September 2015 Meeting

Michigan Park Citizens Association Regular Monthly Meeting September 1, 2015
Providence Hospital.

President Paul Wood being on business travel, Vice President Terri Sallay opened the meeting at 7:15. June minutes were read and accepted.

Garden Committee: David Conrad reported that he had received two estimates for installation of a yard hydrant (including backflow preventer and meter pit) in the triangle park at 12th and Shepherd streets. The estimates were $2,500 and $2,900, considerably more than the $1,500 approved at the June meeting. One factor increasing the cost of the hydrant is the need that it be frost proof. President Wood has requested matching funds from DPR, but not yet received an answer. Our permit for installation has a sunset date of January or February. Because President Wood and Treasurer Beulah Sutherland were not present, members decided to hold further discussion and vote until the October meeting.

Federation of Citizens Associations: Elizabeth McGowan reported that at the June 23 Federation meeting, Gregory Dean the new Chief of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department gave a very informative and useful presentation describing the process by which he is reshaping the agency in order to eliminate long‐term problems such as late response time, lack of EMS preparedness, poor condition and availability of medical transports and fire apparatus, and inadequate funding. The Federation invites speakers from different city agencies to give presentations about their agencies. Paul and Elizabeth recommend that MPCA should do the same in order to get a better idea of how the agencies work and how they can help our association get things done. Paul invited James Pittman, Legislative Director at the Office of the Attorney General, to give a presentation the September meeting and will extend the invitation again.

Terri Sallay reported that the association has a new banner which Paul will bring to next meeting.

Laisha Dougherty, Constituent Services Coordinator of Councilmember McDuffie office invited members to participate in a police forum round table on September 16 at the Wilson Building. Ms. Dougherty was asked for an update on issues raised at the June meeting: funding for a noise abatement wall on Puerto Rico Avenue, approval of sidewalk café at the San Antonio Grill, and Ward 5 Clean Teams funding for the 12th St. NE business corridor. She will provide an update at the October meeting.

Treasurer Beulah Sutherland read treasurer’s report. Balance has increased $20 since June.

Maybelle Taylor Bennett, Director of the Howard University Community Association introduced Derrick Niec‐Williams, Director of Planning, Architecture and Development, who explained the university’s plans for the Divinity School campus. The Divinity School has been temporarily relocated at the West Campus while the building undergoes major repair and renovation, after which the school will return to the campus. However, the university is interested in developing part of the site not used by the school and is currently looking for a partner for the development process. Like the surrounding neighborhood, the 23 acre site is zoned R1.

Strategies to increase community awareness of the Association were discussed. Suggestions included: a postcard mailing similar to last year’s; Michigan Park sign; help from members to update website; flyers distributed door to door; block captains. Terri Sallay volunteered to put together a flyer. Membership has decreased since stopping the paper newsletter. The issue will be included on the October agenda.

Members discussed issues of traffic congestion and over‐development. Discussion included: the Brookland Feasibility Study; possible plans for development of religious houses; congestion and back‐up on streets and intersection around 12th, 13th, Michigan, Taylor, and Upshur streets; replacement of parking lanes with bike lanes on Taylor Street; the Franciscan Monastery plan to use its open acreage for vegetable gardens benefiting food banks. Members agreed that MPCA must work together with other associations and ANCs to be effective. There will be further discussion at the October meeting. Roland Thompson will collaborate with Paul on a letter to the appropriate agencies expressing concern about over‐development and congestion.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.

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