September 8, 2014 Meeting Minutes


Horner Park Advisory Council


September 8, 2014

The HPAC meeting was called to order at the Horner Park Fieldhouse at 7:08pm.

 Previous Minutes:
The minutes of the May and July 2014 meetings were approved, pending changes.

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

Checking  $13,280.38
Savings     $14,874.69
PayPal         $4,373.60
Total          $32,528.67

QuickBooks agrees with the checking account. Kevin has reconciled the accounts for the concerts and will continue with the DFA and the Farmer’s Market in the coming weeks.

Kevin said that we are required to file a 990 this month.

Dog Friendly Area Committee:
A doggie photo day is being scheduled for October.

The DFA raised $2800 in ads for the Midnight Circus. Now they need staffing for the actual Circus. The shifts are Oct 17 from 6-9pm, Oct. 18 1-4pm and 4-7pm, and Oct. 19 from 1-4pm and 4-7pm.

The DFA has a table at the Farmer’ Market. For the first few weeks they were able to raise money but this has tapered off because many of the same people return to the market week after week. They have been invited to the Independence Park Farmer’s Market; many of their patrons would also like to see a dog park at Horner.

Erica asked Peter for support in speaking with Alderman Mell as they are having trouble with fund-raising support.

Concert Committee:
The 20th Season concert series at Ravenswood Manor Park finished with Rokko Jans and Friends, including a string quartet.  It was a lovely show and very well received.  There are two more performances by Theatre Hikes on September 27 and 28: Grave Chicago Tales.  They followed Rokko’s show with Enchanted April on August 23 and 24; the Saturday performance was rained out in mid-show.

Fundraising was successful; even with the expanded budget due to Manor Bash, there should be close to a $1500 to $2,000 surplus for 2014, depending on how much was spent on Theatre Hikes ($200) and Sunken Gardens party ($500).  All evenings were sponsored, and we had close to 70 ads, and 90 household subscribers.  All pledges were collected, logged and thanked.  Kevin will have a final accounting.

RMIA may want to do a slightly smaller Manor Bash next year, with a budget of $1500. It would start later in the day, eliminate the kids parade, and only close off Francisco.  Ideas are still being discussed by them.  John likes this model, with bigger ones every 5 years; he is hopeful these bashes will help recruit new volunteers for the Concert Committee. John is still working on that and will report progress at the next meeting.

John would like to get a producer for at least one Horner show in 2015.  The first planning session for 2015 will be in November.

John is looking into buying a better lighting system and will report back before funds are requested.

Farmer’s Market:
The Farmer’s Market will extend until Oct. 25. The loan from HPAC has been repaid and there is a current balance of over $1,600. Revenue of $3400 is expected by the end of Oct.

Gretchen asked that the DFA tent be staffed until the end of the market; all vendors are required to remain until the end of the day, so we should have our tents staffed as well.

A supplier for the pumpkins has been found. Oct. 25 is already reserved for the Pumpkin Patch so Gretchen is discussing with the supplier whether it makes sense to have two suppliers that day.

Park Briefs:

 Horner Park:
There are a two of maintenance issues: the bus park bench on Montrose has a huge hole and there is some graffiti on the monument.

Ravenswood Manor Park:
There are 3 broken light fixtures and there is a broken rail. These are in urgent need of repair.

Jacob Park:
There is no progress report on the park development. Ben and Nate have the straw-man plan which includes basic grading, keeping the tree, and keeping it as a passive use area. There is strong community support for a bridge across the river.

Buffalo Park:
There were $200 of expenses by Susanne Davenport that she is going to submit to Kevin.

Sunken Gardens:
There is a significant problem with graffiti and vandalism. Peter will email Patrick to verify that the problems are being addressed.

Website Committee: No Report

 Grand Tour Promotion: No Report

Stewardship Committee:
John made a motion to further tree purchase through Open Lands and the Manor Garden Club by purchasing a tree for the parkway at Fransisco and Manor with a contribution $500.

A motion was made to provide $500 to the Manor Garden Club Opens Lands program for a parkway tree at Francisco and Manor. The motion passed. RMIA is contributing $2000. The goal is to obtain 20-25 trees.

Peter and Carol expressed concerns that HPAC money should be used for park development only.

John O. feels the Ash Tree in the park adjacent to the Ravenswood Manor play lot could be a danger. The park needs to monitor the tree carefully and remove or trim as appropriate.

Nominating Committee:
The Nominating Committee met once and has explored candidacy with several interested parties for all of the available offices.  They are confident they can present an acceptable slate at the October meeting.  The committee will meet once more in the next week to 10 days to finalize the slate.

Riverside Project:
The US Army Corp of Engineers met with Bob Foster, Peter, John F., Deb Mell, and Dana Fritz for a walk-through.

One problem noted is a seepage problem along the river front. This will be solved with basketball sizes rocks to help with erosion.

They walked down the flagstone steps, which are still steep. Since these are the steps in the plan, Peter said to leave them. He also rejected the idea of a handrail as inconsistent with the natural surroundings.

Previously, Peter sent a letter requesting that the lower trail be widened from 2 feet to 3 feet. Three feet will allow two-way traffic more comfortably. The USACE agreed to this change and the path was widened. The path will also traverse the slope more gradually and in fewer places.

Bob Foster said that the grove of trees must remain untouched because that is the agreement with the neighbors.

John F. said the heavy grading is complete except for the truck roadway which will be done this month. The 3 foot path from Irving Park to Section B is complete. Vernal pools are complete and filled with water. There are extra flagstones, which are being offered to Tom. Herbicide treatments will begin in 7-14 days. They will give a week’s notice to neighbors. Erica suggested we use the mail chimp to notify neighbors. The large green fence needs to be there for 2-4 years. Earlier this year, a temporary mix was planted in the area near Montrose to stabilize the shoreline. In 6 weeks or so, these plants will need to be burned off; permits for the burning have not yet been obtained.

There was lively discussion about the development which resulted in several questions:

  1. What is the schedule for the Irving Park road section.
  2. Can we provide information or viewing ports? E.g., what is a vernal pool, why did the buckthorn have to be removed?
  3. Can the fabric be removed? If not, can there be a placard explaining why?

New Business:
Erica suggest that we provide information in neighborhood newsletters to better market what is happening at HPAC.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55pm. The next meeting is Oct. 6 at 8pm.
Respectfully submitted: Lisa Cleveland

Peter Schlossman – President
Kevin Anderson – Treasurer
Lisa Cleveland – Co-Secretary
Erica Beutler – Chair, DFA
John Friedmann – Emerald Ash Borer
Gretchen Helmreich – Chair, Farmer’s Market
Larry Hodak – Neighbor
Carol Maher – Neighbor
Lynn Sheck – DFA
Dilek Yunlu – Neighbor

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