NWSN Association Minutes February

Near West Side Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes February 18, 2020

Introductions: Fiona Taggart (secretary), Vernon Sweeney, Cheryl Sweeney, Olivia Dorfman, Alan Balkema (president), Bill Baus (treasurer), BJ Ferrand, Joe Neukam, Karlyn Grise, Robert Grise, Sheri Benham, Sita Cohen, Tom Payne, Jodie Payne,  Angela Van Rooy, Jean Graham, Karen Duffy, Michelle Henderson, Rob Henderson

Kate Rosenbarger: City Council Representative, lives in Prospect Hill

Angela Van Rooy: new Program Manager for Bloomington neighborhood associations

Neighborhood Cleanup Grant: Did the event 2 years ago in April and it was a huge success. The City provided a wood chipper, recycling, trash, they took hazard waste, tires, and scrap metal basically anything households didn’t want.

Neighborhood would like to do it again. Angela explained it will be more competitive this year because they will only do three neighborhoods and five have written letters of intent so far. If selected NWSN would like to do May 2nd. March 9th application deadline. Alan volunteered to write letter of intent and to do the first draft of application.

Other small neighborhood grants available (Simple grants for $500). When/If become a full historic district interest expressed to have street sign toppers to indicate historic neighborhood, the green signs that go on top of the street signs. https://bloomington.in.gov/neighborhoods/grants

Treasury report: $354.24

Conservation District Update:

Olivia updated group on conservation district. The group met with Conner and NWSN and they are using Maple Heights and Prospect Heights guidelines as a sample. The committee was able to get ½ way through the first draft. They are meeting with the planning commission so conservation district guidelines fit with UDO and the two aren’t contradicting each other. They committee is happy with the progress.

Thursday night is the Bloomington Restoration Annual Meeting in the Fountain Square Ballroom. They give an award for Preservation Activism and NWSN will receive an award for work they did in becoming a conservation district. The award is a brick with a plaque on it. The Annual meeting has a membership meeting which is open 6:45pm and at 7:15 is keynote lecture on “Perplexing Zoning in Duplexes, Triplexes, and Quadplexes, and Past and Present Density in Core Neighborhoods.” The lecture will be shown on CATs as well.

Kate Rosenbarger our City Council member: Shared where city is in process for the 2nd St. Hospital site and mayor’s proposed Economic Development tax he’s calling a climate tax.

  • In the last few months the city has met with five different developers about proposals and big picture ideas for hospital site. The mayor’s team will pick final one.
    • All of the companies are pro-environment and have strong public engagement components and would have a local person on the team and someone who knows our neighborhoods. The city would like to develop site into a place people want to visit and live and are hoping it will be a sustainable energy district. They want a mix of standard residential housing, office space and retail. Will likely start public engagement after spring break.
  • In the mayor’s inauguration speech Mayor Hamilton talked about a ½ a percent (0.5%) income tax, so a house hold making $50,000 would be taxed an additional $450 a year. He would like to spend the money on something climate related and make our city a model city in the Midwest. Some ideas include extending the city bus service on the weekends, and more frequent buses in general. They’ve also talked about make making bus free which other cities have done. The Bloomington bus service costs $8 million a year and generates about $600,000.
    • The city and county can’t necessarily ear mark the fund for specific things they can approve or deny budget. The city and county would have two separate pots of money from the tax.
    • It’s an Economic Development Tax but Mayor called is calling it a climate change tax.
    • Monroe is one of the lowest taxing counties in the state.
    • County needs jail so possible that tax could be used on that.
    • The tax would come out of each paycheck.
    • The City does have trust and transparency problems that they’re working on.
  • Constituent Meeting: Tuesday Feb 25 6pm Hooker Room City (RM #245) 1 hour to meet with Kate Rosenbarger.
  • Kate contact information (o:) 812.349.3409 rosenbarger@bloomington.in.gov
  • Comment neighborhood: Flashing lights to cross Rogers at 6th Kate will look into it she thinks the City probably put the ones in at 4th and Rogers and was not a neighborhood grant.

Alan highlighted Herald Times article from Feb 12th  titled “Helping Nature Thrive” reporting on Monroe County Identify and Remove Invasive Species (MC-IRIS) efforts to enlist neighborhoods in the control of invasive species. MC_IRIS will host workshops on March 21 from 1-4 at Karst Farm Park and March 27 from 12-3 at Ivy Tech and has toolkits available to assist in their 2020 goal to “Take control of Asian bush honeysuckle.” More info at MC-IRIS.org.

Postcard came in the mail: “Notice of Public Hearing to Adopt a Replacement Zoning Ordinance” March 9th  5:30PM  Council Chambers. Many from neighborhood vocal about not wanting plexes, the meeting is about mapping zones and is the process to formalize the map.

NWSNA dues of $5 per household are due in April.

The Citizen’s Academy is free Every Thursday August27-October 22, 2020 6pm -8pm, registration deadline July 6th.

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