EPNA February 4, 2021 meeting minutes

Meeting called to order at 6:31 PM via Zoom. 

Welcome and introductions.

  • 17 People in attendance.

Approval of January meeting minutes

  • Motion made, seconded, and passed to approve the meeting minutes for January.

Joke From Jim

  • What did the French groundhog see upon coming out of his hole? 
    • His chateau. 

Financial Update

  • Doing great $18k in checking. Looking for feedback on what should be included in update.
  • Received grant from city for $3k for gateway, haven’t received a bill yet.
  • Maggie asked how many members we have, Alex says he can add that to monthly update.
  • Zach J asked to get breakdown of how people are renewing membership.
  • Maggie asked for update on regular expenditures.
  • Festival last year lost about $200.

Eken Park Playground


  • Maggie: 
    • City had 2 public meetings regarding replacement of all playground equipment. 
    • Rubber will be replaced with wood chips. 
    • New swings. 
    • Keeping shelter and sandbox. 
    • Limited budget replaces all equipment. Natural play area requires fundraising. As of this morning 11 donations. About $2,800 donated. 
    • Kaitlyn’s donation plus match will raise that to about $4,800. 
    • Deadline for fundraising is April 15.
    • More information https://ekenparknaturalplay.fun

Old Equipment

  • EPNA is allowed by city to take ownership. 
  • Tip Top does not want it. 
  • Maggie asked owner of research facility at North and Commercial about storing equipment there (also mural).
  • Tom says we cannot accommodate caterpillar and hamburger (old playground equipment items) in EPNA’s storage unit.
  • Maggie says city needs to know about old equipment by fundraising deadline (April 15).
  • Anne suggests Dr. Evermore’s or Bodgery.
  • Alex volunteers to store in his backyard and scrap if we can’t think of something to do with it, scrap funds to go to EPNA.
  • Syed will check with Oscar Meyer owner for possible storage.

Friends of Starkweather Creek (Jeff Steele)

  • Project on corner of Commercial and McCormick called Legacy park.
  • EPNA has donated to this in the past.
  • Crescent of native plantings around existing Silver Maple tree
  • Signs describing natural features.
  • Community meeting space.
    • Seating: picnic table
    • Madison Parks Foundation will provide picnic table for $500
    • Jeff asks EPNA to donate $150 to this purpose.
  • Jim Wold makes a motion for EPNA to donate $200 to the Legacy Park Picnic Table Fund.
    • Alex seconds the motion.
    • Discussion: No comments
    • Unanimous in favor, motion passed.
  • City will probably not allow a custom-built bench.
  • Link to donate to native planting: https://ripple-effects.com/Order/Donate
  • City Engineering funding all signage.
  • This will not be a Madison Parks park, it will be an “Engineering Park”.

Eken Park Fest Update

  • Catilyn says we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to have in person festival in August.
  • Careful that we are able to cancel permits without penalty.
  • Jim says vaccines look promising. He will be getting vaccinated in the next couple months. He thinks most public health restrictions will be eased by time of the festival.
  • Tom says we don’t know anything for certain and will only hold festival if everything is open.
  • Summerfest has changed its date to Sept. We need to think about setting our date to coordinate with other city festivals.

Alder Updates

  • County Board election upcoming: 3 candidates.
  • Oscar Meyer
  • Porchlight
    • Moving smoothly.
    • Permanent shelter location city interested in purchasing on East Side. Dick’s Sporting Goods.
    • Common council meets about this end of March.
    • MPD should know about shelter.
  • Washington Plaza Redevelopment
    • 350 Unit residential/mixed use.
    • Developer expressed commitment to energy efficiency
    • Market rate. Syed requested affordability.
  • Tiny Homes
    • Moving forward with zoning change.
  • Questions:
    • Tom: Will city take on too much liability with Sabre building?
      • City is aware of expense of renovating. Syed is concerned funds for Public Market may be redirected if project waits too long.
    • Jim: What structures will be replaced with Washington Plaza?
      • Strip mall and car dealership. First floor will be commercial.

Open Comments:

  • Tessa Echeverria, running for Alder of District 12
    • Lived in Eken Park with partner since 2018.
    • Loves neighborhood.
    • Reach out to them: tessaecheverria@gmail.com
    • https://tessa4district12.com/
    • Alex asks “What most excites you about being Alder?”
      • Work on sustainable development
      • Potentially producing power municipally
      • Involved in PFAS and F35 resistance
  • Anne Morrison (Developer for Ella’s Deli project)
    • Loan closed recently.
    • There may be a monthly bulletin at construction site with updates
    • Narik looking into attorney to help with EPNA non profit status
    • Still planning to open Ella’s development Spring 2022.
    • Questions:
      • Syed asks what kind of business tenants
        • Anne: Conversions with non profit groups, can’t comment specifically. West African grocery probably no. Welcomes ideas for tenants.
      • Syed asks about mural
        • Anne: Swink consulting regarding building branding. Anne might ask muralist to attend an EPNA meeting. Still has to go back to Urban design for approval of mural. Might have more information next month.
  • Kelly Campbell:
    • “I’d like to encourage people to make comments about the elimination of routes #10 and #27.  I’d hate to have to start driving because there is not a bus to take within walking distance.”
  • Zach
    • Asked Syed for City/Co PFAS
      • Syed: Challenges regarding transparency. 
      • Advocating for DNR to investigate.
      • Building local coalition to build pressure. 
      • County spent $8 million on technology to mitigate PFAS that has failed. 
      • City will not commit to timeline for cleanup.
  • Jim
    • Why are there always gingerbread men and no gingerbread women?
      • The pastryarchy
  • Maggie
    • Inquired about status of Cooper’s (EPNA Co-chair) meeting attendance.

Motion to adjourn was made by Tom, seconded, and approved.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.

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