In our February meeting, we had Alderwoman Pihl discuss ward business and development; a short presentation the Tower Grove – Cortex Connector Phase II, the portion that will run along Vandeventer and through FPSE along Sarah St; a short presentation from Jami Cox of Reform St. Louis (Prop R), a ballot measure concerning redistricting and conflicts of interest on the Board of Aldermen, which will be on the ballot this Spring; an announcement on our Block Captains – an effort to restart the Block Captain program to improve communication and foster community in our neighborhoods; discussions to become 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization in order to make your donations go farther and provide additional benefits to you or your organization; Bylaw changes – we have heard from our members and the desire for the Association to be a better voice for the community. We will be discussing changes to the Association’s bylaws that will allow us to serve and represent you better; Call for Dog Park Committee members – the dog park in Chouteau Park has openings for its committee; and more!

FPSE Neighborhood Business

Crime and Safety Report (Officer Walker)

  • Officer Walker noted an uptick in crimes this week, though no catalytic converter thefts, assaults or robberies 
  • Officer Walker noted catalytic converter thefts have increased in other neighborhoods
  • 4200 Norfolk saw a report of a suspicious individual, Officer Walker plans to follow-up on that report
  • Manchester saw a few car thefts and break-ins
    • Officer Walker reminded community members to not lock gun in your car 
    • Lock your doors when you are pumping gas 
  • Officer Walker reminded everyone to ‘light up your house;’ ‘the brighter your house is, the criminal moves on to the next house
  • Officer Walker welcomed any and all video from doorbell or security cameras
  • Report Summary:
    • 1 identity theft report
    • 1 harassment report
    • 8 car break-ins
  • Officer Walker can be reached at ncwalker@slmpd.org or 314-444-0107

Ward 17 Updates (Alderwoman Pihl)

  • Alderwoman Pihl noted that in light of the the overdose deaths earlier this month, she will be coordinating listening sessions regarding this public health and community safety issue
  • Alderwoman Pihl noted this is an immediate priority for the ward
  • Alderwoman Pihl noted plans to form a grass-roots safety group to bring together neighborhoods to talk about safety and community issues
  • In the next few months we expect $900,000 for affordable housing repair, through the affordable trust fund and healthy house fund, more updated to come
  • Alderwoman Pihl shared updated on community development projects:
    • Lux Living: Alderwoman Pihl has been in conversations with Lux Living to redesign entry toward Kingshighway. This change may involve further negotiation regarding their property’s rear setbacks. The new design will be presented to the community. 
    • Aptitude: Student housing for SLU students is being considered at Vandeventer and Forest Park. The development is planned to include 150 student housing units
    • Additional developments on Manchester and at Lindell and Kingshighway were noted by the Alderwoman, community engagement can be expected for both
    • Tower Grove-Cortex Connector: $180,000 has been committed from 17th ward capital funds
  • The City of St. Louis has engaged a software analytics company for a three month study on the city’s recycling program
  • Alderwoman Pihl introduced the ‘50/50 Sidewalk Program’ which is being reintroduced and allowed community members to split the cost of sidewalk replacement with the City
  • Alderwoman Pihl reminded the community of her two aldermanic committees:
    • The Infrastructure Committee: A meeting set for the end of February to discuss new membership and the relaunch of this committee
    • The Development Review Committee: Alderwoman Pihl is in conversations about this committee being relaunched
  • Alderwoman Pihl can be reached at pihLt@StLouis-Mo.gov

Treasurer’s Report (Rachel Siegert)

  • Rachel reviewed revenue and expenses from January, with an ending balance of $1,511.45
  • Community members can contribute dues via Cash App at any time (https://cash.app/$FPSENA)

FPSENA Nonprofit Status (Dan Doelling and Rachel Siegert)

  • Dan introduced the board’s discussion to file for 501(c)(3), which could better fundraise for the association. 
  • Rachel continued that nonprofit status allows FPSENA to be exempt from income tax, to apply for sales tax exemption, and save on postage.
  • Community members and business could also write-off any donations
  • Non-profit status also would allow the association to apply for grants
  • Rachel noted the upfront cost and a strategy to engage Legal Zoom for approximately $398.05 for initial filing and a $69/yr compliance package to maintain ongoing paperwork as required
  • A Community Member noted his support for this effort

Community News and Updates (Dan Doelling & JC Fick)

  • Dan called for Dog Park Committee members to help fundraise, plan events, and promote the dog park. Those interested can email fpsedogpark@gmail.com
  • Community Contacts have been added to our community website, including emergency resources, city services, and elected officials: 
  • Community Contacts – Forest Park Southeast
  • JC shared our community events poll results. 
  • JC is working with Bootleggin’ BBQ to coordinate a community-only soft opening event
  • JC noted plans for an ice cream social later this spring/summer
  • JC is working with Operation Brightside/Forest Releaf on a tree planting event
  • Dan called for Hospitality Committee members
  • Dan called for interest in becoming a Block Captain, interested community members can volunteer on our community website: Forest Park Southeast & Kings Oak Block Captain Program – Forest Park Southeast
  • Dan reminded the community about Park Central’s Stay in Place Program, community members can reach Nanyamka Brown at 314-643-8261 for more information 

Guest Speakers

Tower Grove-Cortex Connector Update (Katy Shackelford, Taylor March, Scott Ogilvie, Sarah Arnosky, Cindy Mense, Kelley Davis)

  • Katy shared an overview of the Tower Grove-Cortex Connector project along with the project timeline, with construction to begin mid-2023 and end in June of 2024
  • Detailed project information can be found online: Tower Grove Connector
  • Katy summarized the community engagement thus far and what they have heard, including parking needs, overwhelming support, and wayfinding enhancements
  • In the chat a community member asked, ‘How does it work if a cyclist goes north on tower grove Ave over vandeventer?’ Taylor responded, “You will still be able to continue to go north on Tower Grove, very similar to what you experience today.” 
  • Katy shared the new ‘road diet’ design strategy to eliminate the previously proposed ‘barrier wall’ alone Vandiventer
  • Katy shared a new strategy at Sarah and Vandiventer to include a full signal to allow for crossing over Vandiventer and transitioning off the cycle track 
  • Phase 2 will include continuation along Sarah
  • A Community Member asked if traffic calming was considered along Vandiventer, Kelley noted that the higher speeds alone Vandiventer would not allow it
  • A resident challenged the road diet strategy, but Katy confirmed that traffic modeling has indicated that with signal timing the traffic movement is not negatively affected
    • It was further clarified that the ‘diet’ only happens between Boyle and Sarah
    • Katy confirmed that Lochmueller Group performed the traffic analysis.
  • Further concern was raised about the Vandiventer intersection, proposing a bike-only diagonal signal. 
  • Any additional questions can be sent to info@towergroveconnector.com

Prop R (Jami Cox)

Community Discussion

Discussion of By-laws Amendments (Dan Doelling)

  • Dan shared what the board has heard in recent discussions, including clarity around the board’s bylaws and reviewed three proposed amendments:
    • Amendment 1 seeks to allow for participation in decision that affect the neighborhood
    • Amendment 2 clarifies the neighborhood’s boundaries to align with the City’s boundaries
    • Amendment 3 simplifies voting membership to be ‘One-Person; One-Vote’
  • A Community Member supported these changes
  • Any additional comments can be sent to forestparksoutheast@gmail.com 

8:08 Meeting Called to Close (Dan Doelling)

You can download a copy of the minutes below.

DOWNLOAD MINUTES

You can listen to February’s meeting below, and wherever you listen to your podcasts.