Monthly Meeting of April 7, 2010

President Ben Garvin called the meeting to order at 7:12 pm.

Item 1Update on Fountain Maintenance.

Mike Tierney, who maintains the fountains in the Commons, provided CSANA with an estimate for fountain maintenance totaling $8.940.00 annually.  The proposal was very extensive and included twice weekly visits to maintain the fountains.  CSANA only agreed to open and close the fountains at the beginning and end of the season and does not believe it committed to such extensive maintenance.  The parks department is now indicating that the city may be able to open and close the fountains.

David Gacioch (Vice-president) and Sheila Chiemets (former Secretary) will set up a meeting with the parks department to determine what CSANA needs to do to maintain the fountains.  The maintenance proposal is likely excessive for the needs of the fountains.  There is a need for a company that can be contacted in case of problems with the fountains.

Item 2. Review of street naming procedures.

Originally the carriageways were named “Chester Square.”  To make this change honorary, 80% of owners and/or owner associations must agree.  To make this change official – so that mail will not be delivered unless addressed to Chester Park – 100% of owners and/or owner associations must agree.  Members commented that most people would not want to change all of their contact information and therefore would prefer an honorary change.  The remainder of this discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

Item 3. Update on Shawmut bus stop.

There has been no communication from massDOT.  Ben Garvin (President) will contact Greg Strangeways, a representative from massDOT who came to the February CSANA meeting.

Item 4. Website design changes.

This item was tabled until the next meeting.

Item 5. Event Planning.

Members have suggested that the parks be used for events such as cookouts, concerts, family events, etc.  Members of CSANA will reach out to the Jazz Festival (now run by Berklee School of Music) to see if they are interested in sponsoring an event in the parks.

Item 6. Fundraising.

A motion was passed to make May the official fundraising month for CSANA.  Some immediate fundraising priorities were discussed.  Ben Garvin (President) will reach out to Cru to discuss another wine tasting.  Last year’s event raised substantial money.  The South End Garden Tour will include the Chester Square Parks and Ben will also contact the group to find out if CSANA can fundraise during that event.

Item 7. Parking during construction.

Related to parking, Ben Garvin (President) updated the group on the reason for the steep grade in the sidewalk.  In order to be ADA compliant the sidewalk must have four foot wide, flat sections before it can be graded down to the level of the curb.  This results in a very steep grade towards the curb.  Additionally, Ben will be meeting with the engineer to discuss some of the dips found in the sidewalk since installed.

During construction, parking has been difficult for residents.  There was some discussion about how to create more resident parking spots.  The “visitor only” spots on Chester Park may be able to be changed to allow residents to park.  There is significant parking for residents and non-residents that residents could more easily use if it was resident permit parking only.

Item 8. Visit from Stuart Rosenberg, Chief of Staff for Felix G. Arroyo, City Councilor at-large.

Mr. Rosenberg came to introduce himself to the group as the Chief of Staff for the newly elected City Councilor at-Large.

Item 9. Miscellaneous.

There has been a problem with street sweepers not cleaning West Springfield Street.  This may be due to a route change which makes West Springfield Street the last street on the route and may be missed because the street sweepers can’t finish in time.

The South End library branch will remain open.

There will be new bushes for planting on the east side of Chester Park on April 24th, which is also the park cleanup day.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 pm.

Monthly Meeting of March 3, 2010

President Ben Garvin called the meeting to order at 7:08 pm.

Item 1Sean Curran, architect for 102-104 West Springfield St. renovation.

Sean Curran of Phoenix Design and Development presented a plan to renovate the building at 102-104 West Springfield Street.  The building has been vacant for approximately 15 -16 years.  The same family has owned the building for 80 years.

The owners are having the building restored to a single-family residence and intend to live there.  Mr. Curran presented several changes to the outside of the building, including putting windows in on the park side, the installation of a six foot, cantilevered deck at parlor level, and a “shed roof” similar to other buildings on the same block.

A second phase of the project includes beautifying an adjacent lot to the building.  Plans for the adjacent lot have not yet been developed and will be presented to CSANA at a later date.

CSANA approved a motion to support the changes presented.  A letter of support will be written provided to Mr. Curran.

Item 2. Report of installation of additional benches to the parks.

The contractor doing the Massachusetts Avenue reconstruction was asked to bid on the installation of the four remaining benches for the parks.  Their bid was much more competitive than previous bids.

The final issue has been the color of the bricks for the beds under the benches.  This week the Parks Department approved the brick color.  Hopefully, the benches will be installed this spring.

Item 3. Response to contract proposal by city.

After the last meeting, CSANA returned its comments on the City’s contract for maintaining the parks.  The City has not officially responded to CSANA’s comments.

Members of CSANA have contacted Mike Tierney who maintains the fountain at Boston Common.  He is going to look at the Chester Park fountains and provide an estimate for seasonal maintenance.

Item 4. Open Forum

Boston Shines is April 24, 2010.  CSANA will publicize to the neighborhood.

The owners from 507 Massachusetts Avenue attended the meeting to voice concern about the #1 bus stop being moved from the North side of Tremont to the South side on the southbound side.  The move positioned the bus in front of several residential buildings; it had previously been in front of a business.

The owners of 507 have contacted several different departments at the City and have not had much success voicing their concerns.  The Mayor’s representative at the meeting will have the Department of Transportation representative contact the owners.  Although the bus stop was moved as part of the overall Massachusetts Avenue reconstruction, there is a separate process to evaluate the #1 bus line in general.

James Grady has begun to redesign and update the CSANA website.  CSANA will discuss ideas at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:01 pm.