Meeting Minutes – January 2021


College Hill Neighborhood Association

Minutes:  January 11, 2020


Meeting ID: 895 1906 5947
Passcode: 889818

Attendees:  Christi Stewart (President), Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Brett Martin (Secretary), Brian Adams, Dana Adams, Carol Christensen, John Christensen, Sharon Dodd, Sue Fackler, Andy Fry, Ava Fry, Anna Fry, Karl Fundenberger, Emmett Hull, Patty Kane, Gail, Katrina Shaw, Benjamen Alford, Duane Pomeroy, Diane Pomeroy, G’Tobia Washington

Zoom Meeting

  1. Introductions 
  2. Minutes – Minutes from November meeting will be approved at the March meeting
  3. Treasurer’s Report
    1. Presented by Tom Luellen (Treasurer); see attached
    2. $4,600 in the general fund; $3,500 in grants
    3. Sue Fackler and Sarah Meadows oversee the Blossoms Fund (park improvements)
    4. Approval of the report; Patty Kane moved, Andy Fry second; report approved
  4. New Business – Introduction of any visitors 
    1. No visitors
  5. Operation Food Secure (OFS) in College Hill – Brett Martin
    1. Brett shared that volunteers over the last few months have continued to deliver food to our neighbors in College Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. Here are some details:
      1. More than 20 volunteers have been involved
      2. Food is delivered every other week to 77 households
      3. Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries sent a report of the impact in CHNA as of December 30, 2020
        1. 424 food boxes
        2. 424 gallons of milk
        3. 14,246 pounds of food
        4. 23,743 meals
    2. The federal Farmers to Families program through USDA officially ended on December 31, 2020
    3. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas has granted $350,000 to continue the program through the beginning of March. The boxes will not include precooked meat
    4. The White House announced on January 4 that they will re-start the program with an investment of $1.5 billion
  6. Trailer Purchase for CHNA – Brett Martin
    1. Brett shared that volunteers have been using borrowed trailers for OFS over the past few months
    2. Some residents have suggested that the purchase of a trailer might be useful for not only OFS but also for July 4 festivities, neighborhood clean-up, and the recycling drive
    3. Christi asked Carol if a trailer would be helpful with the recycling drive; Carol was unsure
    4. Tom asked about the duration of OFS; Brett was unsure of the timeline for the program
    5. No action taken; conversations will continue
  7. Topeka Community Acceptance Grant for Light Bulbs – Andy Fry
    1. Topeka Community Foundation grant ($4,000); CHNA contributed $500
    2. We will purchase light bulbs with photocells for houses in the neighborhood
    3. Some residents have had issues with bulbs, but Andy indicated there are more reliable options
    4. The purpose of this initiative is to help light the neighborhood for increased safety; individuals would use the bulbs in their front porch fixtures
    5. There is an opportunity to look at crime rates before and after the installation of the bulbs
  8. Recycling Drive Update – Carol Christensen  
    1. Carol reported that we made $135 during the December drive
    2. Midwest Salvage, the new company on Branner, requires us to separate the metals; we would like communication with the neighborhood to save their recyclables and to pre-sort them
      1. They only take metal; aluminum beverage cans are our best money-makers
      2. It would be helpful to let people know about the drives on a regular basis
      3. Carol has sent information to Erin when she develops communications; she can also send it to the group to share with everyone
    3. Carol is proposing that the next recycling drive be March 27 (after our next meeting)
  9. Traffic Calming Projects (action item) – Andy Fry
    1. At our past meeting, we looked at different options (15th and Jewell and 13th and College) to help calm traffic in the neighborhood
      1. Zach shared that these are longest stretches of road that have no stop signs and can contribute to faster car traffic
    2. When we sent out information a few months ago, some residents gave feedback and suggested other locations
    3. Carol shared that there was some concern about the historic nature of College Avenue as the old trolley car route
    4. Andy suggested that layers holding historic value are a few layers down; he reminded the group that these are temporary options to calm traffic 
    5. Zach shared that this is a temporary opportunity that can serve as a test case for the city
    6. Christi suggested that it’s a great idea and that we have nothing to lose
    7. Motion: Traffic calming project at 13th and College and at 15th and Jewell at no cost to CHNA. Andy moved; Zach second 
      1. Andy shared that there will be signage posted to share about the project and provide an opportunity to share feedback
  1. Kansas Leadership Center COVID-19 Grant – Andy Fry
    1. As part of the Kansas Leadership Center’s (KLC) “Kansas Beats the Virus” initiative, Andy gathered five residents to look at ways to help families during COVID-19 pandemic
    2. The group decided to look at a public access WiFi network in Boswell Square Park for students as they are remote in school
    3. CHNA has procured other dollars as well
    4. Andy has communicated with Parks and Rec and Westminster Presbyterian about housing the hardware
    5. The group is looking at a one-year contract
    6. The group also decorated the gazebo with Christmas lights to bring some light and joy to the neighborhood
    7. Karl mentioned that the Topeka Spits group also received a KLC grant. Individuals who have posted selfies with #TopekaSpits and are practicing COVID-safe behaviors will be entered to win a $20 gift card.
  2. Old Business 
    1. Carol asked about the bricks
      1. Christi reminded the group that Sue is working on this and that she is working with Bill Riphahn
      2. Carol shared that Sue is working with Bill on bricks that are longer lasting
    2. Andy has organized the ideas that Zach gathered from the chili feed on a spreadsheet to share at the next meeting 
  3. New Business 
    1. None
  4. Our next meeting will be March 15, 2021. We will meet at Westminster Presbyterian Church or on Zoom.

Minutes Respectfully Submitted by Brett J. Martin