Recap of the October E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

Recap of the October E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

The October 8 meeting of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council began at its new time of 6pm.

Christa Richardson of the Corbin Senior Activity Center started off the meeting by sharing the good news about their Munch and Mingle auction on September 27, which raised $20,000. Of that, $4,000 was directed towards the elevator. The center’s new van arrived as well.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications were explained, and attendees were invited to participate in determining how the funding for 2015 will be allocated among the neighborhood. Six volunteers formed a committee that will meet prior to the November 24 deadline to do so. Their proposal will be discussed, refined and put to vote at the November 12 meeting of the E-G Neighborhood Council.

Timothy Diko and Melissa Parker have been scouting out locations for sheltered bus stops, bike racks and trash cans to be placed along Monroe Street. Those kinds of projects were chosen because they would not require follow-up costs and would be long-lasting. The consensus of the meeting attendees was that the stop on the west corner of Montgomery and Monroe could use a shelter and nearby bike rack, and the stops on either side of the street at Grace and Monroe could also benefit from the same.

Northwest Neighborhood identified a block of land adjacent to Emerson-Garfield where the residents tend to identify more with Emerson-Garfield than Northwest. Their organization voted to cede the land to E-G. The boundaries to the north are Fairview and Ash to Cochran, south across the T.J. Meenach bridge, along the Pettit Drive Ridge, to Indiana; Indiana east to Belt, and Belt north to Fairview.  A concern was raised regarding the average income of that section of land, and what effect that might have on Emerson-Garfield’s qualification for CDBG funding. The vote to approve the boundary extension was tabled until November.

The Greening Neighborhoods Grant was approved for both applications. The Maple traffic island vegetation can be acquired soon, but the other area may need to wait until November.Spokane Urban Forestry will determine the dates. Over a dozen attendees volunteered to help with planting when the time comes.

On Washington near North Central High School is an organization, Community Frameworks, that would like to contribute to the redevelopment of that area, to include practical beautification and increased walkability. They hope to develop a 33-unit apartment building for lower-income residents. Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council wrote letters of support for their funding applications.

Because there are three elementary schools (i.e., Garfield, Audubon, Spokane Public Montessori) in a roughly one-mile area within E-G, there is a justification for putting together a Safe Routes to School task force with the goal of working with the Spokane Regional Health District to develop an entire pedestrian- and bike-friendly network of paths to these schools. Several volunteers, including councilwoman Candace Mumm, expressed an interest in participating.

A motion was made to provide meeting notes for review and approval by e-mail, rather than waiting until the following monthly meeting. It was decided to e-mail the minutes shortly following each meeting, and voting members can then respond to the e-mail.

Tim Burns, the Police Ombudsman, reported that the five-member citizen oversight commission over Spokane Police Officers is in effect as of September 15. The sheriff’s office has expressed an interest in a similar committee. Adrian Dominguez, an epidemiologist with the Health Department, represents our district (District 3) on the oversight commission. Each of the other two city council districts selected one representative, and the mayor selected two.

City Council member Candace Mumm reported on the approval of a $67,000 traffic calming grant. A pilot program near Gonzaga will experiment with a permeable pavement solution, which could work with N. Monroe as well. The Women and Children’s Free Restaurant has purchased Center Pointe near the Community Frameworks building for their new location. The new city budget proposal was released, and a priority was given to fire safety.

Sara Kimball reported on sidewalk repair near Emerson Park, in response to some large tree roots. There were four curb cuts near Jefferson and Alice for ADA accessibility. A sidewalk on the west side of Madison all the way from Indiana to Emerson Park may be in development in the near to long term.

The Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market is on track to have over $40,000 in sales this year. A long line of residents interested in claiming dump passes came to the market for their first time on October 3 and commented positively on the market. The market’s season finale will be on October 17 and will feature a cider press (apples can be brought or bought).

Tim Schwering, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Spokane Police Department, arrived after the meeting had ended due to a long Q&A session at a talk earlier in the evening. He has rescheduled to present on the police body cameras at the November 12 meeting.

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