February 2014 Meeting Minutes

Horner Park Advisory Council

Minutes

February 3, 2014

The HPAC meeting was called to order at the Horner Park Fieldhouse at 7:02pm.  A quorum was determine to be present.

Previous Minutes:
The minutes of the January 2014 and December 2013 meetings were approved, pending changes.

Treasurer’s Report:
The following funds are in HPAC accounts:

Checking $8,259.26
Savings $14,872.24
Paypal $2,819.37
Total $25,951.37

The bank balances are reconciled with HPAC books.

Riverfront Restoration:
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) received approval for construction. They will have an office in the field house. Their first project will be to put up the fence, with egresses at Montrose and Irving Park. March 7 is planned date for breaking ground. Based on comments from the neighbors, the USACE is still trying to find a heron’s nest; after three attempts, they still could not find one. They are now attempting to hire an expert. The contract of record already has a buffer zone around a possible heron nest. The USACE has flexibility to reduce the buffer zone if they do not find a nest.

John F. also pointed out that the contract states that the almost 600 tress that must be cut down must be out by May 1, the start of the nesting season.

Dog Friendly Area (DFA):
The fund-raising campaign has begun. They have about $5500. Alderman Mell’s office has offered support, but has not specified an amount. The DFA committee must raise $150,000 before they can begin to talk to CPD; the expected cost pf the DFA ranges from $300,000 to $750,000. A landscape architect has volunteered to create an initial design. They DFA committee is continuing to explore the feasibility of grass. Fund-raising will continue by pursuing government entities, businesses, individuals, and grants.

Park Briefs:

Horner Park:
There is an effort to replace the bus stop structure at Montrose Ave. There is replacement structure in a warehouse that may be available. If we are unable to acquire the new structure in the next two months, there is a suggestion that we just remove the existing structure. Based on CTA estimates, there are 10 riders a day. There is a nearby bus station that could accommodate the riders.

Gretchen Helmreich proposed that Hornet Park host a Farmer’s Market in the northwest corner of the park from July through September. It could hold 30 tents. The proposal is open to either Saturday or Sunday; because of the number of existing Saturday markets, some vendors may not be available. The market could offer could organic and non-organic fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, a bakery stand, a honey stand, a coffee stand, a crepe stand, and ready-to-eat venues. Tom reminded us that Horner Park already has a hot dog vendor and there may be a non-compete clause. The site could also include committee table, a rotating table featuring a local restaurant, and an HPAC table. Vendors would pay about $35 per week for their slot.
Gretchen asked for HPAC support – $1000 starting seed money and authorization to use the Horner Park web pages for community communication and fund-raising.

A motion was made to support this effort: pledging the money and forming a committee. The motion passed unanimously.

There is a Valentine’s Day Dance this Friday. Tom has requested $150 support from HPAC. A motion was made to spend the funds and was approved unanimously.

Alderman Mell’s office contacted HPSC to say they want to show a movie in the park this summer. The movie is “The Wizard of Oz.” Tom is working out a schedule.

Tom is planning a Night Out in the Park and Horner, Sunken Garden, and Ravenswood.

The Avon Breast Cancer Walk is scheduled for the end of May. A request was made to Tom to talk to the transportation authority to help reduce the negative effect on the neighbors.

There is going to be a Doggy Easter Egg Hunt this year on April 19th. Last year HPAC purchased bandanas for the event, around $200. Tom asked if we could fund the bandanas again. Tom also suggested to Erica that if she finds a photographer for the event, the DFA could share the proceeds with the photographer.

Ravenswood Manor Park:
RMIA is having a centennial celebration. HPAC is sharing the cost of the music with RMIA.

Jacob Park:
Tom met with Alderman O’Conner and reported that Open Lands is giving a grant of $206,000 for site preparation, excavation, drainage, fencing, and design. The first effort will be to level the area so that it is more family friendly. Tom asked Ben to work with him on how to integrate a vegetable garden. Ben said that the vegetable garden was only an interim proposal, and now that funding is available, they do not think a community garden is a priority. No additional efforts are needed until a Project Manager is assigned.

Buffalo Park: No report

Sunken Gardens:
Neighbors are planning a block party in August; Tom wants to integrate this with the Night Out in the Park.

Concert Committee:
The concert committee has developed a schedule.

Stewardship Committee: No report

Web Site:
Sarah reported that she held a training session last week for 6-7 people. If others are interested, she is willing to hold additional training sessions.

Garden Committee: No report

Social Committee: No report

New Business:
Earth Day Saturday April 26th. A captain is needed for Horner Park.
River Day is in May. Horner will be under construction, but other parks can participate.
Ravenswoodmanor.com should be live in the next couple of day.
Independence is losing their fitness center and equipment is available. Tom has asked if we support an effort to acquire some of the equipment and put it in a room on the first floor. Tom has asked if HPAC would write a letter requesting this equipment.

Announcements:
The next regular HPAC meeting will be held Monday March 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Horner Park.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted: Lisa Cleveland

Attendance:
Peter Schlossman – President
Kevin Anderson – Treasurer
Sarah Reiser – Co-Secretary
Lisa Cleveland – Co-Secretary
John O’Connell – Head of HPAC Concert Series Committee, Friends of the Parks Representative
Erica Beutler – Dog Friendly Area
Lynn Sheck – DFA committee
Tom McManamon – Park Supervisor
John Friedmann – Emerald Ash Borer
Larry Hodak – Neighbor
Sigrid Schmidt – neighbor
Gretchen Helmiech – neighbor
Steve Heffron – neighbor
Amy Jahnke – neighbor
Nate Hutcheson – neighbor
Ben Ranney – neighbor

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