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Monday, March 5, 2012

Feb 6, 2012 EEAC Meeting

EEAC MINUTES – Monday, Feb 6, 2012

Call to Order
Jackie Weist called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm. There were 21 people in attendance, including 14 residents. Jackie provided a special welcome to George & Vergie Mullis, who have not attended in a while. Contact:

Secretary’s Report
Barb Rider presented the December 5, 2011 minutes; they were accepted and filed (there was no January 2012 Council meeting). Contact:

Treasurer’s Report
Sandy Hoover presented the 02.01.2012 balance sheet (including $26,461.80 in total liabilities and equity). The 2012 budget has not yet been approved. Only one check was written since the December meeting ($52 for two years for the EEAC post office box) and one check was received $100 (from the Recycling Challenge). Contact:


• Police Report - Officer Love
The report covered the periods Dec 2, 2011 – Feb 2, 2012. Most crime involved businesses, not personal property. There were 27 cars break-ins, and an aggravated robbery at the Shell station on Kellogg – the perpetrator, on a bike, showed the cashier a knife and asked for money. Officer Love has investigated the complaint made at the Dec 5 EEAC meeting of dogs loose by Schmidt Field. The police received a formal notice about someone trying to buy property at 204 Worth (Garden District). Laurie Keleher said we have always opposed the sale of city property, but this sale could be a good thing. We should receive notice also, and Laurie will check on it when at City Hall. There were no objections to Laurie handling this.

• Regional Terrorism Early Warning Group – Robert Blankenship and Lisa Smith, Cincinnati Police
They will talk to us next month about critical structures (i.e. the Duke substation and the water treatment plant), and how we can help them. The definition of terrorism has been expanded to include activist groups like anti-abortionists, animal rights advocates, and white supremacists.

• City of Cincinnati, Dept. of Public Services – Andrew Glenn
DPS has spent the past two years working on balancing tonnage and efficiency of city trash routes. Because the system is not fully automated (with “one arm bandit” pickups), it takes 6 hours/day to get a route done. There are 122,000 residences where trash is picked up. The system is complicated by the many ‘paper streets’ (i.e. alleys without residential addresses). There will be fewer garbage routes in the future (currently 36 routes in 4 districts; in March, there will be 31 routes in 3 districts), so trash and recycling days will be changing for some. Hyde Park, Evanston, Walnut Hills will have more changes then the East End. To communicate the changes, DPS representatives are going to all neighborhood councils. They will provide emails, apps, and a website so residents can check their trash and recycling days. Residents who will experience a change will receive a postcard: “Your Trash Day is Changing” (one will be mailed to owners, and one to property owners – 65% of residences involve renters). If you don’t get card, there is no change.
In other trash news, ordinances are being reviewed. An example is possibly regulating bricks, rocks and stones mixed with trash, as the city has experienced $1million in workmen’s comp from this. There is a proposal to wrap everything in plastic to prevent the spread of bedbugs. They may also look into uniform carts. Laurie asked about tires – each residence can put out three tires each trash day, or take the tires to the city dump (as well as yard waste and wood) by Spring Grove and Westwood M-F. Bob Little asked about large items; residents should call the haul truck for sofas, etc. Waste tonnage has gone down, because metals are taken by scavengers.

• CMHA - Kelly Kramer (not Sharon Smith) and Lisa Eisham (voucher program)
Annual reports and power point notes were made available. CMHA is the housing authority for Hamilton C, providing 3 types of affordable housing for low to moderate income families: 1) public – CMHA owns & manages 5200 units; 90% of these are in the City of Cincinnati, 2) vouchers - formerly known as Section 8 - the subsidy stays with the person who can go to any private landlord, and 3) affordable housing program – city owned, but privately managed rentals. 25% of city residents are at poverty level; 15% when the entire county is included. The voucher program was developed in 1970s as a federal program; recipients pay 30% of their income towards rent and utilities. Average income is $12,000; recipients include the working poor, elderly, and disabled. Properties that qualify have voluntary landlord participation. Housing quality standards are set by HUD. There are initial and annual inspections. Rents must be comparable to the market rate in the area; there can be no delinquent property taxes or building code violations. Owners cannot have a history of fair housing rule violations. There is a waiting list for CMHA housing (13,000 people); it will take 3-4 years to go through the list. The last time the waiting list was opened was Apr 2010; there was a lottery for the 19,000 applicants in a one week period. There must be a criminal background check for a tenant to qualify for vouchers, but the landlord decides ultimate rental qualifications. The voucher holder cannot owe money to the public housing authority. Tenants must attend a briefing explaining the program.
Laurie asked about visitors who move in, use drugs, etc. and wondered how landlords are removed from the program. There is no master list of violations; HUD regulations are used (Part #982). There is a “talk to us” hotline 513-721-2642.
Michael Bolan asked about building code violations; there is annual re-certification for each landlord. CMHA cannot exceed federal regulations in its own regulations.

• Building Institute Core Change - Mr. Herrington was not present; there was no report.

• LeBlond Report – Alayne Kazin
There has been lots of activity – an accessible swing and door are being installed; yoga and “stroller strong” (9:40 M-F) programs are popular, with 25 participants; the pre-school program continues with Katie. Le Blond has received the following liquor license requests/renewals: Irish Heritage Center 3905 Eastern Ave.; Brew River GastroPub (formerly Maribelles; .Bacchus Nightclub 5307 Pete Rose Way and The Whiskey Bar (the latter two are not in the East End).

City Liaison Report – Laurie Keleher, chair. Contact:
• NSP $5000: Melisse May described the 8x10’ one-sided informational sign with 6-8” changeable letters to be installed on the corner of Delta, Kellogg and Riverside (similar to the Riverview East Academy sign. It will have a locked cover, a steamboat logo and the name of our organization. This will assist residents without internet access to the EEAC newsletter, and enable us to communicate more broadly. The cost estimate is $5000; we will get competitive bids. A rough schematic on tablet was passed around. There were no questions; we should vote on this before the March NSP peer review. Melisse made the motion to use our $5000 in NSP funds for such an informational sign; there was a second. The vote was 14 yes, 0 no.
• The Garden District meetings have gone very well; there have been a few zoning questions. The next phase is to explore regulations regarding FEMA properties, and what it would take to build there.
• A petition supporting lighting the tunnel at Stacon and Stanley signed by neighboring residents will be presented to the Transportation & Engineering Office and Laurie Quinlevin. The lights would be installed on the existing pole with no assessment.
• 25 trees on Gladstone Ave. were cut down while the property owner was away, without his authorization. It is believed this was done to improve the river view from a deck above the property. This was reported to the police. There has also been some drug activity under the Columbia Parkway bridge on Collins (as evidenced by needles on the street and sidewalk). There has also been an occasional congregation of people in the LeBlond parking lot; when called, the police came right away.

Community Relations Report – Melisse May, chair. Contact:
• Our next 3rd Tuesday gathering (Feb 21 at 6:30) will be a fundraiser co-sponsored by the Columbia/Tusculum and Linwood councils at Tusculum Pizza on Kellogg. Laurie will share Garden District plans. Wine & pizza pairings will be available for $20@ or $50 per family. Donations will also be accepted. Evites were sent; please RSVP.
• The committee is looking to more broadly involve the East End community, and will change monthly EEAC meetings to social institutions (LeBlond, Pendleton Center, Riverview East Academy). Signage will be helpful. We need more yard signs (i.e. at Collins), and re-directional signs for doors (i.e. LeBlond). Nick may have some signs.
• Tell Melisse of suggestions for topics for other 3rd Tuesday gatherings.
• Melisse also supplied snacks she brought back from a recent visit to Kenya.

Columbia/Tusculum Report – Nick Motz, chair. Contact:
• An eastside business association has been formed. Nick is VP of Marketing; the next meeting is this coming Friday at noon at Eli’s on Riverside.
• Part of Babb Alley by Eli’s has been prepared for parking with the help of Joe Corcoran. The building next to Eli’s is scheduled for demolition (still in name of deceased owner).

Business - Bob Little, chair. Contact:
• The vacated school on Riverside has been taken over by a bank, and is being boarded up.
• Nick is doing a great job making Eli’s BBQ a success.
• There has been good cross promotion among businesses (i.e. a Fuel mailing promoted Eli’s)
• Say Cheese, a new restaurant at the cleaned up Antique Mall on Riverside, has opened – with good food, service & prices. The owners previously were with Bob Evans.
• Fuel would appreciate your help. Curb service is available. There will be no Sat car shows in the winter.
• C/T eateries: Allyn’s is going Cajun…Green Dog Café and Brueggers are doing well… The Precinct has installed a historic bar from Connecticut in their new sports bar.
• There is a new internet retail consulting business at Riverwalk.
• City Councilman PG Sittenfeld is promoting the sale of produce at The Gardens. Laurie will be meeting with him later this week.
• The February issue of “Venue” Magazine featured East End businesses. The April “Venue” will feature “Inside the East End” with a look at residences.

Old Business
• Recycling - Michelle and Kevin Perkins attended a recycling meeting, and are visiting residents to hang flyers to either participate or turn in their green recycling cart. The points that residents use can be donated to schools to build gardens.
• Proposed Budget: $1000 Garden District (tools, maintenance)…$100 gas…$130 newsletter…$800 C/T Wedge: tree maintenance & installation...$750 Riverview East Academy (Sam Dunlap with the Civic Garden Center)…$400 Community Relations (volunteer recognition, Meet & Greets)…$250 incidentals (LeBlond, Soap Box Derby) …$5000 branding (historic sign - $300-500 & banners - $200@ along Riverside Dr.) = Total 2012 Budget = $8430. Sandy suggested that the $5000 branding budget be postponed until we have more exact prices; the total budget uses half of our savings. Mary Beth Wilkens will work on putting a plan together on branding. Nick reminded us that we should disseminate all budget items and then vote on them in March.
• Landscaping: Bob asked that the LeBlond sign garden be maintained. Duke is tearing up sidewalks between Corbin and Delta; we’ll ask for tree holes to be left. 62 trees have been ordered through Urban Forestry.
• Keep Cincinnati Beautiful: no one knew the 2012 date. Maybe Ruth Coon will head up this project again.
• Nick is heading up the PartyZone fundraiser at the Flying Pig on May 6.

The March 5 EEAC meeting will be at the Pendleton Center.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:48 PM.

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