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CCA March 28th Public Meeting Minutes

CCA Public Meeting

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

 The meeting started at 7PM at the United Evangelical Church.  Doug Kaufman, President, welcomed everyone.  He thanked Rev. Catherine Oatman for use of the church hall and HomeSlyce for providing the food.  Doug said the CCA likes to have a different partner providing the food at each meeting.

 Announcements/Events – Doug:

On Wednesday, March 29, there will be a CCA Happy Hour at The Chasseur on Foster Avenue.  There will be three baskets to raffle.  Local companies and restaurants have contributed.

 Light Night Canton will be April 1 from 6-10P at Dypski Park.  There will be food trucks.  No alcohol will be sold.  Dypski Park will be overhauled soon.

 The Hampstead Hill Academy is having their B3 event (Bingo, Bidding & Bites) at the school on Saturday evening, April 1.  It is their fundraiser with many nice items in their Silent Auction.

 The next Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting will be held Monday, April 10.  Dan Tracy, Board member, runs this committee.  Issues of transfer of liquor licenses, house renovations, etc. are discussed.  Any member of the CCA can attend.  The meetings are held the second Monday of each month. 

 Rev. Jim Hamilton spoke about the Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16 at O’Donnell Square park. There will be a brunch afterwards.

 The Mayor’s Spring Cleanup is Saturday, April 29. Residents are encouraged to sign up for their blocks.

Someone asked about bulk trash pickup that day.  Doug suggested that Councilman Zeke Cohen’s office be called. 

 There will be a Red Cross Blood Drive here at the church on Saturday, April 8.

 Brick Program – Laura:

She is new to this program and will be ordering additional bricks.  There will be an order this spring and an order in the fall.  The cost is $70 each and can be paid by credit card, cash or check.  A new initiative will be a public installation of the new bricks, and there will be a photo op.  Doug suggested getting the restaurants involved and perhaps providing a coupon for a brick purchaser.  The website is bricks@cantoncommunity.org.

 Old Line Spirits – Mark McLaughlin & Arch Watkins:

This is located at 4201 E. Pratt Street in Highlandtown, close to Canton.  They will offer tours of the distillery.

They will be in Chesapeake Wine Company, the Light House and Bartenders. 

 Rails to Trails – Jim Brown:

Fliers were distributed about the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy which is working with Baltimore City, local employers and nonprofits to build a world-class urban trail network.  Right now there are three urban trails in Baltimore:  Gwynn Falls, Jones Falls and Herring Run.  There is an unused corridor near Haven Street which could possibly be used.  There can be bike paths. Information can be found at: https://www.railstotrails.org/our-work/trail-projects/baltimore/.  The Facebook page is:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/BaltimoreGreenwayTrailsCoalition.  There were a few questions.

 This group would like to find people interested in helping.  There is a coalition of City Council members as well as some State folks.  Doug said that from the CCA’s perspective, we are on board.  He feels a lot of people here want to ride bikes.  It will take longer here in the southeast since some property has to be acquired.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Recs and Parks are active as well as the Planning Department. 

 Doug said Torbin Green, Board member, can post information on the CCA site and Facebook pages to make people aware of the project. 

Department of Public Works (DPW) – Linzy Jackson (410-396-8966):

Linzy spoke about the new trash cans as well as the new water billing system.  He mentioned training on the Customer Self-Service Web Portal.  This portal allows water bill customers to actively monitor their water usage.

 With the new transition team, there are new people and different ideas.  One idea is to split up DPW and to have Water and Solid Waste by themselves.

 There are new recycling ideas – a rollout of three sizes of bins.  He left a Clean Guide booklet.

On April 7 & 8 at Sisson Street there will be a hazardous waste collection. 

 Exchange Club – John Ross:

John said their mission is to make the community better by holding charity events and giving to the community. He said “we learn together” at the weekly meetings which are held Wednesdays each month (except January, July and August) at Claddagh Pub. 

 Dypski Park – Rev.Jim Hamilton:

Recs and Parks has worked with the CCA and the community on the new plans for this park.  He thanked everyone for their ideas and said that Recs & Parks appreciated feedback. 

 There will be a Dypski Park Happy Hour on April 27 from 5PM to 7PM with food trucks and games. 

 Smarter Baltimore Government – David Placher:

This group hopes to get 10,000 signatures in time for the November 2018 election to reduce the City Council to ten part-time Council members in view of the fact that the City population has declined.  They feel it would save money on salaries and promote accountability.  The districts would have to be redrawn.

 Doug reminded everyone that the CCA doesn’t have a position regarding political issues, but merely provides a forum for people to inform the members of their activities.

 Their website is:  smarterbaltimoregov.com.

 Baltimore Sun Plus – Gary McFaline:

Gary spoke about the distribution of circulars and flyers that become litter and saying the Baltimore Sun Plus is the worst offender.  He is asking for the CCA’s help in this endeavor.  He would like to know when violations are received and how they are handled. He likes the idea of stickers that are used in the Philadelphia area saying “Please don’t leave circulars”. 

 Councilman Zeke Cohen referred him to the CCA.  Doug said we could talk about this offline. The City Code has an opt-in feature; however, it is frequently ignored.

 Canton Canopy – Michael Woollen:

Eight trees were planted at the Dog Park.  Michael said they applied for a grant of $18,000 and will know the decision in May.  If a tree pit is desired, this grant will pay the cost of $150 for the homeowner.  The trees are free.  Part of the grant will pay for two years of mulch and water for the young trees.  He hopes to have fifty

(50) trees soon on Hudson Street.

 St. Patrick’s Day Events – Feedback – Doug:

The Irish Stroll (Lindy Promotions) was March 4 and the event with O’Donnell Square bars and restaurants was March 17 & 18.  Doug feels the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the March 17/18 event is always updated and is a pretty good working document.

 The Irish Stroll was unsanctioned in the past, but a new State law requires permits would be needed.

This year the CCA sent a letter to the City expressing its concerns.  Lindy Promotions was told that having it next year would depend on whether the rules were adhered to or not.  A follow-up meeting was postponed, but will happen soon to review the event with the Councilman and the promoters..

 There was discussion about these events. One person felt there were not any improvements with the Stroll this year, and would like tougher legislation, perhaps even more fees.  Someone said the area was cleaned up well.

 The O’Donnell Square Business owners did an After-Action Report and found some minor problems.  Doug said the CCA is trying to find a middle ground to balance the needs of the residents and businesses who want the event and the residents who don’t want it to be a drag or negative on the community.  There will be tighter controls next year for the Stroll.

 The meeting ended 8:20PM.

 Respectfully Submitted, Denise Aversa

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