Flood Plain Mitigation Dallas Branch

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At least 900 homes are in the FEMA designated flood plain or flood fringe in NE Huntsville.  After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA needed less risk and required people to purchase private insurance while making money available to cities to improve storm water management.  Last year, 15 Million was awarded.

Huntsville city engineers are currently updating the cost estimate too build the infrastructure that was designed in 2013 when the housing market was at its lowest. We know that the project cost now exceeds the grant award of 15 million.  New funding sources will be required to move this project forward, either with additional grant funds or city capital funds.  We will be discussing these options over the next few weeks with FEMA and the Administration to decide how to proceed. We recommend that anyone who pays flood insurance do two things, both things:

1.  Go the CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS to tell the Mayor that you want City money, Economic Development monies, to be dedicated now, not wait for FEMA and

2. Write to Kathy.martin@huntsvilleal.gov to let her know you want city funds, the money in Economic Development budget, to pay for the work. 

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Meet & Greet – January 22, 2019

Last nights meeting went well! A huge thanks to Jamie Miernik for speaking to the group about cycling in the city. And congratulations to the newly elected board for 2019!

Scott Akridge – President
Austin Jackson – Vice President
Sabrina Simon – Communications Chair
Steve Rowley – Treasurer
Brittain Prince – Secretary

 

Many Hands make Light Work

 Five Points Cleanup Day Sat. Oct 27

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10 Reasons to Meet up and Pick up

1. The offenders never stop littering.
2. We don’t want to be seen as a sloppy neighborhood.
3. Some types of litter are a health hazard.
4. Litter hurts your house’s “curb appeal.”
5. A littered environment can contribute to depression.
6. It’s easy to do as part of a team, and walking in brisk fresh air promotes health and wellness.
7. A litter cleanup event keeps us connected as neighbors and members of a community.
8. There’ll be popcorn and drinks.
9. It’s been six months since the last cleanup.
10. There’ll be door prizes! Drawing at 11:45
So … let’s do it!
When      Saturday, Oct. 27
Where     Meet at Lewter Family Park, corner of Wellman and Windham to get a safety vest, a bag, and your door prize ticket
Why        See above!
How        Just show up. All we need is volunteers; everything else is furnished, thanks to City of Huntsville’s Operation Green Team.

Please attend to meet Jerry Berg; he initiated this biannual event over 10 years ago! Please, talk to him about being the point person for this 2x year event AND / OR to start one for other parts of NE Huntsville, too.

Draft Master Plan

Lots of folks came out to see the draft plan and talk to city staff from offices of Traffic Engineering and Planning and GIS mapping.  We didn’t see anyone from Parks and Recreation, however.   Stay tuned for the next meeting to flush out more details.  Here is the summary:

 

http://bigpicturehuntsville.com/five-points-northeast/

Our Area Master Plan V.1

Join us at the Optimist Recreation Center (703 Oakwood Ave. NE) on June 12th from 6-8PM for a reveal Small Area Master Plan.

Over the past eight months, city planning staff in coordination with the Northeast Huntsville Civic Association and the Five Points Historic District Association gathered opinions and ideas from residents in a series of public meetings to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. unnamed-13

This will be an open house-style event with no formal presentations or exercises, so you may come and go as you please. Staff from many departments will be represented.

The plan highlights several issues considered important by the residents of the study area, including:

Parks: Residents identified the neighborhood parks and Land Trust access as a strength of their community, but some improvements can be made. Come and tell staff how you want to use the parks: Bierne Park, Oak Park, Philpot Park, and Lewter Park.

Streetscape: Improving streets in accordance with the new city-wide Complete Streets policy. Come find out what that means and how you want to use the ribbons of asphalt and concrete in the area.

Pedestrian Connectivity: Highlighting new sidewalks and crosswalks to make access to amenities easier and safer. If you were in charge of spending limited $$, what are the priorities?

Zoning: Encouraging development that complements the surrounding architecture and land uses. What should houses and stores look like? Is there enough diversity?

This plan is still a draft, and comments will be gathered at the meeting.

BONUS:

Charles Marohn, renowned civil engineer turned city planner,  will be in town on June 14th, from 5-7 pm at the Museum of Art.

https://www.strongtowns.org/eventspage/2018/6/14/huntsville-al

 

Gathering Again 4-14-18

Gardeners appreciate rain, and Rain We Got on the 2nd Garden Gathering April 14, 2108.  Still, people came out with freshly dug perennials, cuttings, and vegetable starts. The rain did not dampen our spirits.  Neighbors made new connections and revived aquaintences.

Greg Parker and Brent Avery of city Parks and Recreation hosted the Pizza Garden station, and the city Landscape management division supplied the soil.  Sabrina also set up stations for the kids to make “seed bombs” and decorate their own tin can to use for a planter.

We all took delight in the joy of lil’ Nicholas’ romp and the Garden Music Station that Emily Bodnar built.  The Worm Hotel from Jerry King was a big hit…and Mrs. Mary Howe, Master Gardener, helped everyone identify unmarked contributions.  Adornments from “Wood and Beam” were available for sale to show our affinity for nature.

Original artwork by @Brandy Baird was appreciated in the raffle as well as:

Cunningham’s Pot Yard gift certificate

Tea Basket and Olde English tea pot

Bonsai trimmed by Sabrina

pansy kit

Sabrina’s hand made Herb Garden Tower

Child’s overalls

Quilted mug rug by Heather Ross, @mrsdragon

 

 

 

 

Priorities and Preferences

Our vision for improvements in our area begins to take shape with the help of professional planners and engineering staff.  Imagine if Andrew Jackson Way had stores and apartments above them as in this picture; a lot of people liked that configuration! This sort of preference can/may lead to new zoning policy to make it a bit easier for a developer with vision to accomplish the makeover.

 

Check out the results of the last two meetings here:

http://bigpicturehuntsville.com/five-points-northeast/

We live in the BEST city in the state because leaders and residents show up and communicate!

Starting a Slow Bridge Movement!

When you walk on the Oak Park Trail, you will cross over a culvert on two bridges made by Northeast Huntsville friends and neighbors and other residents of Madison County.  The first bridge was made by members of the mountain biking club called SORBA Huntsville; it’s a sturdy beauty.  The second bridge, also sturdy, was built solely with hand tools from start to finish; felling, splitting, hewing, and making and driving pegs.  Jacob Chancery introduced us to the tools and techniques used for at least 200 years to make the bridge.
We knew the wood had to be naturally rot resistant to be sure the bridge lasts a long time, and we wanted harvest the wood locally.  We decided on black locust which grows quickly in areas with lots of sun.  Brandon Perry of the Land Trust of North Alabama marked some trees that could be harvested, and fortunately they were only a few miles from our project site.  We worked two weekends on the bridge. I hope you enjoy this video of our project!

The trails need improvements and we will built more “slow” bridges by hand.  Get updates by texting ‘trail’ to 84483

 The Oak Park trail starts on city land behind the Oak Park baseball fields. 

 Here’s the bridge design.

Please join our Association to help build bridges between ALL residents of NE Huntsville! Contributions support the ways we promote the area as a great place to live and improve the quality of life in NE Huntsville.