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Downtown Neighborhoods Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Monthly Meeting

June 1, 2016

 

The June 2016 meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Sixth Street Studio of the Harwood Art Center, pursuant to prior approval.

 

Board Chair Reba Eagles called the meeting to order at 7:05. Board members in attendance: Reba Eagles, David McCain, Dick Deichsel, Chan Graham, Margaret Connealy, Noelle Baroody, Israel Chavez, Rowan Wymark, Rick Miera, Gabe Campos and Holly Siebert. Four board members were absent. Eight other neighbors and guest speakers also attended. Sign in sheets are on file.

 

Introductions were made. The agenda was approved. The May 4 minutes were approved.

 

Dick Deichsel gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of May 2016, there was $10,803.73 in income, including $10,550 in home tour sales. Expenses totaled $6139.57, including $5623.18 in home tour expenses. The May 31 balance was $33,902.64. The Treasurer’s Report was approved and is on file.

 

CIVNET

            Charlie Wisoff described his startup website (www.civnet.co) (charlie@civnet.co) as a way for people to “understand what’s happening in their community” and “connect with others who care about similar issues”. People can find like-minded people and look for people with particular skills. He described the site as similar to facebook or nextdoor, but for civic organizations. He passed out brochures and solicited sign-ups.

 

GREATER ALBUQUERQUE HOUSING PARTNERSHIP

Felipe Rael described GAHP as a 25-year old not-for-profit concerned with affordable housing. They are proposing to build a four-storey, 110-unit apartment complex on the site of a parking lot at the corner of 8th and Silver. The economic model is similar to the Silver Moon (10th and Central): mixed income with employed tenants paying 30% of their income. Ron Witherspoon from Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Architects presented a site plan but had no elevation drawings. The project will need funding from MFA and a county bond issue. Monarch Properties is proposed to manage the complex. There will be very limited on-site parking, similar to Silver Moon. No zone changes are needed but Mr. Rael asked DNA for an opinion letter. Construction is proposed to be completed in 2018. There was a discussion of the County bonds and questions about parking and including requirements that New Mexico subcontractors be given preference in the bidding.

 

501 (C) 3

            Gabe Campos said that only one neighborhood association in the city has 501(c)3 tax status. Gabe and Chan Graham will present the pros and cons of the issue at our July meeting.

 

CITIZENS POLICING COUNCIL

Dick Deichsel reported on the last meeting of the Valley Area CPC. At that meeting, Dick raised the question of a downtown patrol officer being reassigned to the SWAT team. APD responded that some SWAT officers are on call for patrol emergencies. APD representatives said that APD got much positive national feedback for their handling of the violence after the recent Trump rally. Dick said that one officer said his Department of Justice-mandated training helped him to collect himself when he was hit by a rock. Dick also discussed the high school training of Police Service Aides and the program that allows a PSA to become a sworn officer after three years on the job.

 

COMMITTEES AND ANNOUCEMENTS

            The manager of Lipstick Bail Bonds (8th and Lomas) was invited to this meeting but did not attend. The business is clearly outside of the 500-foot maximum distance (from Metro Court) allowed in the Sector Development Plan. Dick Deichsel moved and David McCain seconded a motion for DNA to send a letter to the City expressing opposition to the location. There was a short discussion of the issue, including the fact that the business operators should have been denied a business license in the first place. The motion passed.

 

Chan Graham said that some of the trees recently planted on the demonstration block (14th between Lomas and Fruit) have not been properly watered. To resolve this issue, Chan described a product called “Treegator” which is filled with water once a week and dispenses water slowly for a week. Dick Deichsel moved and Chan Graham seconded a motion for DNA to provide $50 to each homeowner who receives a tree from the DNA tree project. The money is intended to offset the cost of watering. The motion passed.

 

Susan Deichsel reported that the renovation of Mary Fox Park (14th and Roma) is complete. But the wisteria on the gazebo are still encroaching on the trees. Dick Deichsel will call the City Forester about the issue. Susan proposed a short celebration (party?) for the reopened park, tentatively scheduled for a weekend evening after July 4.

 

Holly Siebert announced that the Public Relations Committee will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 at Duel microbrewery (606 Central SW). The purpose of the meeting is to begin planning the National Night Out scheduled for the first week of August.

 

Israel Chavez proposed that DNA form a committee to identify groups and solicit proposals for grants from DNA. He suggested some form of partnership with the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Several people volunteered to form this committee: Israel and Susan Deichsel and Margaret Connealy will meet to begin this process.

 

Margaret Connealy asked again about forming a Green Committee for issues like solar panels in historic districts and encouraging bike racks in front of businesses. Margaret reported that Alice Bergman has asked about the excessive nighttime neon lights in the Watson Building at 16th and Lomas. Susan Deichsel said that overly bright lighting is covered in the Sector Development Plan.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David McCain

Secretary