CFS Meeting Notes – February ’16

Introductions

Solar Happenings

  • Differences between solar gardens/home installations
    • First round of solar community garden projects are marketing for subscribers
    • Subscribing to a solar community garden is different from direct ownership of panels (either on your own property or other)
    • Owning panels allows you to start generating for free after the initial investment pays off.
    • There are options to help residents and companies with the initial investment
  • Faith has signed with the Department of Commerce to be able to sell 40 solar shares to the community by placing panels on their property
    • Using the Made in Minnesota credits
    • IPS, Sundial, or others participate in Made in Minnesota program
    • Made in Minnesota program’s deadline is Feb 28th [tweet this]
  • Is there a way to tell if your property/roof is appropriate for solar panels? Not everyone can put panels on their roof.
    • Perhaps send out U of M solar map
    • Or if the San Francisco neighborhood map is available here
  • Anthony Village city code now allows for solar panels
  • Interfaith Power and Light has worked with communities of faith to set up solar gardens
  • What background information is there for homeowners who are being marketed to put panels on their house?
    • Paul will put together some information
  • Subsidies are basically required for smaller installs
  • Solar Power Hours at Roseville library for roof installations
  • What can/should CFS do to bring this out to SAV citizens?
    • Perhaps tour a home solar installation
    • What determines viability
    • What financing is possible
    • CFS should be part of keeping citizens engaged with local gov’t and up
      • Perhaps a series of sponsored educational events with the city
        • Options for Hennepin, options for Ramsey
      • We have the interest, perhaps with the other churches
      • We could bring up Midwest Solar Expo (May 17-19)
    • Recommend contact Jim Busacker(sp?) can speak to home installations in SAV
    • Next steps
      • work with neighboring churches to show what Faith is doing
      • bring in someone to do an assessment for Wilshire Park with school board (In Forest Lake, they didn’t need subsidies to get to a 7 year return – 2 MW)
    • SAV City Council did not want to pursue putting solar on city hall
    • How do we go from activity to action?
      • Educate the city to bring them to do solar projects using Met Council plan
      • Citizens will come to a city council meeting we tell them
      • Next meeting we’ll have the events schedule for planning commission
      • How do we prioritize discussions within CFS
        • Maybe we need a solar sub group to keep from taking over time
          • Lona will connect us up
        • Vote on interest
          • Home installation
          • Large scale Solar Gardens
          • Get community to put them on the roof on public projects

 

Bike/walk planning update

  • The city wants bike/walk input from citizens, not to create a bike/walk plan
  • How could we approach the city to do a bike/walk plan when they don’t think there’s a benefit to doing it?
    • Educating city council outside of the comprehensive planning process
    • Most other cities have used a single external review company (CDG), but SAV isn’t interested in paying an outside party to help them
    • The bike/walk plan should go through the Parks Commission
  • Mary feels the city needs several plans in place, but how do we go through the Parks Commission to bring up all the federal requirements upon cities
    • LEP – Limited English Proficiency
    • ADA Transition Plan – improve city infrastructure for accessibility
    • Bike/walk plan – transportation plan
  • It sounds like the city wants to roll bike/ped into the transportation section of the comprehension plan instead of crafting a separate plan.
    • Becky wishes there to be more bike/walk detail in the comprehensive plan than in the current one.
    • Mark brought up that St. Anthony is a major connecting point for multiple cities and two counties
    • Ramsey and Hennepin will be presenting bike/walk at the March 7 meeting [[outreach to help get people to attend]]
    • Transit for Walkable Communities
    • SAV high school has a mountain bike team partnered with Spring Lake Park
    • The city’s perspective is very car-oriented when hearing bike/walk transportation needs.
    • Federal funding is at risk if the city council doesn’t develop these plans
    • CFS needs to improve its relationships with city council members
    • How do we get funding? We need a plan. How do we encourage the city to develop a separate bike/walk plan?
    • How much would going with WSB/CDG cost?
      • Oftentimes these are funded by CDC?
      • Met Council will often approach cities
    • There will be a sidewalk on 37th and 8 intersections will be updated
      • Why wait until a death to fix it?

 

City updates

  • How do we communicate with the city?
    • NextDoor
    • Village People FB group
    • Printed signage/fliers (translated to Spanish and Somali) for churches, community boards (Caribou, etc.)
    • CFS website/FB/Twitter
    • City website
    • Northeaster newspaper article/press release/opinion letter
    • Village Notes quarterly
    • Channel 16
    • Kids in the schools brainstorm these issues
    • Poster competition through the newspaper
    • SAV water/utility bill messaging quarterly
    • City bulletin board on Silver Lake Rd
    • Encourage Inland to allow a community message board
    • Listserv where emails from city where interested citizens can print or communicate out information
    • Senior housing contacts
    • church bulletins
    • Wilshire Park volunteer room
  • St Anthony residents can still buy a few rain barrels
  • Beyond the Barrel would welcome a cfs table
  • SAV will get $5000 for public pollinator gardens
    • Hennepin county has many signs for these gardens
  • Pollinators Plants and You 3/5 10-noon
    • CFS will need a seed packet assembly session before this
  • SAV Spring Cleanup Day 5/7 9-noon – Public Works Facility, 3801 Chandler Drive
    • Shredding
    • Light bulbs
    • Electronic
    • Furniture

 

Other notes

  • Kiwanis route signs in SAV. Do we have that history?
  • March 7th – Parks commission starts at 7, then there’s a time for community input afterward
    • Bring maps (safe routes to school, bike/walk map)

About Dan Kunitz

Dan Kunitz is a Minnesota native, who loves learning about sustainable practices, working with his wife on their home, and enjoying their two dogs and three cats. He is a project manager/business analyst at the University of Minnesota and a volunteer designer with MinneWebCon, Citizens for Sustainability, and Shoulder to Shoulder.

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