February 2002 Membership Meeting

GPA General Membership Meeting
February 21, 2002

In attendence:  Larry Wegman, Bill Briska, Pat Segel, Dave Segel, John Doster, Paul Durrenberger, Jeff Wiltberger, Kevin Sosnowski, Joe and Laura Becerra, Dan and Pat Miller, Deborah Allan, Jean Bednar, Glenna Preradovic, Mike Kramer, Todd Proulx, Jennifer Shroder

The meeting was called to order at 7:12pm by President Dan Miller.

Treasurers Report

Fran Cella reported the current balances as follows:  Checking $29,250.59; CDs $61,958.04; Wayne Landers Acct $12,577.61

Rope Officer’s Report

Officer Kevin Sosnowski reported the new smoking ordinance is currently in effect.  The “smoking corner” at Gifford High school has been disbanded.  Several tickets were handed out to juvenile offenders.  Those ticketed have the option of going to a smoking cessation program in lieu of paying a fine.

At the end of December and beginning of January there was a string of armed robberies in the city.  Weapons were not discharged, and only a small amount of money was taken.  There was one incident in the historic district and one just outside the district.  No one has been taken into custody, however there have not been any robberies recently.

Jeff Wiltberger was introduced as the new beat officer for the 301 area, which includes the historic district.  His hours are 3pm to 11pm.

Housewalk

Pat Miller reported she put out an urgent request for committee members, and most positions were filled.  She is still looking for Potluck and After Celebration committee chairs and a phone caller for the staffing committee.  She is also looking for house captains and is compiling a list.  In conclusion, Pat feels that we should be able to have a successful housewalk this year (Sept 7 and 8).  Pre-housewalk potluck will be Friday August 16, 2002.  Instead of having a meeting in August, the Potluck will be used to introduce the homeowners and talk about the sites.  There was an inconclusive discussion about ticket prices at the first committee meeting.  Dan Miller sent out an email straw poll to gather opinions about ticket prices.

Home Marketing

It was reported that the advertisement and Open house for 415 Dupage Street (1905 Foursquare) was successful.

Membership

Current membership is at 125 households.  The April meeting will be the annual membership meeting, Friday, April 19 at the Lords Park pavilion, 6-9 pm.  Some ideas for a program were briefly discussed.

Refreshments

It was reported that there still is a need for a volunteer to serve as Refreshments Chair.

501(c)3

Dave Segel reported he has set up a couple meetings, and will have a full report at the next meeting.

Great Unveiling

Dan Miller reported that the Great Unveiling will occur Saturday after Mothers Day, May 18.  Tentatively, the foursquare just north of the YMCA (Julie Schmitt, 137 North Channing) will participate.  Another home at Division and Hill is interested.  Dan will approach the Heritage Commission to see if they would be willing to fund the $5000 reward money as they did last year.

Porch Fest

Some discussion occurred as to whether or not Porch Fest should be continued.  There were several suggestions for alternative neighborhood social activities, such as a block party, or a “Party in the Park”.  Would like to have a committee person in charge of events.

GrandView

Dan Miller reported the Grandview property (181 S. Gifford) is 3.14 acres in the center of the block bounded by Prairie, Gifford, Channing, and Villa.  It is the former site of a huge mansion.  The area has a parking problem, and GPA has been working with the city to try to buy the property and perhaps use it to solve the parking issues and provide a green space for all to enjoy.  The proposal to purchase the property is going to the city council in March.

Fox Trot

GPA received a request to volunteer for the Fox Trot, manning a water station.  A motion was made and seconded for GPA to man the Sheridan water station.  The motion passed.

Stop Signals

A letter (included in packet) regarding the timing of some stop signals in the neighborhood was sent to Sean Stegall .

Neighborhood Improvement Grant

Dan Miller reported he submitted an application for wayfinding signage on behalf of GPA.  The city has decided to send out a request for a proposal for a firm to coordinate a wayfinding system.  Dan has written the application so that GPA’s proposal could piggyback onto the current program in progress.  Several of the neighborhood groups are also trying to do the same.  GPA is asking for $15,000 for the wayfinding signage.

Historic District Brochure

It was reported that 3000 additional brochures were printed and some are being distributed in Springfield during Elgin Day.

Elgin Community Network

There has not been another meeting since before Christmas.  It was reported that Pat Miller is a substitute representative.  GPA still needs to find a person to represent GPA at the ECN meetings.  There is currently a task force/startup committee which is setting up meetings.  Mark Billings is part of the ECN, but is not currently representing GPA.

Gazette

The Gazette is in the works and will be done next week, pending any translation problems.  Jean Bednar is waiting on a report from Springfield.  It was suggested that it would be good to advertise the great unveiling if the Gazette will be mailed before May 18.  It was also suggested to put the Potluck and other events on the calendar.

New Business

Pat Miller reported there is a website for the Elgin Township assessor, http://www.elgintownship.com.  The website has the capability to look up property owners’ names by address.  They have entered all the rental licensing information in the database.  Pat has observed that there may be some discrepancies in how multi family dwellings compare with single family homes with respect to property taxes.  She also suggested to check the date your house was built and make sure it is correct.  Older homes are charged less taxes.

The meeting adjouned at 8:35pm.