Minutes of the April 18, 2017 Neighborhood-wide NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting April  18, 2017

 Present:  Carol Gulyas, Sandi Clothier, Sophia Hauserman, Olivia Dorfman, Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Alan Balkema, Monica Dignam, Sean Starowitz, Emily Wilson, Christina Smith

– Traffic Calmer Murals – Sean Starowitz, Assistant Director of Economic Development for the Arts, Economic and Sustainable Development Department of the City of Bloomington, and Emily Wilson, an Indiana University graduate student in Arts Administration, presented Ms. Wilson’s designs for a series of traffic calmer murals to be painted on the three concrete circles surrounding planters on 7th St.  These artworks are part of Bloomington’s goal to get more public art into the city and to engage the community in creating public art. The murals will be outlined by the artist, and then at a community event (on a date to be determined) members of the neighborhood–and especially children–will  be invited to participate in filling in the designs with paint provided by the city.  On the designated day for this project, traffic on the street will be restricted.   From a selection of five designs, Carol Gulyas moved to accept three of them, seconded by Cheryl Sweeney, and the motion was unanimously approved.

 

 

 

 

 

– Sanitation – Christina Smith, a member Bloomington’s Department of Public Works, reported on the city’s plan for the future of trash collection in Bloomington. According to Ms. Smith, the current system is inefficient with a high risk of employee injury and deteriorating equipment necessitating replacement. The city created an advisory committee which developed a proposal that recommends moving to a more efficient, partially automated system.

To pick up trash, the new system will use either an automated arm (on side-loading trucks) or a powered tipper (on rear loading trucks.)  The type of truck used will depend on the neighborhood, with narrower streets requiring rear-loaders manned by a crew of three, and wider streets permitting side-loaders operated by one person.  The city will purchase 4 new trucks, not all at the same time, including 2 side loaders with arms and 2 rear loaders with tippers.  Existing rear loaders in good condition will be fitted with tippers.

Trash stickers will be eliminated. The fee for trash collection will be based on the size of container the customer selects, and will be added to the water bill.  The city will offer garbage containers in 35, 65 or 96 gallon sizes, with the default size being 65 gallon. The fees for these will range from $4.82 – $6.51 a month for 35 gallon, $8.60 – $11.61 per month for 64 gallon, and $13.72 – $18.52 per month for the 96 gallon contained.  The containers will be on carts to enable the tipper to lift them.    Residents must call ahead to discard large items, which will have a $10 charge.  Those having more trash than the selected container size can call to have a second pickup during the week for an additional fee. Trash collection will be weekly, probably on the same day as now.

Recycling will continue to be free of charge, and will be single stream with all forms of recyclables in the same container. The recycling containers will be available in the 35, 64, and 96 gallon sizes, and do not have to match the size chosen for trash.    Recycling collection will be weekly, on the same day as trash.

Yard waste will be either in containers without a plastic liner or in paper bags, and will cost $1 per container, with payment attached to the utility bill. Yard waste service will be biweekly.

City Hall will have an open house to display the containers and carts and answer questions.  They will also have representatives at the Farmers’ Market six Saturdays this summer.  Inserts in utility bills will give residents the option to choose container sizes. During the first 60 days of implementation, residents may exchange container sizes for no charge. After 60 days there will be a charge to change container size.  Containers will be one color with colored lids to differentiate contents. The containers will be delivered to residents.  Containers will have a radio-frequency identification tag (RFID) to enable the city to track the new system and keep records of the process.

If you have questions about the new sanitation system, contact smithc@bloomington.in.gov

– NWSNA Elections – The following officers were nominated:

Carol Gulyas–President

Sandi Clothier–Vice President

Sophia Hauserman–Treasurer

Olivia Dorfman–Secretary

Alan Balkema moved to elect the slate of officers presented and Monica Dignam seconded. The officers were unanimously re-elected.

– Neighborhood Concerns – Monica Dignam expressed concern about three issues: litter, abandoned cars, and uneven sidewalks.  In particular, the sidewalks in the 900 block of 6th street are in poor condition.  Carol Gulyas noted that such complaints should go to the District 1 Representative, Chris Sturbaum (812) 349-3409 or sturbauc@bloomington.in.gov, and also suggested that the NWSNA should organize a neighborhood walk-around to identify areas of concern.  Then, the association could write letters advising property owners to take care of their sidewalk issues.

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House for Rent

Historic home in Bloomington’s Near West Side available for year-long lease starting August 1, 2017. Elegant, spacious (1700 sq. ft.) two-bedroom/one bath home in desirable location just blocks from courthouse square, B-line trail, farmers’ market; 20-minute walk to campus. This beautifully restored and maintained gingerbread house with steamboat porch perched above leafy block of similarly well-kept homes boasts hardwood floors, 12-foot ceilings, huge windows and generous-sized rooms. Updated bathroom and farmhouse-style kitchen with modern amenities. Washer and dryer, radiator heat, ceiling fans in every room. Wooden deck off kitchen leads to large fenced-in backyard with mature trees, garden shed, and opportunities for gardening. $1300/month with one-month deposit. References checked. Please contact yksander@indiana.edu for more information.

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Minutes of the NWSNA Meeting, February 21, 2017

NWSNA Meeting February 21, 2017

 Present:  Carol Gulyas, Sandi Clothier, Olivia Dorfman, Bill Baus, Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney

Sanitation – Sandi Clothier, a member of the city’s sanitation committee, reported that the committee has finished its plan for the future of trash collection in Bloomington. The public comment period now begins. (A link to a PDF of the proposal is attached.) The city will offer garbage containers in 35, 65 or 96 gallon sizes. A fee based on the size of the garbage can will be attached to the monthly utility bill.  Collection will be weekly.  We will need to call ahead to discard furniture, and if we have more trash than our container size we can call to have a second pickup during the week.  There will be an extra charge for those special services.   This trash collection plan would be phased in, most likely starting with the areas closest to the I.U. campus.  Recycling will continue, but will be weekly and “single stream,” with one bin or can for all recyclables together.  Recycling will continue to be free. A 96 gallon or smaller container will be distributed to us free of charge. Yard waste will be in current garbage cans or paper bags, and cost $1 a container with payment attached to your utility bill. Yard waste service will be biweekly. Garbage and yard waste tags will be eliminated. Old recycling and garbage containers may be recycled (or garbage containers may be used for yard waste). There are pricing plans, one based on current city subsidies and one based on eliminating the city subsidy.  That will be decided by the Council, though the report recommends keeping the current subsidies.

Bloomington Sanitation Modernization Plan

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Monroe County Energy Challenge

The Monroe County Energy Challenge, an organization that helps our community reduce energy use in order to improve quality of life, minimize environmental impact and save money, will be hosting an event to distribute free LED light bulbs and weatherization kits (an $80 value) to residents at the Banneker Community Center on Sunday, February 19th from 2-5pm. This is a great opportunity to receive materials that will improve energy efficiency, comfort, and save money. 

The organization will also be providing information about the spring Attic Insulation Program, which offers free attic air sealing and insulation to low-income households. The 2016 program helped 22 residents attain insulation, with an estimated 10-year savings of over $84,000 and a greenhouse gas reduction of over 46,000 lbs./year. This spring they will be able to offer the program again and are accepting applicants. Click the flyers below about to read about these opportunities. More information about the program can be found on their website.

 
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Trades District Public Engagement Opportunities

The Redevelopment Commission and the City of Bloomington cordially invite residents to an Open House on January 30th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the atrium at City Hall, 401 North Morton Street.

The event will be an informal opportunity for interested residents to meet with Mayor John Hamilton, City staff and the Anderson + Bohlander design team to review Trades District design materials for the first phase of infrastructure improvements on the property.

Following the open house, the design proposals will remain available for viewing in the City Hall atrium through February 10.

“This presentation of current design proposals is a continuation of the community outreach efforts that resulted in the 2013 Certified Technology Park Master Plan and Redevelopment Strategy. The plans have become more detailed and specific, and we welcome continued public input as plans evolve,” said Mayor Hamilton.

In addition to the displays and also through February 10, a webpage for reviewing current plans and offering comment online will be active at bloomington.in.gov/trades.

The Trades District, a 12-acre portion of the Bloomington Certified Technology Park, is envisioned as a place of innovation, attraction and job creation for the City of Bloomington. Located just north of City Hall on the land formerly occupied by the historic Showers Brothers Furniture Company, the Trades District is designed to serve as a thriving cultural and economic destination for the larger community.

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Minutes of the January 17, 2017 NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting January 17, 2017

Present:  Sandi Clothier (presiding); Peter Dorfman (acting as Secretary); Board Members Bill Baus; David Ferrand; Alan Balkeman

– Traffic – The City has responded to a year-old complaint about traffic volumes and speeds in the neighborhood, as well as line of sight obstructions at the intersections of Rogers Street and both 8th Street and 6th Street. The response was in an email from Andrew Cibor, Transportation and Traffic Engineer, to Carol Gulyas. Cibor said the city has done traffic studies, and while Kirkwood sees high volumes and a pattern of speeding, the rest of the neighborhood generally sees average speeds below the 25 mph speed limit. So the city finds no action is warranted.

As for the line of sight obstructions, the city evaluated four-way stop signs at both intersections and found they are not warranted because the traffic is mostly on Rogers, and volumes are much lower on both 6th and 8th Streets. However, Cibor suggested that the sight lines would be improved by the elimination of five on-street parking spaces on the west (southbound) side of Rogers at each corner — in each case, three on the north side and two on the south side of the cross street. Cibor asks the Neighborhood Association to get feedback on this suggestion from neighborhood residents. Attendees at the meeting unanimously supported this action.

In addition, Peter Dorfman suggested that the association begin the process of asking the city to install a crosswalk at the corner of 6th Street and Rogers Street crossing Rogers. This would make it easier for pedestrians to cross and might inhibit motorist speeds on Rogers. The attendees unanimously supported this suggestion.

– Sidewalks – There have been complaints of rough, uneven sidewalks at multiple locations on West 6th Street, resulting in falls. The problem generally results from sidewalk sections being lifted by tree roots. Alan Balkeman reported falling himself at 917 West 6th Street — one of seven sidewalk locations that the city has studied and ranked in terms of remediation urgency. According to engineer Joe VanDeventer, the city found none of these locations in its worst 100 sidewalk problems (although 930 West 6th was ranked 142). The fix generally consists of grinding the sidewalk smooth.

The Neighborhood Association has consulted with City Councilman Chris Sturbaum about this. Chris points out that city ordinance makes maintaining the condition of the sidewalk the responsibility of the homeowner at the site. But he has helped to make the city aware of the trip hazards and has inquired on our behalf about the possibility of grant funding. VanDeventer said if HAND has money to fix them and if there have been accidents at these locations, he would investigate getting funding with Robert Woolford.

Sandi Clothier pointed out that a significant part of the problem is lighting on cross streets like 6th. It is difficult to see uneven sidewalks at night because street lighting is obstructed by tree cover. She recommended the Association investigate what it would take to get additional lighting installed.

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flyer

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Minutes of the November 15, 2016 NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting November 15, 2016

 Present:  Carol Gulyas, President; Sophia Hauserman, Treasurer;  Olivia Dorfman, Secretary; Board Members Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Bill Baus; David Gulyas, Peter Dorfman

– Treasurer’s Report – Our present balance is $377.43; a check in the amount of $13.79 will be issued to reimburse Carol Gulyas for paying CONA to reinstate our old domain name and redirect to our webpage.

– Neighborhood Report –  Two incidents have occurred recently: someone entered the back porch of a home and turned off the electricity at the circuit breaker, someone broke into a garage. Nothing was stolen. In addition, some homeless people have been camping in the woods between the B-Line trail and railroad.  These incidents were reported to the police, who responded.

– Holiday Party – Plans were discussed for a Holiday Party.  Carol will prepare a flyer inviting neighbors to the party and members of the association will distribute the flyers.  The party will be held on December 13 at the home of Carol and David Gulyas.  All are invited. If attending, bring an appetizer to share and beverages.

 

 

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Minutes of the October 18, 2016 Neighborhood-wide NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting  October 18, 2016  

 Present:  Carol Gulyas, President; Sophia Hauserman, Treasurer; Sandi Clothier, Vice President;  Olivia Dorfman, Secretary; Board Members  Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Bill Baus; Carl Pearson (representing Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer), Marsha McCarty, Jean Graham, Rocky Festa, Pam Gladish (Bloomington Police Dept.) Vickie Provine (HAND), Peter Dorfman, Tracey Hodges

– Representative of School Board candidate Fuentes-Rohwer,  MCCSC Referendum –

Carl Pearson represented Cathy Fuentes-Rowher, who is a school board candidate.  According to Mr. Pearson, no members of the current board have children in the Monroe County school system, however Ms. Fuentes-Rowher has two children in the system now as well as two who have graduated from Monroe County schools.  She is an active supporter of public education who has advocated at the state level for Indiana’s public schools.  She believes in transparency in school governance, with goals established for proposed programs and ample opportunities for public comment.  She also supports the referendum to continue funding the MCCSC (Monroe County Community School Corporation).     This will enable our schools to continue providing programs and services endangered by state-level budget cuts.   To learn more about candidate Fuentes-Rowher, visit her candidate Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CathyforEducation/  To learn more about the referendum, visit http://www.yesformccsc.org/faq/

– Representative from Bloomington Police Dept. –
Sgt. Pam Gladish of the Bloomington Police Department reported on the relatively low incidence of crime in the Near West Side neighborhood, with statistics for the past nine months showing 6 assaults, 9 burglaries, 4 drug complaints, and 6 alcohol complaints.   She stressed the importance of neighbors sharing information with one another regarding unusual people or activities.  She also emphasized the need to report even small criminal incidents to the police.  The city website enables online reporting of activities such as vandalism or theft (of property valued at less than $750.) as long as the incident does not involve a specific suspect. Follow the guidelines at the website to make your report:  https://bloomington.in.gov/incident_reporting/

Sgt. Gladish noted that Police Officer Kevin Frank is our neighborhood resource officer who works with HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development Department) to help resolve issues among neighbors in our community.  We discussed the possibility of having Officer Frank visit a NWSNA meeting in the future.

Rocky Festa would like to start a Neighborhood Watch Group. Neighborhood Watch Groups can be organized in several different ways. Often, according to Vicki Provine, they are not formal Watch Groups, but are simply groups of neighbors who choose to be in close communication. Sandi Clothier and others expressed concern about organizing a formal Neighborhood Watch Group, since that could make it seem as though the Near West Side has a high crime rate when in fact it doesn’t. There will be more discussion of this going forward.

– Sanitation Committee  –
Sandi Clothier informed us that she has joined the city committee that will be meeting over the next few months regarding the proposed changes in trash collection.  This proposal would replace the current “sticker system” with a flat-fee for trash collection.  Ms. Clothier will send summaries of these meetings which we will post to the neighborhood list and website.

Remember to follow opportunities for public review of this important plan.

Our next meeting will be November 15, 7-8pm. This is a Board Meeting, but open to anyone.

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Neighborhood-wide meeting

Join us, October 18th, at our quarterly neighborhood-wide meeting, 7PM at the Banneker Center.  Hear from candidate for County Commissioner, Amanda Barge, as well as a representative for school board candidate, Cathy Fuentes-Rowher, who will explain the Monroe County Schools referendum and Cathy’s support of it.

Also, Sergeant Pam Gladish from the Bloomington Police Department will discuss how to prevent neighborhood crime, and neighbor Rocky Festa will discuss the Neighborhood Watch program she has started.  Thanks to Rocky Festa for arranging Sgt. Gladish’s presentation, and for creating a Facebook page for us all: As Rocky writes, “The Near Westside of Bloomington, Indiana is a diverse community and great place to live. This page is to share information and build community.”  If you’re on Facebook, check out @nearwestsidebloomington.

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