Monday, February 8, 2016

Northeast Neighborhood Alliance Meeting Minutes. 25 January, 2016

JANUARY 25, 2016
The meeting was held at the Northeast Tool Yard and was opened at 7:00 pm by President John Clamp.
Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus was welcomed and introduced by President Clamp. He spoke about some of the achievements of the last legislative session, including the approval of the Highway 281 expansion and how it won't be a tollway, a balanced budget and reduced taxes. He went on to say that the Legislature is not meeting in 2016, but that doesn't mean that they are not working. Speaker Straus has sent out over 200 issues to the Legislature to work on for the next session in 2017. He also talked about the issue of billing that SAWS had, and it may be a larger issue throughout Texas and may include other utilities as well. The Speaker thanked everyone for being civic minded and urged members to advise his office of any issues that they thought needed to be included in the upcoming session in 2017. In closing, he told the audience that the Speaker's office is always there to assist them whenever they have a need.

The Beautification Award was presented to Broadway Bank at 13429 Nacogdoches. Wendy Albers accepted the award.

Dan Crowley of SAWS was introduced to talk about the problem of billing the true usage of water in District 10. He stated that SAWS has the responsibility to read over 500,000 meters and admitted that not all were being read. Changes in personnel and procedures have been made within the department, and all meters should now be read monthly. In addition, contractors have been hired to help read meters, and spot checks are being made to ensure accuracy. There are future plans to allow for home owners to read their own meters and pay on-line, and SAWS has a desire to install electronic meters but right now that option is too expensive. He offered to stay after the meeting to talk to anyone that has had or is still having a billing issue.          

Mike Taylor spoke to the members about the status of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) along Perrin Beitel and parts of Nacogdoches in the NEC area. The program is now closing out the third year of opportunities for businesses to apply for grants and bring in new businesses along the NEC. He also talked about the Northeast Corridor Business Alliance that's been formed and has become very active in working together to promote the growth and upgrades to the NEC. The current focus of the group is fighting crime, advocacy and networking of the businesses. A good indication that the advocacy is working was the group effort to clean up the "triangle" where business owners and residents gathered to clean and spruce up the area. This activity is scheduled again for February 11, 2016. The Perrin Oaks Shopping Center was given as an example of the program's success where the center has been rehabilitated and new businesses opening. Mr. Taylor said there will be another $27K matching funds made available this year and that a meeting will be held for businesses to explain the program and how to apply for the funds. He stressed the importance of people patronizing/investing in the new businesses to help them get established and grow, and continue to do the same for existing businesses. Mr. Taylor mentioned a few new businesses but a question was asked about what new businesses have opened. Here's a list provided by Councilman Gallagher's office of the new ones in the NEC: Bush's Chicken, Great Clips, Habanero Grill, Pizza Patron, La Tapatia, Signs of San Antonio (new building expansion), Spider Man Pest Control, First Choice Emergency Room, Unleashed by Petco, Ross Dress for Less, Pollo Tropical, Family Dollar, FastSigns, Tip Top, Wingstop, Whataburger and Wal-Mart.
The City Council update was provided by District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher. He continues to be very interested and supportive of the NEC upgrades and urged everyone to patronize these establishments. Also, if there were any unsightly areas around these businesses, patrons should personally approach the owners or managers to see about getting it corrected. This will help both the business and surrounding areas to remain attractive and inviting to other customers. Councilman Gallagher is very excited to support and advertise the fact that the corridor is part of the original Camino Real. This will be recognized by demarcation signs along the corridor, and a dedication ceremony will be held on Friday, March 4, 2016, where everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. He asked everyone to volunteer and attend the next Basura Bash along Salado Creek on February 20, 2016. This activity has been very successful in the past and everyone has had a great time at the event. He thanked everyone for helping to make the new Senior Center on Thousand Oaks such a huge success. The Councilman stressed the importance of neighborhoods to formally apply and get recognized by the city. The more neighborhoods and people that get involved, the more attention and support the city will give them. Councilman Gallagher is very supportive of fitness of our citizens. Much is made about how unfit San Antonio residents are, and he wants to help support fitness programs for our residents. He will be organizing another fitness walk in the near future similar to the one held at Comanche Lookout. Anyone that has ideas for improvements for District 10 to be funded by the 2017 Bond should get in touch with his office to give inputs. The next Bexar County Democratic/Republican Party Primary Election is March 1, 2016, and everyone should either vote early or make sure they vote on that date. There was a question about a housing development along Thousand Oaks and Councilman Gallagher suggested that the neighborhoods should organize and approach the planners/developers. Another question was asked about the intersection of Austin Highway and Harry Wurzbach. The city is planning a Single-Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) that will ease the congestion and eliminate the need to go through a business parking lot to go from one road to the other. A SPUI (pronounced "Spooey"), is a type of interchange where a single traffic signal at the center of the interchange controls all left turns. Drivers make opposing left-turns at the same time under the protection of this signal.  See example diagram below:
The next District 10 meeting is set for February 15, 2016.  Councilman Gallagher closed by thanking everyone for their support to District 10.
Vice President Carlton Soules announced the upcoming Primary Elections on March 1, and introduced Marian Stanko who is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Bexar County. She gave her background information and thanked everyone in advance for their support. There was also information available for Republican Mike Koerner running for County Commissioner, PCT. 3.
Clayton Perry, an Associate Board member of NNA, spoke about his efforts to update the NNA list of neighborhoods and their representatives. He had a copy of all the changes and asked folks to check and see if all the information was correct. Of note, there were several new neighborhoods and organizations that have been added to the NNA. Mr. Perry will be passing the completed list to Rebecca Podowski and Emilie Christian of Councilman Gallagher's office to make final updates and to make sure that all neighborhoods are registered. Members at the meeting liked the idea of phone calls to remind everyone of the upcoming events.
Elections were held and the following people were elected: John Clamp-President, Ron Van Kirk-Treasurer, and Lauren Sides-Membership Secretary.
President Clamp adjourned the meeting giving the next meeting dates for 2016: March 21st; May 16th; July 18th; September 19th; and November 21st.
Respectfully Submitted,

Clayton H. Perry, Secretary

Northeast Neighborhood Alliance 2016 Meeting Dates

March 21, May 16, July 18,
September 19, November 21

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Northeast Neighborhood Alliance
| 13318 Los Indios | San Antonio | TX | 78233

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