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2013 Vision Awards — Outstanding Community-Building by an Association Nominees
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Outstanding Community-Building by an Association Nominees

Nominee Number

F1

What steps have been taken to create a strong neighborhood? Do they have a newsletter? Do they have an active social committee?

I think that for a small Association (24 units, ((12 buildings)) and a lot of acreage) we have the right fit: previously the Manager of Somerset Golf Course here in SSP, and a long time police officer on the Mendota Heights force. He operates his own skidster in the winter, and as we undergoing some major landscape work, he has used that machine to grade and smooth out the land in preparation for some major spring planting. The place here is undergoing a change in ownership over the next couple of years as the original owners (dating back to the mid to late 80's) are now in their late 80's or early 90's....and some have already moved on. Nominee and I have worked together for the past 6 years on the changes and transitioning for this Association. Still a couple of years to go and some adjustments and changes to face. Of note, this past year we established a Capital Budget (funded and separate from the Operating Budget). So far both accounts are working as planned.... But at 25 years of age, the Association's buildings are due for their Quarter Century Checkup!... And he and I are working up that plan to present to the Board later this Spring.

What types of community based activities were planned? Please include attendance numbers if applicable.

 

Please provide examples of publications, newsletters, social events, etc.

 

Please include any additional considerations.

Thanks for the opportunity to express what we are doing here. Some day I'll stop by and we can chat more. And of course, you are welcome to come by here anytime. Just call and be sure I am around.

Complete Judging Form for this Nominee

Nominee Number

F2

What steps have been taken to create a strong neighborhood? Do they have a newsletter? Do they have an active social committee?

The Board at Company conducts regular, open meetings and invites owners to submit concerns between meetings. The Board and Management are accessible and respond to all calls. The Association has created a Building Representative program for advocacy and a sense of welcome. Board/Staff and Community relations are valued and communication is ongoing between all parts of the Association. The Leadership provides a forum for mediation and is effective in even the most intractable problems. For the situations that need legal assistance we have Hellmuth and Johnson who have also helped us dramatically reduce delinquencies. The Association has several individuals involved in Neighborhood Watch groups and is alerted when crimes occur in the area. Reminders in the form of memos and in the Association newsletter keep owners sensitive to problems like open windows, tag-alongs and suspicious activities. Owner suggestions for safety are solicited in print and at meetings. A newsletter comes out quarterly that promotes community action and informs residents of fun events and new projects that benefit the complex. One of the Board Members is also an officer of the Bancroft Association which gives both groups a chance to gather information and boost their effectiveness. The Board and Management have done an exemplary job on keeping costs down; dues have not been raised in 8 years and last year, in spite of the economy, the complex had a financial surplus. Staff and Board loyalty are strong, there has been no staff turnover for years and that creates a sense of continuity and security and also protects the owners from the costs and uncertainty of transitions.

What types of community based activities were planned? Please include attendance numbers if applicable.

Company supports National Night Out in the summer and this year we had about 20-30 residents participate, sharing music, food and fellowship. A neighborhood church came by with root beer floats and the fire department let us play on a truck yeah! A community night is held quarterly when all residents are invited to socialize and share conversations about our life together. Last Summer the Board sponsored a courtyard party that had food and music as well as booths with neighborhood residents involved in composting, recycling and partnering with the 3rd precinct in reducing crime. Turn out for the summer party and the workshop were great / probably 50-75 people at each event. A professional landscape plan was contracted with Field Enterprises that has given us a blueprint for property improvements like bike racks, sitting areas, fountains, monuments (signage)and reconstruction of rock gardens to allow for more foliage that is heat and chemical resistant.

Please provide examples of publications, newsletters, social events, etc.

Community members are invited, through newsletters and fliers, to events at local churches and schools as well as on site. For example, last fall we had a representative from Fresh Energy, J. Drake Hamilton, speak to the group about the realities of climate change and how both they as individuals and Company as a group can promote the transition to clean energy and conservation of water and the ecosystem. In 2012 we just missed the opportunity to install a solar array on one of our buildings that would have been a start up project ultimately growing into a complex wide solar presence generating most, if not all, of our common area electric needs. We are going to keep researching grants and financing options for solar as it's seen as such a positive alternative to fossils. We also had an officer from the 3rd precinct come and talk to us about "Front Porch Mentality" i.e. the ways that we can be nosy in a good way by befriending new folks in the neighborhood and by so doing letting intruders know that they are seen and there are people here who care about the community. A group sponsored by the Minneapolis Friends Meeting (Quakers) is meeting to read and debate the Great Philosophers... it is called the Friendly Philosophers and its a big draw to our high ratio of college graduates and intellectuals. Gardening is also a big deal with many gardens and volunteers. E.g. This will be our second year for a sidewalk, vegetable garden - by the end of last year there was jubilation as our urban squirrels were foiled by shared wisdom in tomato growing ... if you want tips you can write Company and we'll send you a copy of the latest techniques in urban farming.

Please include any additional considerations.

The Board is in the midst of a pilot project to change our outdoor lighting to the most up to date LED equipment. Two test lights have been placed where residents can assess their "signatures" and a meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 1st, to give owners a chance to share their opinions. If approved, a 15 thousand dollar, capital investment will be made that will, in turn, cut our annual, common area electric bill by 26 percent, and significantly lower our maintenance requirements and carbon footprint. The next affordable and effective improvements scheduled are security cameras and motion detectors. Also, for each of the next five years we are investing approximately 10 thousand dollars in landscape architecture, especially our trees, with attention to rain gardens and drainage so the green areas will require less water and provide pleasant rest and conversation oases. There is a committee formed to investigate the possibility of a green roof and garden that would add another gathering spot with views of our tree lined South Minneapolis neighborhood and add to the list of our amenities. It would be another catalyst for increased property values too. Finally, Company loves diversity... age, orientation, race and ethnic differences are embraced instead of being spurned / the people of Company represent a large cross section of global cultures and it is exciting to see newcomers from other countries and cities sharing at events with the "locals". Company has the best of all worlds / great urban setting with beautiful grounds and dedicated staff and Board with a diverse membership who are proud to call the place "home". Oh& if you want to move in I believe there is only one unit available :=) / Best wishes to CAI from our corner of town.

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Nominee Number

F3

What steps have been taken to create a strong neighborhood? Do they have a newsletter? Do they have an active social committee?

The Board of Directors, Eight Building Reps and other active members of the community are in strong communication with the owners of Company with Newsletters, weekly postings and informational meetings with the owners.

What types of community based activities were planned? Please include attendance numbers if applicable.

The activity the Company team is working on right now is Going Green through trash, composting, recycling, economical lighting and striving towards solar heat and energy.

Please provide examples of publications, newsletters, social events, etc.

The Company is involved with the Neighborhood. The Association has meetings they call YOFAB where owners sit and chat about community events, volunteer with programs or putting on one of the five social events they have each year.

Please include any additional considerations.

 
Complete Judging Form for this Nominee

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