Meeting Minutes: September 21, 2015

Maymont Civic League (MCL) Meeting Minutes
Monday, September 21st, 2015

  1. Pres. Gloria Bouldin welcomed the 26 people in attendance (guests included) at 7:00pm
  2. Treasurer Leah Page-Jean read her report: $5, 243.20 is current balance of account. She also mentioned the receipt of the Keep VA Beautiful grant money ($750), which must be spent by Oct. 31st, though Financial Secretary Daria Blom will file for an extension because the fate of Riverview Community Park is currently unknown (City has halted plans for our Skate Park/Community Garden/Walking Trail/Tot Lot).
  3. Daria Blom collected annual dues for MCL membership ($5/individuals or $10/family). (If you haven’t paid your dues yet and want to contribute to the Civic League, bring your cash or check to the block party or to the next Civic League meeting in November.)
  4. VP Mark Brandon introduced guest Dan Gecker, candidate for 10th District Senate seat. He spoke from 7:10-7:20.
  5. Pres. Gloria Bouldin introduced the topic of Maymont Foundation’s proposed horticultural facility off of Hampton Street. A lengthy discussion ensued and Representative Parker Agelasto weighed in with historical information. The discussion resulted in the decision to draft a conciliatory letter to the Maymont Foundation on behalf of the MCL that asserts our neighborhood’s strong desire that they change the location of the proposed building. Andrea Almond passed the motion and Joy Whitney seconded the motion to write the letter.
  6. A report from the 3rd Precinct (Lt. “Cap”) was read aloud by Gloria Bouldin. The murderer in last month’s Greenville Ave. shooting has been apprehended and arrested. The report maintained that is no continuing danger and it was “an isolated situation.”
  7. Neighbor Andrea Almond presented on behalf of the non-profit Storefront for Community Design. They have proposed a series of workshops for the residents of Maymont which would result in a plan for our neighborhood (ie: traffic calming, parking, and sidewalk issues). The cost of the workshops and plan would be $1700, though Parker Agelasto’s office would contribute to the overall cost. A motion was passed and seconded (Leslie Rubio, Joy Whitney) to continue the conversation with Storefront for Community Design but the MCL will not commit contractually yet.
  8. Parker Agelasto presented four items:
    1.  He has been working with Richmond’s new traffic engineer, Mike Sawyer, on a plan to create an alternating grid of stop signs in the neighborhood to slow traffic, particularly on the streets running North/South which may be implemented within the year.
    2. A $900,000 plan for sidewalk construction in our neighborhood awaits a City Council vote but it is expected to pass. Application for federal funding from HUD may slow the process, but the sidewalks would be constructed in three phases, beginning with Pennsylvania Ave. from Hampton St. to S. Meadow St. (northside).
    3. The proposed Riverview Community Park has been identified as part of a conservation easement maintained (or not?!) by the James River Park System. This will halt efforts to make it a City park, though native plantings and other beautification efforts may still be allowed.
    4. The RRHA has launched a program to sell 120 single family homes to current residents but only 6 have so far been able to close the deal. So, current residents will be transferred to conventional housing projects and/or receive vouchers for housing by the end of the year and the vacated homes (inexpensive but in need of substantial repairs) will be sold to local non-profit agencies for renovation and resale. Parker encouraged the MCL to invite RRHA representatives to future meetings so we could discuss these plans and how they would affect our neighborhood.
  9. Leah Page-Jean requested $380 from the MCL to go towards the Block Party (2-5pm, October 17th, Sundial Park on Hampton St.). The request was granted by attendees.
  10. Neighbor Chris Mercer recommended that neighbors escort VA Home residents to our Block Party, utilize the Byrd House Market on Tuesday afternoons, spoke about the Greenville Ave. shooting, and requested possible funds for future Ice Cream Socials.
  11. John Nicholson, caretaker of Maymont Park, urged neighbors to call Lt. Cap at the 3rd Precinct persistently if we want better patrols and safety measures.
  12. Neighbors are invited and encouraged to participate in the Alley Clean-Up on Saturday, Oct. 3rd from 9-Noon. Sign up to volunteer via Hands on Greater Richmond here.

Meeting adjourned: 8:55pm
Next meeting: Monday, November 16th.