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Downtown Neighborhoods Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Annual Meeting

March 2, 2016

 

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at Hotel Blue, pursuant to prior approval. Board Chair Reba Eagles called the meeting to order at 7:10.

Board members in attendance: Reba Eagles, David McCain, Dick Deichsel, Chan Graham, Margaret Connealy, Noelle Baroody, Alice Bergman, Rick Miera, Rowan Wymark and Robert Bello. Two board members were absent. 44 other neighbors also attended. Sign in sheets are on file. (Note: the board currently has only twelve members.)

Board members introduced themselves. The agenda was approved. The February 3 minutes were approved.

Dick Deichsel gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of February 2016, there was $254.81 in income and expenses totaled $798.58. The February 29 balance was $22,835.66.

Dick discussed the 2016 budget, which anticipates $60,210 in income (including $35,000 in tree grants from PNM and the City, and $17,000 in ticket sales for the home tour).

Dick presented two checks to the Harwood Art Center, the first for $1000 (DNA’s annual support for Harwood) and the second for $1500 (the first half of DNA’s grant for renovation of the south meeting room). Julia Mandeville accepted the checks on behalf of Harwood. She thanked DNA for their support over the years and described the renovations currently underway.

The Treasurer’s Report was approved and is on file.

Reba Eagles said there would be no police report tonight. She reviewed the normal police report about APD being short-staffed, and recommendations on the safety of homes and vehicles.           Reba also encouraged guest speakers: we’ll have a presentation on spring gardening at the April meeting and a presentation by State Representative Javier Martinez at the May meeting.

Reba briefly described preparations for the Mother’s Day Home Tour (Sunday, May 8). We still need more docents.

SOLAR PANELS

            At the February DNA meeting, we heard a presentation on the question of solar panels in Historic Overlay Zones (HOZ’s) from Maryellen Hennessy, with the City Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (LUCC). Reba moved and Chan Graham seconded a motion for DNA to send a letter encouraging the LUCC to adopt language allowing the appropriate addition of solar panels in HOZ’s. The motion passed.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT

            State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino reported on the 2016 legislative session. He will hold a town hall on Sunday, March 13 at Hotel Blue. Revenue projections for New Mexico in 2016 have been significantly reduced due to a steep decline in oil and gas revenues. The revenue is not currently projected to be sufficient to cover the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2016. He said the New Mexico economy has “tanked”. A special session will probably be needed to consider additional revenue sources such as imposing a gross receipts tax on gasoline. He also discussed constitutional amendments that will be on the November 2016 ballot and described the new regulations regarding N. M. driver’s licenses.

ALBUQUERQUE RAPID TRANSIT

Andrew DeGarmo represented the City Transit Department and gave an overview of the proposed bus rapid transit system (ART), which would run on Central from Unser to Tramway. The system would replace the current red and green lines. Central Avenue currently carries 40% of the city’s transit riders. ART would have dedicated lanes from Coors to Louisiana, with boarding platforms in the middle of Central. The dedicated lane should make ART’s schedule more reliable than regular busses, which have to deal with traffic congestion. There will be a loading platform at Central and 15th. Construction is proposed to proceed in segments of about 2000 feet (30-60 days per segment) to reduce the construction impact in any one area. The federal government will fund 80% of the estimated $119,000,000 cost for the project.

There was a Q and A with questions on wheelchair accessibility and the design of the platforms. One neighbor was concerned about the impact of the dedicated lanes on vehicular traffic trying to cross Central.

BOARD ELECTION

            Sue Brych announced that the two-year terms of eight board members are expiring at this meeting. Five of these board members have volunteered to be renominated for another term: Robert Bello, Ric Higginbotham, Rick Miera, Fernando Pizarro and Rowan Wymark. Those five members were re-elected by voice vote.

As chair of the Nominating Committee, Sue nominated Holly Siebert. She asked for two more volunteers from the floor. Gabe Campos and Israel Chavez volunteered to be nominated. Each candidate briefly described their background and their interest in DNA. Rick Miera moved and Dick Deichsel seconded a motion to elect these three nominees. The motion carried by voice vote.

 

TREE PROJECT

            Chan Graham described the last few months of the DNA effort to add more street trees to the neighborhood. He cited a Forestry Service study in Portland, Oregon, which showed that a tree in front of a house added $7000 to the value of the house. For the next phase, DNA will apply for a $16,000 grant from PNM (with a $4000 DNA match) to plant trees throughout the neighborhood. A property owner must sign an agreement to maintain the tree and it must be planted in the strip between the sidewalk and the street.

 

COMMITTEES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

            Rowan Wymark (Safety Committee) recommended nextdoor.com for information about crime in the neighborhood. The winter newsletter will go out to the email list soon.

 

Susan Deichsel announced that the renovation of Mary Fox Park (14th and Roma) is proceeding. She also described a few recent activities of the Downtown Discovery Club, including dinners, a brewpub tour and live theatre events. She’s considering an Old Town tour for the next event.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David McCain

Secretary