Minutes from the February 14, 2005

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association


Our meeting began at 6:33 with 30 people in attendance.  We had several guests in attendance not included in our count.  Thank you, Danielle, for listening for Supervisor Lee Holloway again.

Alderman Michael Murphy's aide, Jessica, addressed the group about a property that may become a CBRF at 4146 W. Martin Drive owned by Terry Taper.  Mr. Taper is planning to rent this four family facility as a home for people aged 60 -85 that need some assistance.  It could possibly be available to sixteen people.  It would be a member of the Heaven Sent Elderly Facility which are run by his wife.  Neighbors were able to express concerns about the quality of care these fragile people might need.  There were also questions as to the upkeep of the building which would require handicap adaptations such as railings on the stairways and in the bathrooms, lighting fixtures out side and in the hallways, handicap parking, privacy issues with that many unrelated people in that size building.  It was concluded that the city has no control over this type of use of the building.  Concerns were given to Rep. Tamara Grigsby relating to the quality of life issues.  The state issues licenses for care facilities.  Rep. Grigsby appreciated hearing the concerns first hand, as she was one of the neighbors in attendance.

Representative Tamara Grigsby identified herself as the representative for the 18th District which includes the general boundaries from 20th Street to 60th Street, from Bluemound to Center St. Her phone number is 1-888-534-0018 in Madison and that is the best way to reach her.  Her assistant is very experienced in matters of government in Madison.  If Rep. Grigsby is unavailable, Ms. McGinnis will try to answer any of our questions and will notify our Representative that we have called.  We need to remember that all of our government representatives are there to help us and to inform us of any matters pertaining to us.  As Supervisor Holloway told us several years ago, they are waiting for our calls.

Dennis Barrish from West End addressed the neighbors informing us that he will be retiring in May.  Dennis has been connected with Martin Drive for more than 10 years, first with Neighborhood Housing Services.  In the early days of neighborhood development, 80% of our time and energy was spent on crime prevention.  Today we are focused on quality of life issues.  We are able to apply immediately for the minor home repair program.  There are income restrictions.  The chart shows numbers of people in the household vs. the amount of income.  For example, a two person household may make between $26,900 - $42,999 to participate in the program.  This is a matching program that pays the cost of the work.  The work can include almost all outside projects and some inside ones.  New doors for the outside that might cost $1,500 total would mean that you would pay $750 and the program would pay $750.  The maximum payment in one year is $750.00.  All of the allocated money is used each year.  Call Tamara at West End Development Co. at 933-2080 or Maria at Neighborhood Housing Services at 643-4400.

Sharon and Lois reported on the plans for the Youth Group.  They are planning a meeting on March 12 at the Urban League School for Math and Science on 46th and State.  They are anticipating having 3-4 activities that young people 11- 15 would find interesting.  They are hoping for a little more adult help.  If this sounds like your world, call Sharon at 933-6600 or Lois at 342-0350.  And talk about this with your kids or your neighbor's kids.  This could open up a new world for our young people.

Pat Mueller informed us that the plans for the Washington Park band shell include WJZI sponsoring four concerts for this summer.  $50,000 has been pledged and matched by Harley Davidson to improve conditions to the accommodations for performers at the park.  Watch for a call for volunteers.

Rob Alsten volunteered to call the city to provide dumpsters for the neighborhood again this spring/summer.  Watch for that information in the April newsletter.

David Johnson told us more about the Martin Drive web site.  If you have not seen it, you are missing a great tool for communication with our elected representatives as well as our neighbors.  Here is the address: martindrive.org  We are grateful that David chose to share his talents with us.

Maggie handed us the first draft of our mission statement asking for comments ASAP.

Carley Fleming determined that the best part of living in the Martin Drive Neighborhood is the people.  Thank you, Carley.  Our meeting ended at 7:50 with many neighbors visiting for another hour.

Thank you, Dennis Barrish, for your many years of service.  Have a happy, healthy retirement!


Submitted by Maggie Blaha                02/20/05                        Call or e-mail me with corrections.