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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 2, 2012 EEAC Mtg Minutes

EEAC MINUTES – Monday, July 2, 2012 Call to Order Jackie Weist called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm at the LeBlond Recreation Center on Riverside Drive. Contact: Secretary’s Report Barb Rider ‘s copies of the June 2012 minutes were circulated; no edits were suggested so the June minutes were filed as written. Michael Bolan was appointed to take minutes at the meeting in Barb’s absence. Contact: Treasurer’s Report In the absence of Sandy Hoover, there was no June report. Jackie reported that an additional $250 was received from the efforts of the Flying Pig volunteers, making the total $1050. Police Report - Officer Love reported that there were 12 incidents of crime in the East End in June. All offenses were property crimes including: a robbery on Stanley involving a stolen mobile phone, two boats stolen from RiverTown, and an employee theft of $34k from an East End business. There was a citizen complaint about the ongoing use of drugs, trafficking and evidence of needles in the alley between Strader and Wool. Officer Love suggested that the Drug Hot Line 513.979.4416 be called to file a complaint. Drug related activity on the grounds of the LeBlond Recreation Center was also reported Ohio Bike Trail Don Mills of Queen City Bike presented plans to use the existing, under-utilized Oasis RR Line to connect to downtown Cincinnati. This path would complete a bike/hike trail from Cleveland to the Cincinnati core and make the East End “a Mecca for Bicyclists”. The proposal calls for private funds to build a trail on the 55 foot right-of-way while still keeping the existing two sets of tracks for future use. The bike/hike path would be leased from SORTA. The lease would be temporary in that it could be terminated if SORTA needed the space to provision for light rail. However, the plan envisions the trail co-existing with the future light rail. $1.5M of the estimated $4M necessary to build the improvements has already been pledged from private sources. Much of the funding would be used to overcome six “pinch” points along the rail line. The access to the rail path would begin at Carroll Street and terminate at Friendship Park. It was noted that one of the 2 tracks has not been used for 35 years and that the line cuts through the East End with no regard for weed/trash/litter control. SORTA has owned the rail line since 1994 but has yet to make any improvements. LeBlond Recreation Center Director Alayne Kazin reported that usage of the pool (open to 6 PM) and overall usage of the facility is up dramatically since it was repurposed with a broader agenda that includes a 33-kid day camp and 15-kid special program. The site’s exceptional riverfront location has been the impetus of an ongoing plan to unlock its potential. Alayne showed renderings and sought input about a path along the river and a dog park. Private funding would be sought to finance the improvements. City Council Councilman Chris Smitherman shared his concerns about the city’s finances but pledged his support for the Oasis Line light rail and biking in the East End. The city needs to find $34M to balance its $350m budget. A balanced budget will require hard choices by city council members with its different viewpoints. Candidate for Judge Steve Black outlined how he thinks a courtroom should be run based on his 37 years of practicing law. City Liaison Report – Laurie Keleher, chair. Contact: • Michael Moore confirmed that the city will start the road improvements for a bike facility through the East End from Carrel to St Andrews (first leg), and then to downtown. • Building permit for construction along Riverside Drive near the Duke Facility - Jerry Imbus is seeking a variance to build using a bus stop right of way and the purchase of a lot owned by the city. He had previously asked support of the EEAC for this project, but the EEAC withheld support pending the submission of a plan. Jerry showed a site plan at the meeting and asked for support. Concern was expressed about the how the elimination of the bus stop cut would affect the use of the bike path as a turn-off area amenity. There was also discussion about the purchasing of city lots for the purpose of development and the history of developers leaving the property neglected and not following through with the plan. An EEAC vote on the issue is holding until more information with a rendering of the project is supplied. Community Relations Report – Melisse May, chair. Contact: • The University of Cincinnati DAAP program has a student outreach program that helps designated neighborhood plan improvements. A grad student has offered her services stipend-free this summer to render a Riverside Drive streetscape. More to follow… • Mary Beth Wilker is organizing an Arts and Crafts area on Strader Avenue during the Garden BBQ on August 11. More artisans and craftsmen are needed. • The date of the July Meet & Greet is changed to Tuesday, the 31st, and will be held at the Carnegie Center on Eastern Ave with C/T and Linwood. The special topic is energy with a presentation by the Consumer Energy Alliance. • There was no objection to the liquor license request by Wyatt’s Bar and Grille (in the former Say Cheese space at the Antique Mall). Adjournment The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM. Next meeting: Monday, Aug 6 at LeBlond at 7pm. NOTE: You can read EEAC minutes and sign up to have monthly newsletters emailed to you at