February 2004 Board Meeting

Gifford Park Association Board Meeting
February 5, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Fran Cella, Bill Briska, Paul Bednar, Jean Bednar, Pat Segel, Julie Schmitt, Dan Miller, Pat Miller, Dave Berkey, Karen Bach, Betty A. Sanders-Webber

Board Meeting Locations 

The Bednar’s have graciously allowed us use of their dining room for board meetings for the past few years. At this time, larger public space is being explored for the meeting. So far, places explored include the City Centre, The Elgin Historical museum and The Gail Borden Library all of which are prohibitively expense. Downtown Neighborhood Association was recently approached may let us use their meeting space pending approval from their Board.


501C3 Application

Pat Segel has completed the 501(3c) tax status application and submitted it. Thanks to Pat S. for her hard work and to Bill B. for his input on this important project!



Bill gave an update on the 2004 budget meeting. With the purchase of 132 N. Channing, GPA will need to operate on a very tight budget for at least the next year. The budget supports necessary operating expenses only. No money has been allocated for charitable donations, gazettes, etc. Any unbudgeted activities will need to come from sponsorships/private donations. If GPA fails to receive the deconversion and/or exterior rehab grants from the city, then GPA may be in serious financial trouble. Given the tight budget, it is especially important that we have a successful House Tour this year.


Dan M. motioned to approve the budget and Pat S. seconded it. All present approved.


[Please see attachment-GPA Budget.]


House Inspection at 132 N. Channing

Prior to qualifying for a deconversion grant, GPA must obtain a rental license from the city. Pat M. completed this application and co-ordinated the follow up visit by the City Inspector last week. An exhaustive list of repairs were cited – all of which GPA intends to address in the course of the restoration. (A written report has since been received. Pat M. is co-ordinating a meeting with city staff to discuss the findings & what must be completed immediately.)


The property at 132 N. Channing has a target completion date of December 30, 2004. There is a scheduled meeting of the Dream Team Committee on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.


Pocket Park

Paul B. will be in charge of creating a Pocket Park on the vacant lot at Chicago & Geneva St. GPA is in receipt of a $15,000 2003 neighborhood grant for this project. A plan has been created for the improvements and Paul B. and Pat M. will schedule a meeting in the near future to decide on how to move forward on the project.


Neighborhood Planning Process
GPA was one of two neighborhoods who was received a grant from the city for $15,000 to create a neighborhood plan. As with all city grants, this is a 50/50 matching grant. GPA will need to match the grant money they receive, most likely with volunteer labor hours.  
Fran distributed copies of the grant agreement listing the obligations of both GPA and the city. The city’s time frame for the project was also distributed. Included in GPA’s responsibilities are the following:
§  Conducting outreach to residents and/or businesses in the specified planning area.
  • Return of all surveys conducted      to City Staff.
  • Organization and attendance of      public meetings.
  • Assistance in the writing and      research of final plan document.
  • Submission of quarterly progress      reports to City Staff.
  • Presentation of completed plan      to City Staff and City Council.
  • Maintaining an active role in      the implementation of the plan.
There was much discussion about strategies for maximizing input from all areas of the neighborhood.   Dan M. thought it would be valuable to hire a professional planner for coordination of planning activities and to put together the final plan. Pat S. believes that we need to be sure what issues are there and then decide if we need to hire someone. Dave B. reminded everyone that we need to be aware that GPA already has two major projects going on this year with volunteer labor.   Paul B. does who works with cities on neighborhood planning, outlined his recommendations:
  1. 1.meet with planning process group
  2. 2.advertise to the process to the neighborhood ( determine how)
  3. 3.meet with people
  4. 4.go to the City and begin data collection
  5. 5.gather data and meet with volunteers
  6. 6.prioritize what people are looking for-goals and objectives
  7. 7.implementation plan and report
  8. 8.identify the problem areas on a map


The first Neighborhood Planning Committee meeting will be Tuesday, February 11th at 7 p.m. @ Holy Trinity Church.




Dan M. would like to state that the State Street salvage in 2002 was entered twice in the budget which would make the past treasurer reports off by $2,861.33. Dan regrets the error.


Member-At-Large Replacement


Due to consistent schedule conflicts, Fran Klemmer has asked to be replaced in her role as Member-At-Large position. If you are interested, or know someone that is, please contact Fran Cella.



Liz Marston, Director of the Elgin Area Historical Society Museum is currently working on a display of GPA’s Great Unveiling events.


In an effort to cut costs, Jean B. brought up the idea of e-mailing the minutes to GPA members, rather than mailing them. This will cut down on postage costs and paper. If you would like to have your minutes e-mailed, please e-mail Betty S. at [email protected]


Submitted by Betty A. Sanders-Webber, GPA Board Secretary