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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 8/20/2011
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MUELLER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETING

INTRODUCTION OF STEERING COMMITTEE & OFFICERS
Chair – Betsy Hilton
Vice Chair – Kathy Sokolic
Secretary – Candice McKay
Treasurer – Don Dozier

WELCOME/INTRODUCTION OF NEW RESIDENTS

PIAC UPDATE
-Austin Energy Substation Update:
Austin Energy is proceeding with plans for construction of the energy substation on the grounds of the Morris Williams golf course
Austin Energy staff met with several area neighborhood associations during the past few months including the Pecan Springs NA.
City staff says the substation is needed to deal with the growing energy needs of the Mueller development, including the addition of a new wing of the Dell Children's Hospital.
-Austin Children's Museum:
Science is the focus of the new 40 thousand square foot Children's Museum. Construction on the new building will start in early 2012 and the facility should open in 2013.
The museum will conduct daily tours for 150 to 300 children under an arrangement with area school districts. Museum staff will work with the schools on transportation arrangements for the tours. Other visitors will use one of 3 area parking garages.
The new museum will be built in the Town Center section of Mueller. The target audience for the museum ranges from toddlers to kids up to age 11.
-AISD Performing Arts Center:
Site design and transportation issues were the main concerns of PIAC members and the public during AISD's presentation at the August commission meeting. During earlier presentations, AISD staff indicated school buses would take children to PAC events and the buses would be parked at Reagan High School.
AISD says the new Performing Arts Center (PAC) will seat 1,200 but most of the hundreds of events will be in the 500 to 800 visitor range.
AISD staff had no information about potential leases of space on the ground floor of the PAC.

MNA GOALS –
Providing value to community
Hosting fun activity
Updating by-laws
Organizational structure, communication, and possible funding with various committees
Collaborating with other nearby neighborhood associations & cultivating community inclusivity with surrounding neighbors
Increasing MNA membership and bringing awareness to its benefits
Maintaining majority representation within PIAC
Obtaining POA board appointment
MUELLER VISION AND GOALS
Fiscal Responsibility: A positive revenue stream that increases the City’s tax base
Economic Development: Contributing to Austin’s economy and providing new jobs
East Austin Revitalization: A direct stake in redevelopment for East Austin residents
Neighborhood Compatibility: Enhancing the equality of life in adjacent communities
Diversity: A new Community of socially and economically diverse residents
Sustainability: Energy efficiency, reduced auto dependency, watershed protection – smart growth

CENTRAL EAST COORDINATION (JERRY PERKINS) - GETTING INVOLVED (ANC TRAINING AUG 24, SCHOOL TRUSTEE BOUNDARIES, AIRPORT BLVD, SCHOOLS, APD FORUMS, ETC.)
Jerry has served as the MNA rep. to the Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) for over 2 years. ANC discusses and takes positions on a variety of issues, including those of development, zoning and planning. ANC will present a training session on the 24th on 4 important city boards and commissions. Besides the monthly meetings, Jerry also gathers monthly with 15 to 20 East side ANC representatives to discuss sectional interests, which include development, gentrification, planning and many city services including police, recreation and transportation.
It is important to work with our east-side neighbors. Some of our common interests include education, Airport Blvd. the redevelopment of 51st street, and the Performing Arts Center. Sometimes there is hostility (power substation) driven from the perception that everything revolves around Mueller (51 St). Mueller’s East side neighbors support the general idea of what Mueller is about and take some pride in our development. But, they also sometimes fear that we are above and apart from the East side setting and seek to gain special treatment.
Mueller should and can improve its relationships with other East-side neighborhoods by elaborating on existing ties (social events like 4th of July), and thinking of ways we can be of service to the larger community together. Sometimes this means going beyond Mueller’s self interest and showing interest in things seemingly apart from the community. For example, the closing of the Dottie Jordan Recreational Center in University Hills is very problematic. Mueller should at least show interest in such things so that Muellerites are seen as more than simply self interested. The Steering Committee is developing specific goals and objectives that speaks to this interest. Jerry suggests that Mueller seeks volunteers to think systematically about how Mueller’s standing in the east side community can be improved by creating some doable objectives.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
-Block Captains : Dennis Mick has agreed to fill Kat Malcom's shoes is leading the block captains. Dennis serves on the MNA Steering Committee so that gives us a great liaison directly to the block captains. Dennis will be seeking their input on plans for NNO block activities.
-Committees: Betsy encouraged residents to volunteer to help with committee activities, whether it's education, helping with the newsletter, or many other opportunities.
-Events: Betsy also encouraged residents to volunteer to help organize special events at Mueller. These are often organized by a small number of residents who would appreciate some help. Events include Halloween, July 4th, etc. While we get some funding from the POA Resident Activities Committee, the work to pull these awesome events together is all volunteer and resident-led.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
-Front Porch Flyer news: The Front Porch Flyer is having a “Slice of Life” photo contest. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Please submit your photos to fpfphotos@gmail.com. A photography show is in the works for the spring to showcase the talent in the neighborhood. The plan is to auction off the best photos and donate the proceeds to the Austin Children's Shelter.
-Pecan Street Project : Volunteers are still needed for this initiative. More information can be found on their website, http://www.pecanstreetproject.org , including the forms needed to participate.
-National Night Out is Tuesday, Oct 4th 6-9pm: The Mueller Browning Hangar will be the center of East Austin’s celebration of National Night Out. The event promises to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support and participation in crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community relations, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Fun and educational activities at the Hangar will be coordinated with local police officers, firefighters and EMS paramedics present. Block parties may be held after this community-wide event. Betsy encouraged all residents to come to the Hangar to meet our neighbors in the surrounding communities. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know those outside our boundaries!
- Don’t Neglect Your Trees: All yard home owners are responsible for replacing dead street trees (which can become costly). Unfortunately, many Mueller street trees are dying for lack of water. It is recommended that homeowners should their trees 10 gallons of water per inch diameter of the tree every two weeks (every week if the tree has been neglected). The guidelines say the trees need this extra water from the onset of the drought. That means some trees in Mueller have had insufficient water for over nine months. The water should be applied under the dripline (the edges of the branches), NOT next to the trunk. Tree bubblers should be AWAY from the tree trunk. Some Mueller trees are rotting out because water is hitting the trunk. These bubblers need to be dug up and moved. For more information, go to the citicite blog postings on : irrigation tips, Earth-Kind watering tips, and links to a guide on watering distressed trees.
-Mueller Baby Boomers: The Boomers’ progressive dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct 15th. The annual Chili Cook Off is tentatively scheduled for late January.

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