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Board Members present: Peter Belmont, Allan Brockway, Tim Clemmons, John Harte, Marilyn Olsen, Sydni Ann Shollenberger, Marie Stirling

Members absent: Tim Baker, Richard Freeburg, Mike Johnson, Gene Ormond, Joe Pugliano

The Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) held the third general membership meeting of 2008 on Thursday, July 10, 2008, at the Sunshine Center, 330 5th Street North, St. Petersburg. President Marilyn Olsen called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

President Olsen noted that the minutes of the April 17, 2008, General Meeting had been posted on the DNA website and that copies of the minutes were available at the back of the auditorium. Jane Egbert moved, Marie Stirling seconded that the minutes be approved as posted.

Treasurer Allan Brockway reported a record DNA membership of 169 as of June 30, 2008. Two new members joined at the July 10 meeting. The checking balance at the end of June was $3,239.73.

President Olsen then introduced Tim Garling, director of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), who profiled the current status of public transit in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, presented his vision for the future of public transportation in the community, and responded to questions from the audience. PSTA ridership has shown an increase of 9 percent since November 2007; the City of St. Petersburg’s Looper bus has increased 15 percent in number of riders in that same time period; and there has been a 20 percent increase in the transit of bicyclists who combine cycling with bus ridership.

The second speaker, Debra Faulk, is campaign manager for One Bay, a consortium of public and private partners, led by five regional organizations: Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Tampa Bay Partnership Regional Research & Education Foundation, and the Urban Land Institute Tampa Bay District. In 2007, the group was formed as part of a long-range visioning and planning effort to consider options for housing and accommodating an expected 3.2 million new residents in the Tampa Bay region by 2050.

Through questionnaires she supplied, members of the audience were invited to consider four scenarios for development patterns in the region and to respond with their opinions by submitting the questionnaires. The counties included in the regional analysis are Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Hernando, Pasco, Polk, and Sarasota.

President Olsen then introduced City Council member Karl Nurse who announced that the Council had voted 7-1 earlier in the day to begin the process of rezoning the Al Lang site to DC-P, a parkland designation.

Two DNA committee reports followed: DNA board member Peter Belmont gave a short report as chairman of DNA’s Rays’ Baseball Committee; John Harte reported on DNA’s adoption of Williams Park and plans to begin cleanup and planting operations there. Talks with neighboring institutions and businesses on or near the Williams Park perimeter and with City staff are ongoing.

President Olsen announced that a visioning process, sponsored by the City and open to the public, will begin in August to examine options for redevelopment of the Pier. She encouraged participation in the visioning process.

President Olsen adjourned the meeting at 8:34 p.m.

The next DNA board of directors meetings are set for Thursdays, August 14, and September 11, 2008, and the next general membership meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,

Sydni Ann Shollenberger, APR


Downtown Neighborhood Association

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