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  • Writer's pictureSharon Carlson

SARA Meeting Minutes - January 11, 2022

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Held at 530 Douglas Avenue

Present: Gary Wark, presiding; Marty Anderson, Sharon Carlson, Drew Duncan, Fred Edison, Staci Gibson

Guests: Nolan Bergstom, City of Kalamazoo

Absent: Megan Campanile, Frank Rocco, Cynthia Whittingham (excused)

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 6:06.

Agenda: A motion was made to approve the agenda as amended to include the topic of Zoom meetings. (Carlson/Anderson)

Minutes: The November meeting minutes were approved as presented. (Edison/Anderson)


Treasurer’s Report

Whittingham provided a report and Wark presented it. The winter taxes of $341.93 were paid. The plumber cashed the check and there is $1,929.60 in the checking account. The money market fund has $18,536.60. An anonymous donation of $200 was given to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation toward the endowment. The budget plan for Consumers Energy was decreased to $132 from $174, reflecting the savings by lowering the thermostat.

Property Manager’s Report

Duncan and Wark have been handling most of the snow removal.

Woodward School Updates

The school has to suspend any after-hours activities due to COVID. Duncan and Whittingham both donated some winter clothing to the school.

Old Business

530 Douglas Property Study – Edison and Carlson presented the report. There was discussion about how the position evolved. If we were to use the space as a neighborhood center, we would need to reengage with the City. If we were to move in this direction, there would be some steps that we would need to take. The first step would be the neighborhood plan. The City currently has the posting for the neighborhood activator. It will be some time before the position is filled. Bergstrom said that the first step would be notifying the City of our wish to reengage and then to complete the neighborhood plan. The next meeting will have a report on the unit as a rental, with a bid by Wark and Duncan. Both proposals will be discussed at a future meeting.

Newsletter/Website/Social Media – Gibson reported that we have paid for the domain and it is now going live again. Gibson will let Whittingham know about the invoice. It is $12.95 a year. Carlson will get a newsletter out in the next week. There will be two more features on Stuart street names.

Imagine Kalamazoo/Neighborhood Plan/Contract with City – Bergstrom didn’t have any more information other than the neighborhood activator position status. Gibson received a call from the Kalamazoo College Master Planning Committee. They would like to know if Stuart wants to send a representative. Wark will attend the meeting. Bergstrom noted that West Main Hill Neighborhood Association is meeting next Wednesday. Wark is willing to attend this meeting, too. Connie Carol is the contact. Bergstrom can send meeting information.

Stuart House Update – The people working on the cars have returned and the noise levels have increased. The auto repair business is not licensed Carlson walked around the property on January 1 and the property has deteriorated more since last summer. The basement windows have deteriorated since last year. There are broken windows in the solarium. . Luis Pena is the new Historic Preservation Coordinator. He graduated from E.M.U.’s historic preservation program. Residents will reach out and see if he has new ideas on this situation.

New Business

Zoom Meetings – There was discussion about reinstituting Zoom meetings. Bergstrom noted that the City Commission has resumed in-person meetings with streaming. A motion was made and approved to go to Zoom meetings beginning in February until we determine otherwise. (Carlson/Edison)

Volunteer Log – Edison volunteered to compile a log of volunteer hours. An example of a spreadsheet was sent to the board. Carlson will create a Google Doc that will allow anybody to add their hours on a monthly basis.

823 Lucas Court Project - Gibson received information from the property manager who has an affiliation with KPEP They have purchased 823 Lucas Court with the goal of renovating the property. They will hire and work with KPEP participants. They may rent the house out, but the longer term goal is a property renovation and sale. The KPEP participants will gain work experience. Gibson requested a press release because the property manager is interested in community buy-in and engagement. Gibson has received one inquiry about the project. It was suggested that she refer inquires to the property manager. As we get additional information, it may be included in a future newsletter.

Stuart Archives Project – Carlson gave a brief report on progress made by her and Edison.

The meeting concluded at 7:08 (Gibson/Anderson).

The next meeting is February 8, 2022.

The minutes were taken by Carlson.

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Held at 530 Douglas Avenue Present: Gary Wark, presiding; Marty Anderson, Sharon Carlson, Drew Duncan, Fred Edison, Staci Gibson, Cynthia Whittingham Guests: Nolan Bergstom, City of Kalamazoo Absent

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