SARA Meeting Minutes - March 8, 2022
Updated: Apr 12
Held at 530 Douglas Avenue
Present: Gary Wark, presiding; Marty Anderson, Sharon Carlson, Drew Duncan, Fred Edison, Cynthia Whittingham. City of Kalamazoo, Nolan Bergstrom.
Guests: David Engerer
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 6:04 by Wark.
Agenda: A motion was made to approve the agenda. (Whittingham/Anderson)
Minutes: The February meeting minutes were approved as presented (Whittingham/Edison)
Whittingham provided an overview of expenses and provided a handout of the expenses for the last year. We are running a slight deficit. We are able to make this up from the money market account. We have repairs that we need to do, including a roof and front steps. Dan Callahan will do our taxes in May. Wark asked about an audit. Dan Callahan could do a soft audit and it would not cost much money. The consensus was to do a soft audit. He will do it after tax season. We were getting letters from the Michigan Department of Licensing about maintaining our nonprofit status. We received our certificate from the Michigan Department of Licensing. It will be filed in the office. It is straightened out. We also received a notice of assessment. It has increased slightly. Wark talked to Callahan about the lots and Callahan suggested that selling the land contract at a discounted rate is one way to get a lump sum of cash. It involves the empty house and a lot. As of today, we have $2,272.55 in our checking.
Property Manager’s Report
Edison reported that he cleared off the ice on the back porch. He was unable to open the door. Several people are taking care of the snow removal. Engerer said he has had success with heat tape. There is heat tape above the door but the gutter filled up. Wark also received a text from the tenant about a brick that came loose on the front porch.
Woodward School Updates
Whittingham reported that she and Wark attended a Kalamazoo Board of Education meeting to discuss the Woodward School clock repair. Whittingham followed up with an email to the board. Today, she talked to Mr. Rocco and learned there had been an article recently. He heard about it after the meeting, and he was happy that we were interested in helping. He will talk to the facilities manager for the school who said that it would cost over $200,000 to repair the clock. They are going to do the roof. They did a lot of work on the school about nine years ago, and there has been no more discussion about closing the school. He will do some legwork to see what is needed to do to pursue the clock project. This is in the very early stages. Lincoln School will be renovated. There will be a bond renewal in May. We talked about some other things that we could do for the school. The school is also interested in community volunteers.
530 Douglas Property Study – We need to work on budget scenarios for the three possibilities, including the expenses needed to make it a residential rental unit. We should also come up with the pros and cons for each of the scenario. The information gathering from the funded neighborhoods has some interesting insights.
Newsletter/Website/Social Media – A newsletter went out. Another one will go out in April.
Imagine Kalamazoo/Neighborhood Plan/Contract with City – A new neighborhood planner has been hired and will start at the end of the month. Christina from Planning reached out to Wark to answer any questions about financial issues. They are going to meet on the 16th. Whittingham suggested that people look at the Imagine Kalamazoo website for examples of other plans. Engerer expressed an interest in being part of the process. Bergstrom said that the planning process would involve subcommittees and these people could meet with City engineers. They could identify strategies to reduce speeds. The City has ownership of some of the major streets (Westnedge, Park) and is looking at converting them to two-way. We have a lot of the groundwork completed.
Stuart House Update – There are windows open in the carriage house.
Volunteer Hours Log – We will keep doing it to have a general idea of how many hours are contributed.
Lucas Court – There is no new information.
March Office Clean-up – We plan to take materials out of the basement for the March large trash pick-up. Our bulk pick-up is Monday, March 28. Wark will talk to the tenant about some of the materials in the basement. Whittingham said she will work with people on Sunday, March 27 at 2:00 to take out materials.
Preservation Awards Nominations - Edison reported that Preservation Month is commemorated in May. He suggested that we nominate the Mary Crane house at 821 W. Kalamazoo Avenue. A motion was made and unanimously approved to submit a nomination on behalf of the Stuart Area Restoration Association. (Carlson/Wark)
The meeting concluded at 7:27 (Whittingham/Anderson)
The next meeting is April 12, 2022.
The minutes were taken by Carlson.