Summary Notes from FOBC Steering Committee Meeting, December 3, 2008 at the CCPL Brooklyn Branch Library

Big Creek Watershed Management Plan
RAP is now finalizing data with County Planning. A draft plan for presentation to cities is planned for mid-January and printing is planned for mid-February. It was explained that the plan will identify restoration sites where retrofits can occur. Bob asked Carla Regener to cite how this plan compares with the Balanced Growth model.

Mention was made of the abandoned Armory on Hauserman Road south of Brookpark Road, adjacent to Big Creek Reservation. It was cited by Councilwoman Mary Galinas. The site includes a large parking lot. It could increase Metroparks access to residents west of Hauserman.

Jan Rybka talked about the WMP process being “area specific” - wetlands, floodplains, marshes. She reinforced how it is sensible to omit them from development.

The Plan will designate Priority Development and Conservation Areas (PDA’s / PCA’s) that municipalities can use as a guide and for which FOBC will advocate.

Big Creek (Brooklyn) Greenway Trail Plan
Jan Rybka and Brian Cummins made comments on the plan’s draft. Brian’s e-mailed comments were forwarded to the Floyd Browne Group. Bob presented a review of the Nov. 17th Advisory Committee Meeting: a summary of plan costs; identifying plan priorities. On Dec. 8th at 6:00 pm at Brooklyn City Council there will be a public presentation by the Floyd Browne Group. Dec.15th is the final Advisory Committee meeting

A map showing suggested trail alignments was passed around. Areas in the plan with which FOBC had differed were discussed.

FOBC suggested identifying the trail alignment to follow the ridge from Ridge Road to West Blvd. Others on the Advisory Committee agreed and the Floyd Browne Group agreed to incorporate it. But FOBC also wants the trail to go along the edge of the ravine behind the school en route to the Oxbow area as a connector route. The consultant advised against this, citing the difficulty of acquisitions and the distraction from the priority route.

The second item was the desire to connect Memphis Picnic Area to the landfill loop trail. The consultant discredited this due to the difficult terrain. At a minimum it was suggested by Dave Lincheck and others that a footpath be made down the hill to link the Memphis Picnic Area.

Finally, FOBC wanted the trail to more closely follow the creek through Cascade Crossings but it was decided to have the trail go behind the Cascade area through the CEI corridor. These suggestions and others will continue to be brought up throughout the process.

Tom P. asked if the north part of the landfill could be open to public access soon. Laura said no. It would be seven years before they could use it. At that time they might recalculate the life of the land fill and expand vertically. Laura pointed out that Brooklyn is the only community in the county remaining to have their own landfill.

Dave L. asked if it had a leech collection system. Laura said it has a clay wall but not plastic or rubber. Mentioned that you need two feet of dirt on each layer and they stockpile 6-8 feet on one side and then move it around.

Update on steps towards independent nonprofit status
a. EIN SS4
b. Filing in state: $125.00 dollars.
c. Filing for tax exempt determination (IRS form 1023)
d. Insurance +$1000 a year.
e. Bylaws for 501c(3) organization.

FOBC financial picture: We have about $2500 dollars unrestricted. This excludes $2000 of grant funds which are reserved for specific uses. Question raised: with insurance costs, is it worth it to be independent?
- Better able to get grants? – not necessarily.
- Excellent accountability? - perhaps, but reporting burden increases.
Discussion of funding for general operations vs. project funding.

Organizational Items
Financial record keeping: The treasurer requests that we work on completing her spreadsheet with events from 2008 as well as planned 2009 events as a prerequisite for budgeting.

Need for Membership Chair, consistent process for membership correspondence -- welcome / renewal letters.

Advisory Committee addition:
Sean Brennan, Parma City Council: Diana motioned and Al Penko seconded. All approved.
Replacement for Sonia DeFiore – not yet decided.

Financial & membership work to be continued in sub-committee.

Dec. 5th Bartending for Scrooges Night Out.
Dec. 10th and January 28th at Johnny Mangos
Future Options – Monitor effort and success of groups such as Brooklyn Animal Shelter using Charity Poker at Nautica.

FOBC Correspondence: Thank you letters to contributors from Howl at the Moon event, recent members, and speakers at Wetland Symposium. Newsletter in process

Other projects, items for discussion

Wildlife Habitat area at Brooklyn Memorial Park
On committee: Tom P., Jim W., Diana, & Greg – all National Wildlife Habitat Stewards. Committee meeting was held prior to Steering Committee meeting. Discussed submitting grant application to the Cleveland Metropark Zoo’s Can Recycling program. Options regarding plants discussed: prices, types, methods. Bob was not present, but during Steering Committee mentioned that Brooklyn resident Dennis Petro preferred the planting at Brookside Park and recommended that next meeting include Dennis and other stakeholders.

November 15 tours of Valley Forge High School Wetland Project and Nine Mile Creek Retention Basin Restoration Project. Follow-up tours to these locations and tours at other locations identified in Symposium will occur in the spring with dates TBD.

RAP “Year of the River.” Brian Cummins will present a resolution of support for the “Year of the River” at Dec. 8th Cleveland City Council Meeting. FOBC will seek resolutions with other Big Creek watershed communities.

Recognition of recently deceased Ed Hauser. Film on local PBS in honor of his legacy. Ed was an advocate for Whiskey Island, the Coast Guard station, Hulett Ore Unloaders, and Dike 14. He was a board member of Friends of Crooked River. He acted as an effective Port Authority watchdog. Ed was supportive of FOBC and attended several of our public meetings

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