WEST PINE LACLEDE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
President Harold Karabell called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM and waived the normal order of business to accommodate our guest speakers.
EMMA KLUES – Vice President Communications & Outreach Great Rivers Greenway
Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) connects the St. Louis region with greenways, making it a vibrant place to live, work and play. Greenways are places where you are able to walk, run, bike ride, discover your community, exercise, meet neighbors, get around town, or just get some fresh air. GRG is leading a major public-private partnership to establish the conceptual plan for the Chouteau Greenway, which will connect WU and Forest Park to the WU Medical Center, BJC, the Cortex district, the Foundry and Armory projects, Grand Center, SLU, Harris Stowe State U., STL downtown, and the Gateway Arch. Community members, partners, and designers will envision the Chouteau Greenway through a design competition. Emma stressed that this international design completion needs and desires input from residents. To learn more and to complete the 9-question online version of the survey, see www.ChouteauGreenway.org .
STEVE ROBERTS, Jr. – State Representative from the 77th district
Mr. Steven Roberts, Jr., previously a St. Louis City prosecutor, identified two key areas of focus for himself in the coming legislative year: The increased demand for skilled labor in the St. Louis workforce and placing children (non-adults) accused of a crime in the adult criminal justice system.
STEVE ROBERTS, Chief Deputy St. Louis Sheriff’s Department
Steven C. Roberts Sr., a former alderman, became Chief Deputy for newly elected sheriff Vernon Betts, who took office Jan. 1, 2017. Mr. Roberts reported that he and the Sheriff are undertaking a total upgrading of Sheriff’s office after the 28 year run of the former Sheriff. A key goal for Mr. Roberts is to gain an understanding of what city residents need from the Sheriff’s office. Given the high rate of gun violence in the City, he supports requiring official firearms training for anyone who applies for a permit to have an “open carry” weapon. He explained that the role of Sheriff includes corrections, arrest powers, law enforcement, and prisoner transporting.
Minutes for October 10, 2017 were approved as written.
Terry Werner was absent but provided the following information tor Harold:
Savings account balance: $1,056.22
Certificate of deposit value: $7,112.84
Checking account balance: $2,329.19
BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE REPORT
The Committee had no official report. Terry Van Schaik reported the success of Dorris Loft in obtaining a grant from the Missouri Sewer District & MOBOT Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grant Award Program. Grants are provided for plant-based solutions that remove and replace a minimum of 100 sq. feet of established lawn, invasive species, impervious surface, or bare ground. The maximum grant per project is $3,000. Many of the awardees are single home dwellers. Others may be entities such as condos.
The annual grant season gets underway in June with workshops for those wishing to submit a grant. The grants are fairly detailed and are due in mid-August. Terry encouraged homeowners to apply for a 2018-19 or future grant and offered to talk further with anyone needing more information.
ALDERMAN RODDY REPORT
After Mr. Roddy briefly noted that construction of the final Cortex building (Crescent) is underway as is the Foundry project. He educated attendees on the challenges of determining when and how large tax incentives are appropriate for the City to award to developers. He maintained that investment in neighborhoods is a positive because of an increase in property values, which in turn increases property taxes and thereby makes more funding available for the public school system. He noted that determining the value of any given development project is challenging for alderpersons and residents. He concluded with a discussion of the competition the City faces from smaller municipalities such as Clayton.
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE REPORT: RON COLEMAN
Interested in learning more about what police officers do every day? The Citizens Academy offers an insider’s view into the day-to-day job of a St. Louis City Police Officer and is designed to further strengthen the bond between the department and the community. In addition to classroom instruction, participants also visit with police canines, interact with the department’s bomb and arson robot, tour the 911 center, and even use driving and shooting simulators. For more information and/or to apply visit http://www.slmpd.org/citizens_academy.shtml
Ron pointed out some housekeeping issues with Sarah in the vicinity of The Block restaurant. Laura Cohen noted that she has been removing tree branches and limbs, as well as other debris,
from the area around The Block. Ron agreed to contact The Block about clean-up and to meet Laura to discuss housekeeping on Sarah.
4101 Request to remove two cobra street lights on Sarah
Ron asked that WPLNA consider the developer’s request to remove the cobra street lights on Sarah south of Laclede in front of the 4101 building. He encouraged attendees and residents to note the amount of lighting currently provided and consider if removing it would be detrimental.
No U-turn sign at Boyle and Forest Park
Ron will request that the city return this sign especially given the increase in traffic at this intersection.
SECURITY COMMITTEE REPORT
No report was provided
Attendees unanimously agreed to direct WPLNA to donate $100 at year end to the staff of NorthWest Coffee in appreciation of WPLNA’s use of the space for its monthly meeting and of staff who stay after hours when our meetings occur.
December 2017 meeting canceled
The sense of the body was to cancel the December 2017 meeting and resume the regular monthly WPLNA meetings January 9th (the second Tuesday of the month).
Terry Van Schaik