September 27, 2023


September 19, 2023 (16 people attending the meeting at the Stierwalt Alumni House)

Coordinator Richie Griffin called the meeting to order with a welcome to attendees and brief introductions, and Treasurer Nigel Shoaff volunteered to take notes.

Previous July minutes were approved. Greta Pennell asked whether there were more details available about the committees listed under “Old Business” on the Agenda.

A new attendee wanted to know how residents in the neighborhood can be added to the UHNA  distribution list. The new yard signs display a QR code that people can scan for information on the website and Facebook. Neighbors were encouraged to take a sign home to display.

Treasurer’s Report: Nigel stated a balance of $1,728.70 through Aug. 31 in the Indiana Members Credit Union account, including a $400 deposit from Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND).

    • A portion of the SEND grant was used to purchase 15 new yard signs for $288.90.

    • UHNA checks were prepared to reimburse Karen Barten for web domain subscription ($19.99) and Jeri Warner for the Business Entity Report ($22.00).

    • Neighbors voted in favor of obtaining a debit card from IMCU for UHNA use.

UIndy Update: Andy Kocher, Vice President for Corporate and Community Partnerships

    • Oct. 6 & 7 Homecoming – neighbors welcome at all events, so check UIndy website; additional security provided; not enough staffing to host a parade; 5K run/walk Hound Hustle on Oct. 7

    • Lilly Community Engagement Grant Proposal – informative workshop held Aug. 30 to collect ideas on potential projects involving UIndy and the surrounding neighborhoods and stakeholders; the proposal, due in March 2024, must demonstrate that these efforts from UIndy, neighborhood residents, and local businesses will benefit various entities in the community; Lilly awarding these $25 million grants to the chosen universities.

Raymond Brandes (School 65) Update: Dr. William (Bill) Murphy, Chief Operations Officer – Indianapolis Public Schools (Dr. Murphy did not attend due to illness but provided an email regarding recent discussions on the disposition of Raymond Brandes. Bullets summarizing his details are provided below.)

    • Believe Circle City Prep School has had conversations with the district about Raymond Brandes. Brian Dickey, a colleague of Dr. Murphy, has led discussions.

    • IPS continues its partnership with Adelante Schools, which manages Emma Donnan Elementary & Middle School.

    • IPS expresses its support for the partnership between Adelante Schools and UIndy.

    • Dr. Murphy intends to keep University Heights informed of new developments and appreciates the input from members of this neighborhood.

Raymond Brandes (School 65) Update – continued, with comments made during meeting

Believe Circle City Prep was described as a well-regarded high school, and a representative of the school may attend UHNA’s November meeting. An observation was made that renovations may be extensive to change bathroom fixtures built for elementary students to those appropriate for high school students. Legal debate of the law regarding the sale of school buildings for $1.00 is still ongoing, and Attorney General Todd Rokita is on the side to protect the $1.00 law.

News on I-65 Safety & Efficiency Project: Bruce Colville, ReThink Coalition

    • Replacement of Hanna Ave. bridge is estimated to extend through 14 months.

    • Plans include bicycle and pedestrian lanes on bridge – 6-foot-wide sidewalk on north side, bicycle and pedestrian lanes on south side.

    • Lick Creek trail will loop and come up to the bridge and down the other side.

    • Improvement of sidewalks on the north side of Hanna Ave. planned; a housing development had sidewalks put in for its property on the north side; extending sidewalks west to Keystone Ave. is necessary for optimum walkability in this area.

    •Nothing involving the bridge will get going until the second quarter of 2024.

Emma Donnan Elementary & Middle School Highlights: Leah Kuruzar; Director of Engagement for

Adelante Schools

    • Enrollment at beginning of semester – 440 students, above the goal of 384, and still enrolling

    • Transportation allowed in zone 4 has created the opportunity for additional students.

    • Planned events for fall include After-School clubs with over 100 students enrolled; the Fall Festival on Oct. 26, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM with Trunk or Treat participants; Scholar Ambassadors looking for service projects.

    • Partnership with UIndy students working in Emma Donnan classrooms – managing this arrangement is Marianna Foulkrod, Director, Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement at UIndy

Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND): Kate Voss, Community Builder

    • SEND is fully funded by federal and state entities.

    • SEND has built eight affordable houses in the Norwood east-side neighborhood for qualified seniors 55 and up.

    • Kate provided a printout of homelessness situations and contact information for established organizations you can call for help with unsheltered people, rather than just calling IMPD.

    • Current active teams in the Quality of Life Plan – Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD), which is comprised of three former groups in one, and Health and Wellness, which recently featured IU health group presentation on a new survey to reach residents who are not receiving proper health care screenings and who are at risk for serious illnesses.

    • Southeast Community Services – supplying food pantries with 90,000 lbs. of produce

Updates on the Indiana Senate: State Senator Jack Sandlin

    • The past session was long with tedious budget discussions.

    • 2024 legislative session begins in January; talks on increased funding for pre-K and kindergarten; economic development; affordable housing in Senate Bill 46; Riverside development to get relief on property taxes for people 55 – 65 years old; plan to build more rest areas on highways

    • Committee to do a four-year study on property taxes

    • Meetings with constituents during the summer recess on ideas for next year’s session 

Old Business: Committees

    • Social media accounts/webpage – almost complete; the new Facebook is set up as group style, and anyone can post on it without going through Karen Barten.

    • Bylaws – send Richie an email if you wish to work on updates; Greta Pennell suggested document descriptions should be about function without specifying the means.

    • Summer events – Jeri Warner is interested in organizing a summer party next year.

    • Block parties – no updates

    • Board members – Richie will send out a proposal by email.

    • University Heights Community Park – the grant obtained by Rachel McElwain earlier this year for park improvements needs to be used sometime by the spring of 2024.

Meeting adjourned. Minutes submitted by Nigel Shoaff Next UHNA meeting November 21, 2023


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