Neighborhood association holds annual elections, talks future

Association members reviewed potential neighborhood projects.

The Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association (PPERRIA) held their annual board and membership meeting Tuesday, elected new board members and discussed the future of the neighborhood. The majority of the meeting was spent browsing presentation boards and discussing current projects that affect the neighborhood. But at least two projects presented at the meeting, both of which could greatly affect the neighborhood, have been put on hold due to budget constraints, Dick Gilyard, PPERRIA member said. âÄúThere is an enormous amount going on with the light rail, the University, the change of the roadway on Franklin Ave.,âÄù Gilyard said. âÄúIf you add it all up, there is an enormous amount of construction.âÄù Members of The University District Alliance attended the meeting to talk about the planned alliance work in neighborhoods around the University. Plans were developed by the partnership, which University neighborhood associations are involved in. Jan Morlock, director of University Relations, said that this was the first time PPERRIA at large had seen the project, but members of a zoning and planning committee at PPERRIA had already been involved. âÄúThereâÄôs been a lot of participation [in the planning],âÄù said Dean Lind, PPERRIA member , although he was not on the committee. Another pending project of interest to PPERRIA is the reconstruction of the intersection of East River Road and Franklin Avenue. âÄúWeâÄôre focusing on clarity, efficiency and reducing the amount of delay for everybody and simultaneously trying to keep it safe,âÄù Mike Kotila, the project manager with SEH consulting and engineering firm working on the project said. A representative from Rep. Keith EllisonâÄôs, D-Minn., office and 2nd Ward councilman Cam Gordon were present. Gordon said he was there mostly to listen, but was impressed with the turn-out and the amount of focus on the future. âÄúThis is an area that there could be tremendous growth in the next few years and the more the community can be involved and aware in that, the better,âÄù said Gordon. After learning about the different neighborhood projects PPERRIA members learned who would join the board. Association membership is required to vote for board members. There were 24 candidates for 20 positions, and each year 20 of 40 spots are open. Dick Poppele, PPERRIA president , said that there has been an increasing number of nominees each year.