Present: Carol Gulyas, Sandi Clothier, Olivia Dorfman, Bill Baus, Alan Balkema,Vernon Sweeney, Cheryl Sweeney, Peter Dorfman, Karlyn Grise, Bob Grise, Beth Ellis, Tamera Theodore, Shahyar Daneshgar, Sheri Benham, Eric Pearson, Rafi Hasan, Sean Starowitz, Gillian Field
– Banneker Community Center Programs –
Eric Pearson, the Program/Facility Coordinator for the Banneker Community Center spoke on the variety of offerings at the center. Last spring he succeeded Leslie Brinson, who is now the Parks and Recreation Department’s Community Events Manager.
Pearson noted that the center serves everyone in the community. Its programs are highly subsidized, with a 20% cost recovery goal, and serve children from all over town. The center recently received a grant for a new mini-bus to improve transportation and fully cover the community.
The largest program is Banneker Camp–for $2. a day, participants receive breakfast and lunch, and enjoy a variety of recreational and educational programming. Enriching activities include farm tours, yoga, nature club, visits to the pool and other field trips. Registration takes place each Friday for the following week. He explained that the program is similar to the Bloomington Kid City summer program, but costs less and provides meals.
During the school year, Banneker hosts monthly events, teen drop-in programs, and preschool programs. It also runs the after school program for Fairview Elementary School.
In response to a question, Pearson stated that the garden behind the center is at a crossroads–if funding is available the plan is to re-level the back yard and install a “unique form of playground,” different from other local playgrounds. If this happens, the garden would be relocated, most likely to the front of the building. This spring, however, the Preschool garden club will continue using the backyard garden.
– Black and Brown Arts Festival at the Banneker Center, May 19 –
On May 19, the Banneker center will host the Black and Brown Arts Festival featuring performers with “Bloomington roots” presenting spoken work, music, poetry and various arts. Rafi Hasan, Bloomington’s Safe and Civil City Director, explained that the festival has been developed by Bloomington’s Black History Month Committee, the Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs, and the Arts Commission. The proceeds will help support programs in the area. He noted that the Banneker center is a place of trust and rapport for young people who may have challenges in their lives. He also highlighted the importance of support from the community, and will provide residents with information, schedules, ordinances (re: amplified sound, etc.), and explore options. He offers to answer as many questions as we have and come to meetings as needed to alleviate concerns and recognize neighborhood voices. Mr. Hasan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (812) 349-3559
– Shayar Daneshgar Requests Construction Variance –
Neighbor Shahyar Daneshgar presented plans for construction of an 8’ x 14’ deck in front of his house on 9th St. Since the deck will protrude closer to the street than the adjacent houses do, he needs a variance. Those present at the meeting voted unanimously to approve the variance. NWSNA Secretary Olivia Dorfman will write a letter for him stating our approval.
– Removing Invasive Plants, Adding Native Plants –
Gillian Field of the Grandview Hills neighborhood in Bloomington spoke about her neighborhood’s committee to get rid of invasive plants and plant native plants. She said that only 30% of the land in America is in nature preserves, so private landowners need to help restore native plantings. She suggested working together as a neighborhood to develop working days to remove invasive plants and plant natives. She noted that if we put together a group of ten property owners, we can invite people from the Monroe County Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC-IRIS) coalition to come help us and even loan us tools. For more information their website is: http://mc-iris.org/information-for-landowners.html
If you would be interested in an invasive plant removal day, let us know, and maybe we can get a group together for MC-IRIS.
– Neighborhood Cleanup, April 28 –
Alan Balkema reported that our neighborhood has received a grant for a city-sponsored neighborhood cleanup on April 28.
The cleanup will begin at 9:00 AM and end at 1 PM. The city will bring two dumpsters and a wood chipper for our use to the parking lot at Fairview United Methodist Church. There will also be a place for usable items to be set out for neighbors who might want them. The city may also supply gloves, rakes, etc. No contractors will be permitted. Alan Balkema and Bob Grise will be lead volunteers, and we will need volunteers to work in shifts at the dumpsters between 8am and 2pm on the 28th to be sure no hazardous materials or tires are deposited.
Members of the board agreed to meet in the near future to discuss details of the event and prepare publicity. Neighborhood residents will be notified with a letter or flyer, and information will be on the website and list-serve. Let us know in advance if you will not physically be able to move your trash or branches and we will try to get help for you. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED…ESPECIALLY VOLUNTEERS WITH PICKUP TRUCKS!
Now is a great time to trim your bushes and overhanging branches.
After the cleanup, we plan to get together at the picnic tables behind the Banneker center for a potluck lunch. Bill Baus offered to bring a big container for lemonade.
– Demolition Delay, Historic Preservation –
Carol Gulyas reported that the Historic Preservation Commission has notified us of the proposed demolition of a house at 711 West 9th St. We can request a 60 day demolition delay in order to let the neighborhood learn more about the property and its condition. Sandi Clothier noted that, when she was a member of the Commission, they would notify the person proposing demolition to go to the neighborhood association for feedback. The Historic Preservation Commission can only recommend officially designating a property as historic, or let demolition go through.
The neighborhood association voted unanimously to support a 60 day demolition delay and encourage the Historic Preservation Committee to follow the normal demolition delay timetable. Alan Balkema volunteered to attend the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on March 22.
According to Chris Sturbaum of the City Council: “The only alternative to demolition is local designation, and 711 W 9th would need to be part of a district. The district could be a relatively small number of houses on 9th but support would be important. The purpose for the delay would be to attempt to develop and propose a district that includes this property as a contributing structure and see if it works.
The house is a contributing structure (like the majority of historic houses in town.)
That means that its value is as part of an historic area ( a contributor to the traditional historic form of a district )
This is why we have the delay: To give time to look over each property for one last time and evaluate the possibility of a district.
This is an unusual request for the full demolition of a viable structure for the land value below it.
This is worth examining for the precedent it would set and the implications such a decision to allow demolition of this historic structure and others like it could have on the historic character as well as affordability of the neighborhood in the long run.”
– Dues are Due –
Neighborhood association dues are now due–if you want to be a member of the association, the dues are $2.50 per person or $5.00 per family.