Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Lyell-Otis Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes of March 12, 2007

Meeting Began at 7:07pm

Welcome - to our first meeting after the winter break

A moment of silence was observed for two of our members who passed away recently: Mary Morinelli and Dusty Q. Dusty

Water Works new command center re-opening

- "green" building to save energy; even H2O saving restrooms!

- possibly awarded by the state for the building

- wanted to buy LTD’s old warehouse on Sherman St, but the owner tripled the price and tried to fleece/price gouge the city

Housing Committee - meetings continuing monthly with the NET office

Frank Cornier - NCS’s new director Community Development Corporation

- helps with grants for the neighborhood

- program covers the area from Cameron St, up to Otis St, to Glide St, and down to Lyell Ave.

- owner occupied houses; focusing on homes with children living there because the city doesn’t test for lead in non-rentals; also helps grandparents who watch their grandchildren as well

- identify and paint stabilize areas and retest

- no cost to owner for work - labor or supplies; the final paint color, usually a gallon or so, is not covered in this program

Q. How is this promoted?

A. Flyers are passed out door to door as well as word-of-mouth; applications are being taken now

- $9000 from United Way was donated for tools and primer, which can help about 20 homes.

- NCS will apply for more funding in August

Joe Esposito - Lyell Avenue Business Association (LABA) Lyell Avenue Music Fest 2007

- one day event, Sunday - August 25th, including a car show with "hot rods" and "low riders"

Q. Could this event be added onto other city event calendars to add publicity

A. Gladys Santiago yes!

Burglary/Robbery Reports - listing of January and February incidents

- many copper pipes were stolen from homes; police are working on this due to the high number if incidents to area homes

- in one instance, appliances were also stolen, and the robbers left the gas line open!

Bob Stevenson’s representative (as he is in DC)

- W.A.V.E. meeting (which is every other week) covers problem properties

Bob heard a commercial on the radio from a scrap business offering to buy copper, stainless steel, and other metals; most are decent businesses, though a few are not so good

- working on the legality of issuing an ordinance that would only apply to the city

City Council is working on addressing the issue, as there have been many copper pipes stolen all over the city

Comment - Painted copper is not usually stolen

A. These preventive measures are being discussed community wide by the council with the county on this issue

Two robberies listed are of a greater concern: in one incident, a victim was stabbed as he didn’t have any money, the other involved a gun

Comment - Interfaith Action pushed for foot patrols, but these patrols are pushing crime into our better areas

A. LONA did approve these patrols, but we now see that it is not working as desired. The patrols should take all four of them to cover the whole area and push out the problems, such as prostitutes and drug dealers.

LONA sees that the current situation is not better.

TOP 15 Properties

- lots of OLD problems; NET is aware of the issues

- the housing committee is working on all these code violations; volunteers are asked to join the committee!

- in one case, a new owner bought seven or eight properties, but he lives in NYC!

- some homes are missing gutters for years, but NET says that’s not a problem, don’t worry about it!

- if you have gutters that need repairs, get them repaired. But, if you don’t have gutters, you need gutters if the water drains off of your house onto your neighbor’s property.

- any other housing problems, please let LONA officers know about them, so we can report them

Q. Has LONA asked the city’s legal department what it takes, or what is the process, to take property away from a slum-lord? At some point, fines move from the NET to the city’s legal department. What needs to change in the law to make an impact?

A. We have problems because houses change hands so often, and the ticketing and legal processes are stopped, and then we have to start from the beginning again.

Comment - on Isabelle St.: unlicenced vehicles, or broken steps, yet the inspector says he can’t see a problem

Comment - on Glide St.: Chuck says "we’re waiting" to have the city take over the property; as good people (already good neighbors) need a house and wanted to move in. Note: There is still a sex offender living across the street

No NET Representatives Tonight :(

No Representative from the Police Department :(

JP Riley Park Playground - GOOD NEWS!

- we received $60K grant from Allstate

- $20-30K donating the needed man-power will come from the city’s parks’ department

- Edgerton Recreation will provide two groups to help

- Strong Memorial Hospital is doing the work for us, under the Injury Free Coalition For Kids

- Hoping that a proposal sent to Senator Maziar will help with more funding for $7K to help with kids’ safety

Why was this project deemed necessary?

- the area was studied and it was found to have a high number of low-income homes, many with single parents

- the area is densely populated as we have over 28K residents, with lots of young children

- play equipment was from 1980 and doesn’t meet current safety codes

- there was a high rate of child injuries in our zip code, over 2000 injured (in one year) went to Strong Hospital

- there are 61K kids in the city of Rochester; so 28% of population are children

- in the park’s area, 53% are African-American, 19% are Hispanic/Latino

- 37% of the local minority residents are under 18 years of age

- directly located around the park: 7836 people, 4800 are children

- putting over $100K to make improvements to the playground

- LONA wants to see a security camera placed there; Mayor Duffy promised that we will have a camera placement committee and LONA will be represented. Mike has called, but can’t get calls returned.

Q. Are there cameras on Santee St. already? A. Yes

Q. Where’s the building/lodge in the park? A. It burned almost two decades ago

- Volunteers are needed to help install the new play equipment and the gardens surrounding it

- There will be a cook-out afterward for all those who help with the work

Q. Will it be fenced? A. Yes, but not locked. Benches will be placed in such a way that parents can sit and supervise their children so they cannot run into the street without going by the parents

Q. Will it be well lit? A. Yes, but the park will close at either 10pm or at dusk

- The budget and equipment was a direct result of the many letters of support from: the mayor, Sector 3, Strong Memorial Hospital, and many individuals

- There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony two weeks after the improvements are completed with many of our local politicians

Lyell-Otis Area Security Cameras - no info yet, no committee formed yet.

- LONA will find out more, as we are the ones responsible for getting the funding here, thanks to our wonderful Assemblywoman, Susan John!

TV/Phone Hotline - re: prostitutes

- Deputy Police Chief Shepard was going to look into using the city’s cable Channel 12 to put pictures of prostitutes and "johns" on - as long as it is free information, but city must O.K. it

- hotline wanted so area residents could call in to report incidents and locations for police to investigate

Comment - previously, there had been a recording type of hotline available

Lyell Library - welcome to Shelly Matthews as the new Branch Director, and thanks for letting LONA use the community room for our meetings. Thanks also to Bob Stevenson for reviewing the city council’s budget and finding how much goes to the library.

City Council’s Vice President, Gladys Santiago

- she feels bad that the residents feel that the city doesn’t respond to our concerns

- she will continue to work on our issues, as well as fulfill her demands as a full-time student!

Monroe County Legislature’s Minority Leader, Carla Palumbo

- they worked on the budget one night in December until 1:30am!

- no proposed amendments were accepted by the republicans

- burial funding increase was rejected

- not much activity in January or February, as it is post-budget

- democratic caucus meeting re: Water Authority, amendments proposed to bring better oversight to legislature

- also, looking at reform of processes, aka - how things are currently done

- working on this for the next few months, as it is good to get info and ideas out

Q. Re: burial funding - Monroe County used to give up to $1850 to do a regular burial, now only $1200 for cremation only. Riverside Cemetery sometimes donates burial plots.

A. Carla is working with the funeral community. Comment - Suffolk County gives $2200 per burial

Q. Water Authority re: their retirement benefits. What about Sewer Authority - when do those taxes go away?

A - She’s asked for them to pull the pension records, but they can’t be found; also questioning their pay, health care, and retirement records. There are cuts for new people, but we want it cut for all retired authority officials

Q. Who will the democrats choose to oppose Maggie Brooks for the county executive election this year? A.?

Re: the Glide St. renovation from Lyell Ave. to Emerson St.

- 92 cars had been side-swiped, so the street will be narrowed to slow the flow of the traffic

- there are currently no signal lights, but they have been suggested

- a microwave light will monitor turns, as an average of 4500 cars travel Glide St each week

- there will be recessed parking created at the park; and alternate parking will continue on the rest of the street

- fixing poles and planting new trees at the curb

Q. Re: many fires in the area - LONA will ask Engine 5 to come to a meeting, as our area is one of the busiest

Comments made regarding police policies, as no officer went to a crime scene on Emerson St. after a break-in.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:32pm

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