Minutes for September 30, 2014

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

HERC Administration Building – Visitors Center
505 6th Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55405

Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners on January 27, 2015

Attendees: Michael Ahern, Nina Axelson, Joan Campbell, Aaron Corcoran, Ehsan Dehbashi, Bonnie Dehn, Raymond Dehn, Mary deLaittre, Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, Christine Fleming, David Frank, David Galey, Marybeth Harris, Lauren Hazuka, Brad Henry, George Holden, Tricia Holden, John Jaimez, Ted Johnson, Rick Kreuser, Bruce Lambrecht, Chuck Leer, Carl Michaud, Andrea Nelson, Kelly Nelson, Pat Nelson, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Neil Reardon, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, LJ Rotman, Rick Rud, Bob Salmen, Dr. Patricia Simmons, Mark Stenglein, Carletta Sweet, Dave Thorson, Marsha Wagner, Dale White

1. Welcome and Introductions – Chuck Leer, Chair; Rick Rud, Business Manager, Covanta Energy-Hennepin County; Carl Michaud, Director, Hennepin County Environmental Services Department

2. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on July 22, 2014
A correction was made to Item 4, Major League Baseball All-Star Game Recap, line 1, referencing the “85th [not 8th] Midsummer Classic.” Minutes were APPROVED as corrected and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3. Minneapolis Farmers Market – Pat Nelson, Manager, Nicollet Mall Farmers Market; Bonnie Dehn, President, Board of Directors, Central Minnesota Vegetable Growers Association [PPT Presentation/photos]
Bonnie Dehn began by sharing the history of the Farmers Market, including her personal experience starting at the age of five. Ms. Dehn’s father and grandfather had stalls at the Market, and she knew it when there were fifteen sheds, 26 bathrooms for women, and before I‑94 was constructed. She represents the fifth generation of her family in the Farmers Market. Originally run by the City of Minneapolis, the Market was absolutely quiet, with nothing in the walkway and absolutely no commerce, until the whistle blew at 6 am each day.

Pat Nelson said that the Farmers Market started in 1876, located off Hennepin Avenue and First Street. After burning down twice at that location, it eventually moved to a location on Third Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets. It boasted 400 members, some coming from as far as 60 miles away, which by horse-and-buggy was a full day journey.

In the early seventies the City started contracting the Farmers Market, and in 1971 an item was brought before the City Council to shut it down. That is the year that the Central Minnesota Vegetable Growers Association (CMVGA) took over management. In the mid-70s there was a push to save the last three sheds. The CMVGA now represents more than 230 vendors and members, from locations as far away as Bayfield, Wisconsin and South Dakota, and they have 10,000 visitors each weekend.

The Farmers Market remains a viable organization. It gathers food for food shelves, has a podcast on its website, offers Market Talks with local chefs, and offers food product demonstrations. Growers are also invited to conduct teaching sessions. The Nicollet Mall Farmers Market started in 1986 and has grown to 65 members. It is prosperous and continues to grow.

When asked whether food sold at the Farmers Market is Minnesota-grown and organic, Ms. Dehn said that there’s a fee that must be paid to be qualified as organic. Many of the vendors offer pesticide-free goods, but that is a choice of the growers. Not all of the produce sold at the Market is Minnesota-grown. There are four produce resellers, who remain in the Market because they stepped up and helped the Market succeed when it was struggling in the 1970s.

The Minneapolis Farmers Market is the largest in the seven northern states. It is open year-round, seven days a week from April 15 through November. It is open weekends through Christmas, then every other weekend with limited vendors from January through March.

4. Update on Mayo Clinic Square – Ted Johnson, Senior VP Marketing & Communications, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx; Patricia Simmons, MD and Executive, Mayo Clinic; Jonathan Finnoff, DO, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center
Ted Johnson said that with the opening of Mayo Clinic Square, it’s the end of one journey and the beginning of another. He introduced Dr. Patricia Simmons, an executive at Mayo Clinic, who said that the primary value of Mayo Clinic is that the needs of the patient come first. Dr. Simmons introduced Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, who will be the Director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center.

Dr. Finnoff said they are excited about the Sports Medicine Center (SMC), located on the third floor in Mayo Clinic Square, and opening on October 1, 2014. The Timberwolves | Lynx will be opening in the Spring of 2015 on the fourth floor. They are partners in this economic development initiative, and have collaborated with the Timberwolves | Lynx with a common goal of health and wellness. The SMC will be the preferred provider for the Timberwolves | Lynx.

Mayo Clinic (MC) is the largest integrated, multidisciplinary medical group in the world. All areas of practice work as a team, providing exceptional care to its patients. It has been providing sports medicine for two and a half decades, and everyone who works there is exceptional. The SMC is for everyone, from elite and professional athletes, to collegiate athletes, to active adults.

Some of the programs and services it offers include the highest level MRI available, diagnostic ultrasound, regenerative medicine, and orthopedic surgeries. There’s also an emphasis on injury prevention. They will apply EXOS principles to everyday people; EXOS works with athletes to maximize their potential, and they trained the German National team in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

Dr. Finnoff concluded his remarks by saying that sports medicine is for everyone. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, exercise is medicine; it helps treat depression, and prevents diabetes, strokes, heart disease, among others. SMC will have two physicians onsite initially, and are in the process of hiring one more. Others will be rotating through, four or five at a time. They will have the capacity for video conferencing with physicians in Rochester, and can also arrange for appointments in Rochester.

5. LRT Update: Southwest and Bottineau – David Frank, Transit Oriented Development Manager, CPED
Regarding the Southwest light rail line, all cities along the route and Hennepin County have given municipal consent. Funding is in place to do engineering. Southwest is on track to open in 2019. Bottineau/Blue Line has hired a firm to begin working on an engineering plan. Minnesota is one of two states with two projects in engineering, and has a great relationship with the FTA.

6. Rail~Volution Report – David Frank
The annual conference of transit and development professionals took place in Minnesota with a record-breaking number of attendees (1400). The Counties Transit Improvement Board took the lead in planning the conference, under the direction of Phil Eckhert, Special Projects Manager, Hennepin County Public Works. The weather was also ”well-planned” and attendees took part in all forms of transit, including walking tours, canoes, bikes and waterways.

7. Organics Processing Overview – Carl Michaud, Director, Hennepin County Environmental Services Department; Rick Rud, Business Manager, Covanta; John Jaimez, Organics Recycling Specialist, Hennepin County [PPT Presentation]
John Jaimez said that organic recycling is a hot topic. Hennepin County collects 800,000 tons of waste, with 300,000 tons currently being landfilled. More than thirty percent of that is food waste, which means 250,000 tons could be used for composting or anaerobic digesting. Hennepin County is currently offering recycling grants to businesses, churches and other groups, that could be used to purchase bins, build enclosures, or change their loading docks.

Mr. Jaimez defined organics as the biodegradable portion of trash: all food scraps and soiled, nonrecyclable papers. Anaerobic digestion is getting more traction nationally as a way to compost plus create renewable energy. “Anaerobic” is an artificial digestive system; it takes food and runs it through a digestive system, creating solids, liquid, and gas (methane) that can be used in boilers, biogas engines, electric vehicles, waste heat, and carbon dioxide to fuel greenhouses.

Rick Rud said that in a facility like this, the organics received would not be stored in above-ground tanks, but underground, in an area about the size of a soccer field. The end result would be liquids (fertilizer) and solids (potting soil). Since the organics are processed and the slurry stored underground, there would be no odor.

Carl Michaud talked about improved efficiency with district energy, referring to slide #5 of their presentation that showed how compressed natural gas could be distributed to the area surrounding HERC.

The Hennepin County Board is requiring the City of Minneapolis to start organics collections in 2015. For anaerobic digesting to be feasible, they would need 250,000 tons of organics and try to capture half, a minimum of 100,000 tons.

8. Next Step: Phase II Planning and Strategy – Mary deLaittre, Principal, Groundwork; Chuck Leer [PPT Presentation]
Mary deLaittre presented a strategy for thinking about what 2020 Partners can do moving forward. We are experiencing a unique time convergence of systems: transit (Southwest, Bottineau LRT), district energy, civic assets (Mayo Square, Timberwolves/Target Center, Target Field, HERC, Metro Transit, Farmers Market), and neighborhoods (North Loop, Downtown, Loring Park, Harrison, Sumner-Glenwood, Near North).

There was a tremendous amount of development in Phase I, and Ms. deLaittre believes that will continue to move down Fifth Street, citing new projects like Be The Match and Junction Flats. 2010 Partners was created seven years ago and provided unparalleled leadership in this development. Using the same integrated, interdisciplinary approach used in Phase I, the goal of Phase II would be to create an area that is visionary, authentic and equitable. The role of 2020 Partners would be to advocate and provide leadership, inviting stakeholders to the table to start discussing what will take place in the future.

Chuck Leer quoted Dr. Finnoff in saying that the various silos don’t currently relate to each other. The 2020 Partners can begin a conversation about how to support and interconnect these various interests, and determine where to find funding for development.

In subsequent discussion on this topic, the subject of a soccer field being part of the plan was brought up. A soccer field is a possibility, but it’s not part of any current plan. The Downtown Council identified this as the sports area so a soccer field could be a topic of discussion around the table. Someone suggested putting an anaerobic digester under the soccer field. Another suggestion was to invite Metro Transit-Heywood Project and Mary’s Place to participate in the discussion.

Mr. Leer concluded by asking for consensus on whether the Phase II concept is moving in the right direction, and is something that The 2020 Partners should get behind, beginning at the Steering Committee level and then continuing at the November membership meeting. By a visible nod, consensus was given to proceed.

9. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.
The meeting will be held at the HERC Administration Building – Visitors Center, 505 6th Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55405.

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