy Torno, Yuri Koslen, Jessie Coleman. Members not present were: Bret Frk, Tom Gibson, Geraldine Melendez and Jose Ruiz, Byron Ballard, Jeff Carnivale, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle
Also present were: Officer Mata (in training), Officer Evan Coward, Officer Jackie Stepp, Marsha Stickford
Meeting began at 6:35 at the bus stop and then moved into the office when the door was unlocked. Pattiy called the meeting to order at 6:33 The June minutes were approved as distributed.
APD CRO updates: Concerns were raised about a permit for outdoor gathering at 233 riverside drive. Marsha suggested that if this property becomes a problem, then they should contact the city. Evan will send on the owner’s information.
National Night Out. Marsha said that they are not doing a night out this summer. Last year’s event brought out a lot of law enforcement, but not a lot of community members. This year’s event will take place at MLK park the first week of October, which is Crime Prevention Month. If our neighborhood wants to do a National Night Out, the city will help us do it. Pattiy described the past events, and discussed the pros and cons of holding an event or not.
DOT issues/Homeless Camps. Kudzu is out of control at the entrance to Greenworks maintained space along the Interstate. Marsha is talking with DOT about how to control it and deal with it. Marsha said that DOT is going through some administrative changes. Yuri discussed trying to clean out the trail and maybe make a nice entrance or something.
Luke asked about what the approach or stance is about dealing with homeless camps, and if they automatically trigger police action, if they are not bothering anyone. Marsha said that it is complaint driven. Evan thinks that property values have been helped because they have been aggressively cracking down. Pattiy said that past experiences have shown that people camping around her property have been found with things that have been stolen.
Yuri suggested that the city take a more comprehensive approach. Jackie said that the city has improved their stance, and instead of just arresting people, they are sending out teams to discuss services with people. Luke added that some folks will never find themselves in permanent housing.
Some work is still going on around the Hillcrest pedestrian bridge. While there are still lights out, DOT will not be adding additional lighting on the bridge.
Pattiy reported that the owners of the stockyard have worked out an agreement with MSD and has carved out a trail on west side of the river. Pattiy noticed that there were already people camping on the trail and will follow up with stockyard owners about how to deal with homeless camps.
Luke asked about some traffic issues on Club St. related to cars speeding the wrong way and potential sex activity in cars. Officer Coward asked to call about any suspicious vehicles.
Downtown Market. Pattiy asked us to consider a letter asking the owners of 45 south French broad to consider other options besides foreclosing. The motion passed and was approved.
Asheville Mural Project did a great job doing a mural at Hillcrest.
Clingman Streetscape. Marsha reported that there is a plan to improve the intersection of Hilliard and Clingman.
There has been concern about the maintenance of the new Clingman Streetscape project, especially related to the weeds. Site Work Studios and Asheville Greenworks are going to hire a private contractor to do the weeding and maintenance of the landscaping of the street. Marsha is looking at working with the city and DOT on some better maintenance.
WC Reid Center Grant. July 12, 6 pm. Next meeting
WECAN Garden Club. Date was cancelled for this month, and will be revisited next month.
Annual Membership meeting. First Thursday of November with potluck. Luke is not bringing the banana pudding.
Owen’s Bell Park. Pattiy reported that Mr. Bell would like to donate something to the Owen’s Bell park that would be of use to the neighborhood, and wanted to know what the neighbors would like. Pattiy suggested for them to pursue things that the kids would use.
Jessie Coleman was on the cover of Urban News.
Joshua Heetderk was featured in the Mountain Xpress
The RAD restaurants were featured in Mountain Xpress
Doors of Asheville event will be held Friday, September 9, 2011
Flea Market. Pattiy asked if anyone had any opinions on its presence. Friday July will be its first day and it will be every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Free camping has been advertised, which triggered some concern.
Meeting adjourned at 7:28 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Luke W. Perry