NBN6 June 13 2016 Meeting Notes

NBN6 Meeting Notes

Monday, June 13, 2016

Facilitator:  Rev. Judy Lee Hay

Refreshments:  NeighborGood Grant / Mary Staropoli

______________________

Discussion notes are “coded” in the following way:

Q = Question

A = Answer

C = Comment

______________________ 

  1.  Introductions

 

  1.  Report from Rochester Police Department 

GOODMAN SECTION – Lt. Frank Alberti:

-Armed robbery at 7-11 on South Clinton; suspect fled via Seager St.; investigation underway and close to making an arrest

-8 home burglaries spread out across the section; no real patterns; 5 entered via open door/window for easy access; 3 in vacant homes under construction

-36 larcenies including 15 motor vehicle thefts (most through open window/door)

GENESEE SECTION – Officer Tony McMullan:

-Bank robbery – suspect identified but not yet arrested

-Armed robbery in residential driveway

-Commercial robbery on Mt. Hope (cell phone store)

Speed on Mt. Hope traffic has been monitored at park entrance by officer cars doing radar enforcement; hopefully this has been a deterrent

A flashing light will be installed for pedestrians at crosswalk on Mt. Hope

CENTRAL SECTION – Lt. Rob Wilson:

-No serious crime to report

-10 motor vehicle larcenies in upper South Wedge

-2 larcenies – an unsecured bike and a porch decoration

We believe we’re deterring a lot of crime with a robust presence in the South Wedge area with lots of police cars patrolling 24/7

 

Q:  What do you do about the people panhandling at 490 Exit at Goodman?

A: We have stepped up enforcement in the Goodmaan section. Please call 911 (when you get to a safe location) and report it so we can respond; it is illegal and we will give them a warning the first time, then lock them up; please whatever you do, do not give them money; there are plenty of services and most likely they will use it to buy drugs and alcohol.

Q: What about panhandlers you run into on the street?

A: Panhandling is not illegal unless it gets aggressive or they start following you

Q: A blue light is being added at the corner of Caroline & S. Clinton; how do you choose where those will go?

A: Community groups, City Council, and crime patterns are all factors; we are allotted a certain number for the Goodman Section, and the captains prioritize based on all these factors. Citizens are still the most important eyes and ears, so please don’t think the camera will replace your call to us to report anything that you see in that area. The camera room only has so much manpower to monitor 160 cameras across the city.

 

  1.  Rochester Police Chief Chief Ciminelli

Making the rounds around the city to speak directly to neighborhood groups.

The re-organization was designed to improve community policing by having fewer officers focused on a smaller area and getting to know its people and neighborhoods. We’ll be doing an evaluation of the first year, but I’d like to hear from your perspective how it’s working out.

Q: We’ve been very disappointed and concerned about the long delay in getting an operations center for the Goodman Section. Well over a year ago we were told 3 sites had already been identified and now the City is hiring a consulting firm to study potential sites. What impact does not having a physical center have on the community policing that you’re trying to achieve? Can you give us an update on the current timeline and whether there’s any hope for moving it up?

A: It doesn’t affect response time, but it does impact the section being a part of the neighborhood. We are 4-5 months behind where we wanted to be, but money is now in the capital budget and site reviews are full speed ahead. We will be making recommendations regarding site locations, there will be a public dialogue, and then it will need to go through Council approval process. The factors we need to consider are central locations, adequate parking, operational efficiency and effectiveness, space requirements, security issues, and cost. We’re trying to have a careful process in choosing appropriate location that will stand the test of time.

Q: How many officers are on traffic enforcement? I’m concerned about the overall levels of speed in the city

A: There are 6 officers assigned to traffic enforcement, half of what we used to have due to staffing cuts. It is an important public safety issue, and we should have more staffing. We have asked City Council for more resources.

Q: Can you tell us about the body camera program?

A: By the end of January 2017, we hope to have over 400 body cameras deployed; we’ll do it section by section starting in the Clinton Section, then Central, then Goodman, then Lake, then Genesee; we will be working out the kinks and working through the handling of mass amount of data that will be produced.

Q: What about public access to the footage?

A: We are working with many groups and negotiating with the union regarding all the issues surrounding what will be done with the video captured. The video will be subject to FOIL requests but there are many exemptions that will apply. We will do our best to work out a fair process that takes everyone’s concerns into account.

Q: Will the officer have the option of turning the camera off?

A: It’s complicated. There is a draft policy on our website (www.cityofrochester.gov/police) that you can view, but there are situations when they are required to have the camera on (e.g. arrest underway, use of force), and other situations when they will have the option to turn it off (e.g. standard call for service).

C: I was recently impressed by the quick response from the RPD officers to a convenient store burglary. Many citizens don’t appreciate the great job you are doing. What can you do to better promote the good job you are doing?

A: We’re hoping to push more information through the RPD facebook page and to email lists that we have of neighborhood groups when we have successes, but unfortunately the nature of the business is you usually only hear about it when there are negative incidents.

Q: Will there be a Neighborhood Service Center for the Central Section?

A: I don’t know believe there are any plans to do that. Nothing is off the table though, and not sure what the future will bring.

 

  1.  Development Plans for Karges Property (North parcel) – Mark IV Enterprises – Steve DiMarzo

We are a 50 year old, family owned company. We build, own and manage all our properties. We have 600 local employees. We’re committed to the city and have done many city projects including Corn Hill Landing, Irving Place, H.H. Warner and 300 Alexander St.

We purchased the property at the DOT’s auction in Nov 2015 and will hopefully be closing on it soon. Our preliminary thoughts about this parcel is residential apartments, maybe $800-1200 monthly rent for studio and 1 bedrooms.

We expect there will be substantial cleanup requirements on the property, which was a former shoe factory, and we have experience doing that.

Q: What attracted you to the site abutting the expressway?

A: It’s a great neighborhood as you all know. It’s got great visibility, great access to southeast neighborhoods and downtown.

Q: How many floors?

A: It will somewhat depend on how much we have to spend on remediation so we can get a return on our investment.

Q: Plans for 390 Gregory St. called for smaller units for working people, perhaps you can look at that demographic instead of targeting higher income rent

A: Thanks for the input

C: Suggest you come back to NBN6 early in the process before your plans are set in stone

A: We plan on it

 

  1.  Development Plans for Karges Property (South parcel) – Betlem Heating & Cooling – Jim Lytle

Our company celebrates its 75th year in business, operating on S. Clinton for the last 65 years. Expansions over the years have allowed us to stay here. We’ve had our eye on this parcel of land for many years and are pleased we had a chance to buy it at the State auction. We are waiting to close on the property sale and the wheels of the State turn very slowly.

Our plan is to expand our parking area by @ 3,500 square feet (truth be told, we’ve been squatting on the property for many years!). We will maintain the rest of the property as “green space” and be a good neighbor in keeping it looking nice.

Q: Have you considered ecological drainage methods?

A: When we get to that point, we’ll consider it

Q: Would you be open to a community garden there?

A: We would consider that

Q: Will there be any more RV’s parked there with for sale signs on them?

A: No, I don’t believe so

 

  1.  Neighborhood Service Center – Kelvin Knight

No announcements or updates from the Neighborhood Service Center.

Q: I am having trouble with a neighbor parking a car on their lawn. Isn’t that illegal?

A: Correct, you are not allowed to park on the lawn, but we have to see the car there to ticket it

 

  1.  Community Sharing

Report from Colleen McCarthy at University of Rochester:  We’re building a residence hall and looking for storage location for a large amount of soil for several months; one possible site is north of McClean on Wilson Blvd, so giving the neighborhood a heads up on that and will let you know if that location is decided on

Q: What about the land on the northwest corner of the cemetery on the top of the hill as a possible location?

A: I don’t know, but I will take that idea back

Q: Are the gentleman building Gold St lofts aware you’re building more residential halls?

A: Yes, they are aware

Rochester Rotary Southeast won first place winner for social media usage from local Rotary Club district. Like the group on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RotaryRocSE.

Library updates: Baby sign classes will start on Thurs mornings, basic computer classes for adults on Mon afternoons, adult book group meets on Tuesday

Colgate Rochester Divinity School had a vigil ceremony for the victims in Orlando; we will miss their presence in the neighborhood

Gold St. property development update:  The Planning Commission denied the developers’ use of the parking lot, which put the brakes on the project. The developers have reconfigured the design. The Planning Commission will decide at a meeting tonight whether they will consider the new redesign. If so, the developers will present their redesign at a future meeting. Community input will continue to be essential.

The parcel on Mt. Hope next to Time Warner that the City owns is being discussed as possible site for co-housing group. Some of us would like to see it remain open land. 390 Gregory is the other site the co-housing group is considering.

On Tuesday, August 2, come out for band music by JAVA followed by a Star Wars movie in Highland Bowl!

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