April 2003 Membership Meeting

Gifford Park Association
General Membership Meeting
April 17, 2003

Present: Joe Becerra,  Laura Becerra, Dave Segel, Bill Briska,  Pat Miller, Dan Miller, Deborah Allen,  Ralph Meyer,  Paul Durrenberger, Joe Kjellander, Greg Hagen, Kevin Sosnowski,   Fran Cella

Minutes from March General Membership Meeting

Laura Becerra moved that the minutes from the previous meeting be accepted.  Dan Miller seconded. The minutes were accepted as written.

Annual Membership Pot Luck Dinner

This year’s pot luck will be on Friday May 2 at Lord’s Park Pavilion.  The event will start at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30. Bring a dish to pass.   This is always a pleasant social event.  Please encourage friends and neighbors to attend.

Paul Durrenberger volunteered to co-ordinate refreshments.  Laura Becerra offered to handle membership applications and renewals.

Great Unveiling

The Great Unveiling is scheduled for Saturday May 10.  Because of budget cutbacks, the Heritage Commission will only be able to provide $3,000 toward this event this year.   ABODE and NENA  would like to do 2 houses in the NENA neighborhood.  The Elgin Historic District has 2 or 3 possible houses to be unveiled.

There was brief discussion about the number of houses that should be unveiled, given the limited city funding.  Dan pointed out that GPA spends approximately $1,000 in liability insurance to allow us to do the Great Unveiling and the salvages.

The Board will review & evaluate the proposed houses at its’ next meeting and decide on the number to be funded based on the significance of the homes.  If the number of homes to be unveiled exceeds 3, GPA will sponsor the remaining unveilings.

Pocket Park Proposal

A Neighborhood Improvement Grant was submitted to develop a pocket park on the vacant lot at the corner of Chicago and Geneva Streets.  The specific plan will be reviewed at a later meeting when Paul Bednar is present.

Comprehensive Plan

Dave Segel provided an overview of the Comprehensive Planning process and its’ significance to the neighborhood.   When completed, the plan will determine how neighborhood concerns are integrated with the larger citywide vision.  The planning process is very important and will directly influence many of the issues that GPA has been trying to impact for several years.  Included in these are traffic flow, parking, overcrowding,  land use and open space.

Some confusion was expressed about neighborhood boundaries as they appear in the plan.  The Elgin Historic District is part of Neighborhood G.

It is very important that everyone take an active interest in what is happening in this arena.  Stay informed and make input.

Update on Grandview Property

The proposed subdivision plan was approved by the Planning & Development Commission and is scheduled for review by the City Council on 4/23.*

Proposed Day Care Center

GPA has been asked to write a letter of support for the proposed day care center at Raymond and National Street.   The main delay for proceeding with the project appears to be inadequate parking.  Those present did not feel that absence of parking could be overlooked and that this would need to be addressed.  Therefore, no action will be taken by GPA.

Unity Day

The Original Eastside Neighbors and the Elgin Police Department will be co-sponsoring “Unity Day”.  The tentative date is July 19.  Events will include a block party celebration and activities for neighborhood children.  Because city funds have been reduced, Kevin asked if GPA would be interested in contributing to this event.  There was consensus that GPA should support this event.  As the activity is still in the planning stages, Kevin will get back to the Board when more information about funding needs is available.

Neighborhood update

Officer Kevin Sosnowski provided an update on recent police related activity in the neighborhood.  There has been an increase in car burglaries – often during daylight hours.

Police are targeting loud car stereos.

Abode Work Day

Deborah Allen reported that ABODE is hosting a workday at 218 S State St. on 4/26.  Help would be appreciated

Door Hangers

Dan Miller informed the group that the Heritage Commission has created door hangers to remind neighbors that a C.O.A. is needed for work projects.  Help is needed to distribute these. Also to be distributed are Preservation Week Brochures and GPA events information.

Treasurer’s Report

Dan Miller reported the following:

3 Certificates of Deposit    @   $21,183.54 each
Checking Acct               42,584.56
Wayne Landers Acct      12,640.39
Total                             $118,775.57

Committee Reports

No reports

Next meeting May 15

We will have 2 guests at our next meeting.

Rich Jakobs, the Executive Director of NHS will be attending.

Michael Noland will be attending to discuss the possibility of re-introducing a tree ordinance for Elgin


Motion to adjourn made by Dan Miller.  Seconded by Joe Kjellander.  Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

*           The city council review was delayed for 3 weeks.

Summarized by: Fran Cella