WECAN Board Meeting Minutes August 4, 2022 Virtual meeting via Zoom @ 6:30 pm
Board Members present: Byron Ballard, Joe Fioccola, Rebecca Lance, Rachel Larson, Sylvia Organ, Pattiy Torno, and Suzanne Willis.
Board Members not present: Stephanie El-Hajj, Mike Kenton, Rich Peterson, Patrick Pearson, Carrie Pettler, Brittany Wager and Davina Weirich
Also present: Brian Lander, Lynn Player, Lisa and Emily Finster, and Gina Smith from the Asheville- Buncombe Food Policy Council.
CALL TO ORDER: Rebecca called the meeting to order at 6:33 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Byron moved and Pattiy seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the
June 2 Meeting as distributed and corrected. The motion passed.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Pattiy reported that a check was received from Bountiful Cities on behalf
of an anonymous donor for the community Garden in the amount of $2420. From that $217.71 was used by Lynn for a new rain barrel and hoses. Other uses of that money must be approved by Lynn or Joe. Also, closing out the Neighborhood Matching Grant a payment of $725 was made to Royce’s Tree service for the removal of a Bradford Pear and a Mulberry from Owens-Bell Park. She noted that the $2500 cash received from the city was matched by over 200 volunteer hours and generated a $7500-8,000 benefit to WECAN and was very successful in activating the neighborhood. She also applied for a second Neighborhood Matching Grant for $10,000 ($5,000 cash and 200 volunteer hours.)That grant is for the Sign Garden, WECAN/RADBA Clingman Streetscape, Edible Triangle and Urban Trail/Kudzu Hill. She has been in touch with Transportation Director Ken Putnam who advised her that the NCDOT has agreed to include the city and WECAN in maintenance agreements along Clingman Avenue but it must be approved by City Council at their September 13 meeting.
Attendees introduced themselves.
- RACHEL reported curbstones being taken up on Roberts Street to West Haywood.
- LYNN: met new neighbors, a young couple from Alaska at the end of Jefferson.
- BRIAN: reported that the local Democratic Party is looking for a Precinct Chair to back up Mr.
- Bacoate. Also Swann has been priming and painting the compost bins at the community garden.
- JOE reported that he has posted the minutes to all the WECAN meetings from 1997 through 2010 on the
- WECAN Blogspot.
- SUZANNE heard that Angel Hadden was moving to Boston.
- PATTIY heard from JoAnne Skinner that she was going to NY for cancer treatment but was in good spirits. Also, Mr. Bacoate has a new car. His son got him a new silver Jetta station wagon. Also the Skyview Golf Tournament had 159 participants for their 60 th year at the Municipal Golf Course. The African American group also has some national sponsors.
- REBECCA was happy to ride bikes on the greenway and enjoyed Sugar and Snow Gelato on Riverside Drive.
- PATTIY noted that the French Broad River West Greenway was now open. The completed greenway is paved from Craven Street to Carver Park. The Grand Opening is set for the morning of September 9, 2022. She also announced an ongoing Sunday Jam from 11 to 1 pm roller skating at Curve Studios Parking Lot. (No skateboards please!)
FOOD PANTRY PROPOSAL: Gina Smith explained that for the past two years the A-B Food Policy Council has been working on the Neighborhood Emergency Food Preparedness Project. Mutual aid food sharing structures have been built at East End Valley Street, Shiloh Community Garden and Deaverview Apartments and have been very successful. She met with Lynn and looked at possible placement at the WECAN Community Garden.They observed that Community Gardens look like a good place for these structures. She shared pictures of ones that have been built so far. They create and provide kits and material to be assembled by the neighborhood volunteers.
- Q: Are they bear-proof? A: There have been no problems yet with bears. Most food items are canned or dry and they can be locked at night.
- Q: It looks like the flat roof could be used as part of a water catchment system. Do you need permits for a permanent structure? A: They are moveable but might need permission.
- Q: Is there a central place to keep information such as a garden calendar, to-do lists sharing neighborhood contacts and information? A. It can be used for whatever the community needs. Their fiscal agent Bountiful Cities can make signs available.
- Q: There is a concern about having a food source for travelers through the neighborhood. Could it be tailored to WECAN’s needs? A: Not sure of the community’s food needs but may be needed in the future after HSCD is built. It is up to the community to decide how it works best. ABFC is funded through December.
- Q: Is there a deadline? No deadline just contact Gina at COORDINATOR@ABFOODPOLICY.ORG.
DISCUSSION: Maybe it could begin as an information center first and later morph into a food pantry if there is a need and desire. HSCD stocks it? Are there ways to know what is inside or in stock? EEVSNA uses their newsletter or email and the units have windows so you can see what’s inside. What is the decision making process for WECAN moving forward? It was suggested to make this an agenda item for the September WECAN Meeting. Joe agreed to contact Kristina Israel about permission to build the structure.
COMMUNITY GARDEN: Lynn got a new rain barrel and we attached a saucer to it and it is working really well. Reach out if you want to help.
BEARS: They have been through WECAN recently one with a collar and another with an ear tag, maybe up to five individuals. Q: Is there a program to fund bear-proof trash cans or trash can enclosures? A: Bear Resistant Cans can be ordered by individual residents. https://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Profiles/Mammals/Bear-Resistant-Trash-Cans.pdf Residents need to call City Sanitation before buying a can to make sure it is approved, and also after they have it, so that the Sanitation employees can pick the city-issued can.
WELCOME WAGON: Ranse will come to the September 1 meeting.
HAYWOOD STREET COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES: Delays with funding. Little house will be
used for Admin and staffing. Carrie will update in September.
WECAN ORGANIZATION: Rebecca noted that at the July 4 social at Owens-bell Park she made announcements and wanted to know how we are feeling about the board and meetings in future. It is an important place for discussions and information sharing. Will we ever go back to in-person meetings? NO, they are a barrier to participation. Meetings are appreciated and not a waste of time. They help cement our foundation but maybe fewer meetings? Some are hesitant to change now--so much on our plate. Stay the course. Time is important and challenging, maybe more efficient one hour meetings? Monthly is good for continuity and shorter is also good. Maybe we need two more other social get- togethers besides Halloween and July 4 th? Maybe interface with businesses in WECAN with a restaurant crawl?
FUTURE NEEDS: Meeting facilitator, Treasurer, meeting notices, minutes, maybe early or later Block Jessies.
HOMELESSNESS SURVEY: Joe reported that CAN was working with the city consultants on the Homelessness policy. There is a survey asking for ideas about homelessness, its causes, solutions, and the
survey is totally anonymous. Anyone who has ideas on the subject please take it.:
ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m.
Next WECAN Board meeting September 1, 2022
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola