Meeting Minutes – January 2022

College Hill Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes:  January 24, 2022

Zoom Meeting

Attendees:  Christi Stewart (President), Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Brett Martin (Secretary), Dana Adams, Brian Adams, Kat Shaw, Andy Fry, Ardith Smith-Woertz, Kristi Eriksen (City of Topeka), Debbie Pomeroy, Sue Fackler, Zach Snethen, Carol Christensen (Vice-President), Commander Cassandra Caviness (TPD), John Christensen, Gail Kennedy

  1. Introductions 
    • Kristi Eriksen, City of Topeka traffic engineer
    • Commander Caviness, Topeka Police Department
  2. Treasurer’s Report
    • Tom shared the Treasurer’s report with balances. See as submitted
    • Report was approved
  3. Minutes from the November meeting
    • Minutes were approved
  4. Recycling drive – update by Carol Christensen 
    • December drive brought in $115.
  5. Cross walk at 15th and MacVicar – Andy Fry
    • Kristi looked at an enhanced crossing at 15th and MacVicar
    • There is currently a school speed zone and a crosswalk
    • They completed an investigation; there are many accidents from people running stop signs; they looked options and may potentially narrow 15th Street at MacVicar; Kristi shared a drawing of paint on the roadway (proposed bulbouts) on 15th to narrow the roadway at MacVicar to keep drivers from running the stop sign; she asked for questions
    • Kat shared that Theo walks to and from Randolph (from 15th and Mulvane west along 15th and crosses MacVicar). She observes that none of the traffic stops for people in the crosswalk on MacVicar.
    • Kristi asked Officer Caviness if there has been any enforcement there. She said this is the first she has heard of it. She will pass along to the motorcycle unit. If she knows times, she can join as well.
    • They are reserving lights for 4-5 lane arterial roadways. They have difficulty with drivers respecting them in those roadways.  She said they will continue the investigation. 
    • Andy said TPD did enforcement in August-September before the speed study. He would like to see longer term change in design for safety. There is a history among neighbors about seeking out solutions.
    • October 6 speed study (85% of traffic is traveling at 33mph or below). There are some outliers, but this indicates that there is not a design issue. This was taken outside of school time. They will work with law enforcement on making this an area of speed enforcement.
    • A discussion followed between Kristi and Andy related to potential solutions at this intersection
    • Commander Caviness said she will help with enforcement as much as possible; TPD receives many requests.
      • She shared crime stats for College Hill Neighborhood
        • Burglaries to houses – 3; Burglaries to vehicles – 4; 1 stolen vehicle; 1 assault; 1 DUI
        • Burglaries continue in the west side of town; keep cars clean and items out of plain view 
        • Andy asked about 1523 SW Washburn and if it had changed hands; Commander Caviness didn’t have additional information; she will follow up
        • 1419 Boswell resident has been in and out of incarceration; they are affiliated with an apartment in the area (15th and Mulvane – split into three apts); her unit is being stretched thin as they are losing officers to promotions
        • She shared her email; her work cell is 785.312.4037.
  6. Old Business and Updates
    • CHNA Stones – need volunteers and a plan to move the stones
      • A neighbor, Emmett, is interested. He is happy to help with relocation. Christensen’s have developed a map of where they could be relocated.
      • Carol said we might want some uniformity in placement; do they need a base? We need to ask for permission from homeowners to relocate them; do we need procedures for placing them and maintaining them?
      • Kat said we could talk to Lardner about bases and relocation
      • Zach shared that they need to be cleaned and repainted; Emmett is interested in getting them cleaned up and relocated
      • Christi will call Lardner to get a new bid; she will also distribute the map
    • Lightbulb distribution
      • This is a long-term distribution to do when people have time
    • Calendar for 2022 – Events to plan this spring and summer
      • Blossoms is being planned for April 30. Sue has reached out to Jackson’s, and they are willing to help again – some pots, baskets, herb plugs; she will reach out to Meredith for help as well
      • We need a 4th of July chair.
      • Do we want a clean up day? Kat will ask Ben. Zach will help
      • June for a potential time for a College Hill yard sale; looking at June 4-5
      • August 6, 2022 for National Night Out
      • Upcoming recycling dates – March 26, July 9
    • Neighborhood communications – newsletter, adding names to email list and increase readership on Facebook, bring back block captains or the calling tree….
      • Carol shared that Kat does a great job keeping us informed with FB, email, and Erin does a great job with the newsletter; we have talked about block captains; keep people informed; she suggested a communications plan – when to use flyers, when to use email, social media, etc. to communicate with neighbors about different events
      • Sue suggested putting together a calendar; she said some prefer having it written down; older residents don’t use social media
      • Kat is pessimistic; she said we send out a lot of information, and people are just busy; many don’t want to attend meetings or volunteer, but they do want to come to major events; she likes the idea of a calendar for communication
      • Carol will talk to Erin
    • Boswell Park improvements
      • The fence is in; Zach has communicated with John; he said he would get with Zach when he was ready; Zach will follow up as we would like the gazebo in by July 4
      • Andy shared that the slides have been replaced
      • Sue would like to push the bricks one more time; Tom said there were 15 being printed
    • Tragic fire at 15th and MacVicar
      • A 7-year-old boy, Alexander Cervantes, died in the fire; his grandmother and uncle survived; they plan to fix the house and sell it; they are living in south Topeka right now
      • The house did not have working smoke detectors; we shared information about the American Red Cross program
      • Kat shared the GoFundMe link to support the family
      • Brett moved that we donate $100 to the family; Sue second. Motion passed
    • Rentals and multi-family houses in College Hill
      • Christi asked for a status update on where we are on this issue
      • Carol shared that she was troubled by multi-family homes on her block
      • Debbie shared that nothing has happened with the house on Boswell that was purchased; the owners applied to be an Airbnb; there are three houses on her block
      • Discussion continued regarding Potwin and other neighborhoods
  7. New Business
  8. Our next meeting is 7 p.m., Monday, March 21, 2022. We will meet at Westminster Church or on Zoom.

Minutes Respectfully Submitted by Brett J. Martin