Spicewood Neighborhood Association Winter Meeting Summary

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Spicewood Neighborhood Association Winter Meeting

December 8, 7:00 PM

Sherwood Oaks Christian Church

Attendance: 23 residents of Spicewood I and Spicewood II

 Meeting Summary

  1. Carmela Garcia from ReStore gave a short presentation about ReStore’s services and their need for materials and volunteers, especially when students are not in town. Call 812 331 2660 for more information.
  2. Update on Spicewood Signs: The sign installation has been delayed by changes in the City’s contracting procedures. Currently, the funds for the signs and landscaping are encumbered for the next fiscal year. In January, the signs and installation will be on the Board of Public Works agenda for its approval. Assuming all goes as expected, the signs should be installed in spring.
  3. Update on the Little Free Library: The Library is ready for installation but the site chosen for the Library had too many tree roots to install the Library post. The executive committee will discuss alternate locations when it meets early next year.
  4. Update on The Lakes Neighborhood: The developers are working with the County Plan Commission on approval for the overall design. More information is available on their website – http://lakesneighborhood.com/.
  5. Online communications: There was a fairly extensive discussion about setting up and maintaining a NextDoor website for Spicewood. NextDoor is a password-protected neighborhood website that is limited to Spicewood residents only. The Bloomington City Police Department will use Nextdoor to communicate with neighborhoods. There was unanimous agreement that Spicewood should have Spicewood Nextdoor site and that all neighborhood residents should be invited to join it. Information about NextDoor can be found at https://help.nextdoor.com/ and in this document – Info about Nextdoor.
  6. Update on Spicewood finances: Early next year, the executive committee will open a checking account for the Association. The EIN needed for the account has been obtained. The funds donated at the picnic will be deposited in the account. The Association is part of the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) which allows use of the CONA 501c3 status. Future purchases can be made tax-free and donations to theAssociation will be eligible for tax deductions.
  7. Executive Committee – the current executive committee members (John Kennedy, Sandy Sabbagh, Mark Webb, Shirley Megnin, and Amy Anderson) were selected for another term.

The meeting adjourned at 8 PM.


Winter Meeting Agenda

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Spicewood Neighborhood Association Meeting
December 8, 7:00 PM
Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, Rm 362

To reach Rm 362, enter door #3 and go upstairs.  Door 3 is on the southwest corner of the building. The stairs and an elevator are on the right just past the foyer. (http://newmedia.socc.org.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/c/0e1937037_church-map.pdf)

Meeting Agenda:

  1. Introduction of the executive committee
  2. A short presentation by ReStore about their services
  3. Update on Spicewood entrance signs
  4. Update on Little Free Library
  5. Update on The Lakes neighborhood (http://lakesneighborhood.com/)
  6. Discussion of online communications – email list use, Nextdoor, others
  7. Spicewood Neighborhood Association finances – checking account and CONA services
  8. Selection of the executive committee for next year

The main topics for the meeting are online communications for Spicewood residents and the association finances including the financial services provided by CONA to assist neighborhood associations.

Online Communications

Currently, Spicewood has a website (https://spicewoodneighborhood.wordpress.com/), a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SpicewoodNeighborhoodAssociation) and an email list. The website is primarily for Association documents. The Facebook is used for limited neighborhood communications. About 30 residents have “liked” the page and see updates posted on it. The page is open for any residents to post on it. The email list is used for communications about meetings and important information. About 70 residents are in the email list.

Nextdoor is a private neighborhood website – https://spicewood.nextdoor.com/about_us/.  A Spicewood Nextdoor site was created but no invitations have been sent to Spicewood residents. If enough interest is shown for Nextdoor, invitations can be sent. If you want to join, click on this link: https://nextdoor.com/invite/txaswcajnwxgcjsbxtnn.

The following is part of an article from the HT about Nextdoor:

Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Bloomington Police Department is now communicating online with local neighborhoods in an effort to improve safety and strengthen neighborhood watch efforts.

Using a private social network for neighborhoods called Nextdoor, Bloomington residents can join private neighborhood websites to share information, including neighborhood public safety issues, events, activities and local services. The Bloomington Police Department will be able to post information, such as safety tips and crime alerts, to Nextdoor websites within the city.

Each Bloomington neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website accessible only to residents who verify that they live in the neighborhood. Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor websites. Police will not be able to access residents’ websites, contact information or content. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by search engines. Nextdoor is free for residents and the police department.

In addition, we received an invitation to join Nextdoor from Sgt. Pam Gladish who is the Bloomington Police Department’s officer assigned to help neighborhoods.

Sergeant Pam Gladish from the Bloomington Police Department would like to invite you to join your neighborhood’s private website on Nextdoor.  Neighbors are using Nextdoor to:

  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
  • Get the word out about a break-in
  • Organize a neighborhood garage sale
  • Ask for help finding a lost pet
  • Plan for an emergency

 Financial Opportunities through CONA 

The Spicewood Neighborhood Association is part of CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations – http://conabloomington.org/). CONA is an umbrella organization that helps neighborhoods interact with local governments and provides services for neighborhood associations. All neighborhood associations recognized by the City are members of CONA.

Two services provided by CONA can be useful to Spicewood.

  1. CONA is a 501c3 organization which allows us to use their nonprofit status to purchase materials without paying taxes and CONA can accept tax deductible gifts for Spicewood.
  2. CONA is working with an IU class to develop a new CONA website. The development also includes templates for neighborhoods to host their websites on the CONA site. CONA will also provide training to help neighborhoods start and maintain their websites.

CONA currently does not charge dues to the associations but is considering requesting neighborhoods pay dues to support CONA activities. Spicewood would pay $50 each year.