Bill Wheeler, Secretary
The regular monthly meeting was called to order on March 20, 2012 at 7:02 p.m. in the Montford Community Center on Pearson Drive by President David Patterson. Other board members present: Susan Eggerton, vice-president; Bill Wheeler, secretary; and at-large members Joe Newman, Pam Jo Brown, Sharon Fahrer, Ron Phillips, Laura Lowe, and Michael McDonough. Also present: Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink; Chris Joyell, Asheville Design Center; Marc Hunt, City Council member; Judy Daniel, City Planner; Community Resource Officer Jeremy Woody; John Pierce, Joy Flora, Melissa Ackerman, and David Todd of UNCA; and several more neighbors and community members.
Safety and Security
CRO Jeremy Woody reported that the past month has been very quiet. The police have responded to several requests for assistance at the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry on Cumberland Avenue. An initiative is in the works by police and other city departments to approach and offer assistance to several people who are living in the woods next to Isaac Dickson School.
Joe Newman reported on behalf of Treasurer Wanda Newman. The budget is in sound shape with several large deposits totaling close to $7,000 reflecting contributions from Montford Music and Arts Festival sponsors and vendors.
Greenway Fundraising Challenge
Ron Phillips reported that over $3,000 has been raised from the public to go toward construction of the Reed Creek Greenway extension through the 525 Broadway property recently purchased by the UNCA Foundation. The MNA has set aside up to $6,000 in matching funds and hopes the public will meet that full amount. Several ideas were put forth at Ron’s request for ways to reach more people. Suggestions included contacting area businesses and local newspapers. John Pearce, UNCA Vice Chancellor of Finance and Treasurer of the UNCA Foundation, added that the university will promote the fundraiser as well. See Ron’s story on the front page for more details.
John Pearce reported that UNC Asheville has been working with city departments on wording for an easement to allow the city to start work on the greenway extension to follow the banks of Reed Creek as well as working on plans for soil erosion control and stabilization of the site.
City Planner Judy Daniel said that two groups in the city government have been working on designs and legal issues regarding the greenway. Ms. Daniel said that the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department will be spearheading the design work.
David Todd of the UNCA Facilities Department reported that they have been busy in the past few weeks clearing out invasive species from the land and reworking the fence line to allow public access from Cumberland Avenue to Zillicoa Street.
The university is inviting neighbors to join students, faculty, and staff for a community work day of planting and mulching on the site on Saturday, March 31, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Neighbors are asked to bring their own water, gloves, and tools, and the UNCA Foundation will supply planting materials, t-shirts, and food. See the photos on the front page for coverage of this event.
Melissa Ackerman, landscape architect with UNCA, spoke of the university’s plan to install new landscaping along the perimeter of the property closest to Cumberland Avenue to provide a buffer for the neighborhood. Included are native shrubs and 68 new trees, all of which will be installed during the March 31 planting and mulching day. UNCA will also clean the banks along Reed Creek.
Klondyke Playground Project
Chris Joyell of the Asheville Design Center presented ideas for the construction of a playground to be located at the Klondyke Apartments. Spearheaded by the ADC and aided by Klondyke residents Curtis James and Julia McDowell, who run the Just Folks Organization, a non-profit supporting Ashevillians in need, the design/build project would involve residents in contributing design ideas and employ some residents in a training/work program. It is hoped this model will work for similar projects throughout the city.
The ADC has asked for a grant from the MNA of $1,500 to help fund the playground, which is expected to be built this summer. Other financial contributors include Asheville Affiliates and Charlotte Street Computers. The MNA board will review the request at a meeting later this month.
Montford Avenue/Cullowhee Street/Soco Street Intersection
MNA board member Michael McDonough reported that the HRC reviewed the city’s application for work at the intersection at its meeting this month and that city representatives asked to appear again next month with more information on the design.
MNA board member Sharon Fahrer reported that the LaZoom Bus Tour company has set aside 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, for a special fundraiser night for the Montford Music and Arts Festival. The bus tour is reserved for neighbors who pay $25 for tickets with all proceeds going to the festival budget.
MNA President David Patterson stated that MNA board nominations for the 2012-13 year are due by the April 17 meeting.
David also announced that Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville has an open house scheduled on Tuesday, April 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Neighbors are invited for a tour of the center’s new facilities located in the Chamber of Commerce building on Montford Avenue.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m..