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Meeting Minutes – October 2014

Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – October 27, 2014


Board members present:  Toby Thaler, Norma Jones, Jim Engelhardt, Linda Clifton, Elfreide Noble, Shawn Mulanix, Matt Gasparich, Judie Clarridge.


Toby opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:


  • Kirby announced that Trick-or-Treating will be Friday, October 31st from 3 – 6 pm at businesses in Fremont.
  • The next Fireside Chat will be Saturday, November 15 at 3 pm at History House and will feature a presentation on Fremont history from 1850 to 1900.  Kirby also plans a Fireside Chat on January 24th with Fremont’s former honorary “Mayor” Armen Napoleon Stepanian.
  • Lighting of the Lenin statue, Fremont Festivus, and holiday activity will begin at 5 pm on December 5th.


Aurora Bridge Painting Project– Hung Huynh, Washington State DOT

Hung briefed on the first phase of a total project that will cost $40M.  Work for the first phase will begin in the summer of 2015 and be completed in the summer of 2017.  Because the work is weather dependent, the majority of the work will be done in the summer months.  The “above deck” work includes painting the original (outside) railing and replacing missing caps on the posts that support the railing.  It will not include painting the new fencing or new aluminum railing (nearer to the roadway), or the light standards which are due for replacement.  “Below deck”, it will include painting the steel stringers and floor beams, and making any needed repairs or replacements, on the underside of the bridge.  The work above deck will require lane closures and will be done at night.  The work below deck will be done during the day.  The pedestrian walkway may be closed around the clock while work is underway.

Environmental concerns require that a containment system of plastic and tarps be installed under the bridge during the project.

The staging area for the project will be on the south end of the bridge, close to Queen Anne Healthcare.


North Transfer Station Settlement – Tim Croll, Director, Solid Waste Division (SPU)

 The FNC and neighbors living close to the North Transfer Station have a settlement with the City to fund capital projects:  $30K to be spent by the end of 2014 and an additional $30K to be spent within 3 years of the new station being built. Toby has asked that the 2014 deadline be extended so that the entire $60K must be spent within 3 years of the new station being built.


Tim reported another issue raised by the community:  were trucks traveling along N. 38th to and from the Transfer Station staying within the speed limit?  Truck speeds were monitored electronically prior to the closure of the old station and nearly all were traveling within the speed limit.


The process for getting the capital projects approved is that the plaintiffs bring projects forward and SPU coordinates with appropriate departments, i.e. SDOT, to get approval.   The neighbors living near the station have been concerned about pedestrian safety on N. 34th.  Their suggestion for lighted crosswalks was not approved by SDOT because the street is an arterial.  It was suggested that SDOT should do a count of pedestrians crossing the street; new businesses in the area may increase pedestrian traffic sufficiently to warrant pedestrian safety measures.


There was discussion about how the money should be used:  If SDOT will not approve pedestrian safety measures, would the neighbors be interested in using the money to paint artwork on nearby signal boxes like the FNC has done in Fremont?  Should we wait until the station is built to assess what the impact is to the neighborhood?  Should part of the money be spent close to the neighbors and part closer to Fremont?  Norm Davis, one of the neighbors, said that the neighbors do want to be a part of deciding how to use the money.


Toby will email the neighbors and try to find a 4th Monday date that works for them to attend an FNC meeting to discuss options for use of the money.  Toby will also contact Tim Croll and request that a copy of the agreement to extend the deadline for spending the first $30K – signed by the head of SPU — be sent to the FNC.


Should the FNC become a 501(c)(3) organization?

The FNC is a Washington State non-profit organization but is not a 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS.  There was discussion about the advantages for being a 501(c)(3):  donations will be tax deductible for the donors;  it may be easier to get grants.  There was also discussion about what the reporting and bookkeeping requirements are.  Some thought there was a dollar threshold which, if exceeded, would require filing a report annually.  Suggestion that we ask Stephanie to share her experience with setting up and taking apart a 501(c)(3) organization.  Also, Toby asked that if board members know of an accountant who could attend a board meeting to speak on this issue, please let him know.


Request for grant from the 46th Street Mural Project – Linda Clifton and Deborah Bell

 The project team is beginning a fundraising effort to maintain the mural for the next 5 years and requested a $500 grant from the FNC to kickoff the effort.  In the past, they have contracted with a local artist to repair graffiti damage promptly and believe that it has resulted in less tagging.  They plan to continue that arrangement.

Shawn moved that $500 be allocated to maintain the mural.  Norma seconded.  The motion passed.

[Note:  After the meeting, Judie found that the balance in the 46th Street Mural Fund was reported by Kevin McClain to be $166.39 at the January 2014 meeting.  Jim found that same figure in the register he was given.]


New Business and Committee Reports:

  • Installation of new awning on McKenzie Building at northeast corner of Fremont and N. 34th:  Thanks to Matt for leading the effort to encourage Chase Bank and the building owners to replace the awning which provides shelter for people at the bus stop.  Matt was requested to express the appreciation of the FNC to Chase Bank and to ask them to relay the FNC’s appreciation to the owners.


Treasurer’s Report:  Jim reported the following balances:


Checking account:   $  2,167.28

Money Market:           56,231.50


The bill was paid for the FNC’s UPS post office box.   A bill from the City was received saying that the FNC was in arrears for costs associated with the signal boxes.  There was discussion that this may be for the permit but some thought that cost was part of the contract with Urban Artworks.  The correspondence should go to Matt who can coordinate with Kathleen Warren at Urban Artworks.


Minutes:    A motion was made that the September minutes be approved as corrected.  The motion was seconded and passed.


The meeting was adjourned.  The next meeting will be Monday, November 24, 2014.


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