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East Phillips Improvement Coalition Community Meeting

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4epic-2December 11, Thursday, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, East Phillips Park Community Center

Proposed Agenda

Two important concerns will be addressed:

1. Community Action directed at local Pollution and its impact on our children.

Many of us in East Phillips have been concerned about our high level of pollution for many years, in particular the pollution from the Asphalt Plant of Bituminous Roadways and from Smith Foundry. In the past the neighborhood has earnestly requested of the businesses that they seek new sites far from children.

Recently our concerns have been greatly escalated by the ominous Nov. 12, 2014 Star Tribune article stating that 100% of the children of nonsmoking mothers who were exposed to high levels of the industrial pollutant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during pregnancy, were diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This means many of our children’s future development is seriously at risk or actually compromised.

PAHs are only one of the serious pollutants produced by Asphalt plants such as Bituminous Roadways located at 2825 Cedar Ave. S. Their neighbor, Smith Foundry at 1855 E. 26th St. is also a serious source of industrial pollution in this residential neighborhood. Both industrial sites border the Midtown Greenway and in addition to their emissions, they bring the added pollution of constant heavy truck traffic.

A. Now the Minneapolis Water Department is negotiating to purchase the Roof Depot at 1860 E. 26th St. with the idea of moving their City wide repair and maintenance facility onto the site bringing the additional diesel pollution of their fleet of trucks. This activity will need to grow as the City grows. We believe this activity should not be moved to East Phillips, but should go to the very large Water Works in the south side of Fridley where there are no population and pollution issues and plenty of room to grow.

B.  Because of our commitment to the well-being of the families and children in East Phillips, the EPIC Board and Membership passed motions at our last community meeting to press forward in an effort to respond to these major issues of industrial pollution that are endangering the lives of our children. The motion passed follows:

i.  MOTION: Establish a Clean Air Task Force to press for repurposing the heavy industry areas of East Phillips (east of the intersection of 28th St. and Cedar Ave) to the goals of transit-oriented residential housing, to disallow any further introduction of heavy industry and ultimately eliminate heavy industrial polluting enterprises from within the boundaries of East Phillips.

C.  A PowerPoint will be shown at the next EPIC community meeting on December 11th. We have begun to act on this and we need the whole community to come alongside to help if we are to reach our objective. Residential housing has been a long-standing goal for East Phillips, derailed in the past by the many other urgent campaigns to keep our neighborhood safe for families and children: the fight against the Midtown Burner and the Xcel high voltage power-lines, and the struggle to rebuild housing and reduce crime. We believe the time is now to complete the conversion of East Phillips from a place of danger and health challenges for our children to a place focused on their future health, joy and future well being. This goal should not take a back seat to any other concern. The process to follow will be discussed.

Photographs were taken on a November day, 2014

2.  Rebuildiing East Phillips and restoring our heritage Affordable Home Ownership.

The EPIC Board and community also moved to restore our funding to the now empty NRP Phase II strategy for new construction of affordable homes on our many vacant lots. This funding has already been approved by a large survey accompanying our NRP Phase II plan and additional votes by the community. This final vote endorses the restoration of the fund by means of the CPP dollars we saved for this purpose. The houses only require $15,000 a piece as our part of the subsidy to make them affordable.

i.  MOTION: EPIC will set aside $120,000 to build 8 new houses on 8 empty lots and that we seek contracts with PRG and GHMC.

We will also discuss the Ambassador program, the Computer and Financial Literacy Programs, the 25th Street barrier, and the progress on the EPIC Office.

Join us and support your neighborhood!!!

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