Meeting began at 7:10 after 10 minutes of refreshments and meet & greet. Agenda and hand outs were distributed which consisted of:

• Overview of last meeting
• Updates to West Falls Church Plaza and library
• Fenwick Park updates
• NEPP grant
• Shining Star Church update
• Events

In attendance according to the sign-in sheet were:

• Debbie Carmel
• Tom Carmel
• Cheri McBreatity
• Michael Meyer
• Karen Earwaker
• George Earwaker
• Cindy Blalock
• Tim Kuhn
• Jeff Roberts
• Alida Roberts
• Jo Robertson
• Marta Vanech
• Albert Crider
• Sarah Meltzer
• Lee King
• Ed Unger
• Steve Stark (guest of attendee)

Handouts
• West Falls Church Plaza Construction Site
• Neighborhood College Sample Curriculum
• NEPP Grant Approved application

Old News – Last meeting Overview:
• How far we’ve come in 2 years: Ice cream Social of 2008, Garden around flag pole, new sign, successful garage sale, qrtly meetings with increased attendance,
• Treasury: The balance of the TGCA bank account was announced at: $711.00
• TGCA Leads: A plea was made to all in attendance for TGCA leads to serve as points of contact of ongoing events, activities, meetings etc. It was mentioned that it would take approx. 4 hrs monthly and that you’d have assistance. The fact of the matter is that we need more hands to make light work. Anyone interested should contact tremontgardensca@gmail.com
• By-Laws: After exhaustive research it has come to light that the by-laws entitled: “Constitution and by-Laws Tremont Gardens Citizens Association – Adopted November 3, 1947 amended as of May 8, 1986”, were never registered with Fairfax County and therefore do not stand as valid by-laws. With that understanding it is the recommendation of all individuals contacted through this research that new current by-laws be written as seen fit by the Association. We are not required to use the exiting by-laws as a starting point. Keeping in mind that since we are a citizens association and not an HOA (home-owners association) we are not obligated to have by-laws, or board or meetings. However, by becoming more of a organized community we set ourselves up for opportunities that might otherwise not be available to us (i.e.: The NEPP grant) There were 3 or 4 individuals who expressed interest in working on the by-laws. More information will come as they gather and develop criteria around this matter.
• Neighborhood College: We need at least 10 individuals to sign up for the neighborhood college for us to have a training specific to our area. At the Fenwick Park meeting at least 2 people have signed up. So we need 8 more. Debbie Carmel has also reached out to Pine Springs to see if there is any interest in their neighborhood. A sample curriculum was distributed. What a better was to find out how to navigate Fairfax County Govt, zoning, demographics, community resources, etc. The training is free; experts in the field come to teach about specific topics. Learn about where we live, to commit to being educated about our neighborhood. It’s a 6 week program tailored to our interests, our needs. It would meet once a week at the same time ( not yet determined) Anyone interested should contact tremontgardensca@gmail.com

New News

• West Falls Church Plaza: Construction is scheduled to start April 1, 2010 and will begin with reconfiguring the parking lot. On the heals of completing the parking lot where we will gain 5 spaces, the façade work will begin. All store fronts, sidewalks (which will be 12 to 14 ft wide) and planting will be installed. The project is slotted to take 5 months.
• Thomas Jefferson Library: The occupancy permit it scheduled to be signed in the next few weeks. They are ahead of schedule and are tentatively scheduled to open July 1, 2010. Since the facility will have new roomy meeting rooms, this might be an option where could hold community meetings.
• Fenwick Park Update: Debbie Carmel attended the last Fenwick Park meeting where the following was discussed:
• Traffic calming, they are midway through their traffic calming solutions where they will have installed stop signs and most likely speed bumps. This should be of great interest to TG as we most likely will begin to see more traffic come through Fairmont & Strathmeade Sts.
• Fenwick is starting a babysitting Co-Op,
• Fenwick continues to have successfully communication with their Yahoo group. This may be an option we’d like to consider.

NEPP Grant Overview: Out of 64 applicants we were considered one of the top applications and were awarded $3,600.00 for common area improvements. The project entitled, “bringing neighbors together”, was a plan that was rolled out 2 years ago and now we will be able to see the project get underway. Although we have 1 yr to complete the project the planting season is limited to weather conducive to planting so it is anticipated that the project will finish ahead of time. VOLUNTEERS ARE REQUIRED! We have the money now we need the help without volunteers little gets done. ALL volunteer hours for anything done around this project must be tracked. Jeff Roberts mentioned that there is possibly an application that we could use to track volunteer hours. If an application can’t be found, Sara Meltzer has volunteered to track the hours for us. We will need to hear back from Jeff soon so we can let Sara know if she’ll need to track hours.

Next Steps:
• A Common Area planning meeting (NEPP Grant) will be held, no later than April 16th. This meeting will primarily be to construct, how we are going to complete the projects. All welcome. The meeting notice will come via email and will be held at 3016 Strathmeade St.
• In the meantime you might see activity on the Rt 50 common area, with the large trees that are being professionally installed.
• Shining Star Church Update: The gardener was scheduled to be in attendance but was not. Debbie Carmel will reach out to the church and inquire about the intentions of the property owned by the church. Updates to come at a later date.

Other related topics and round table discussions:

• Great concern about, Shining Star Church’s use of property was raised by Cindy Blalock & Tim Kuhn. Debbie Carmel volunteered to make additional calls to follow up on existing complaint, meet with a church spokes person, and get back to all those concerned. An overview of the results will be presented at the next meeting.
• By-Laws: Ed Unger spoke about wanting to work on the by-laws. He mentioned that he would reach out to Stacy Stacks to also help. Jeff Roberts also expressed interest in working on the By-Laws. Ed expressed the importance of these by-laws since we are becoming “more formal” and suggested that we meet on a monthly basis. No additional comments were made. As progress is made on the by-laws, updates should be provided to the community email so all can be informed.
• Speed bumps/humps: Al Crider expressed alternatives to speed bumps/humps might stop signs. This issue was discussed due to the fact that Fenwick Park is in the process of traffic calming and is potentially going to get stops signs as well as speed bumps. Debbie Carmel suggested that she would provide the Fenwick Park leads name if anyone interested in getting the details behind the traffic calming progress in Fenwick. No interest was recognized.
• Michael Meyer mentioned that the sand left over from the winter clean up was sen throughout the neighborhood and others agreed. Options discussed were Call the county regarding street clean up, provided the parked cars did not cause an issue. Sweep the area ourselves, It was noted that the Shining Star Church did go through the neighborhood ince yearly to clean the curb. Also, Michael noted that he did have access to equipment that could be used to clean up, He suggested that a donation at some level would need to be provided to cover some costs. No additional comments were made.

Events to Plan:

Spring Clean Up: Debbie Carmel mentioned the possibility of mulch being delivered “free” from the county and possibly placed on the common areas for all to use. The left over, if any can be used on the common area’s themselves. If anyone is interested in this idea please contacttremontgardensca@gmail.com before March 31st.

Michael Meyer mentioned that the sand left over from the winter clean up was sen throughout the neighborhood and others agreed. Options discussed were Call the county regarding street clean up, provided the parked cars did not cause an issue. Sweep the area ourselves, it was noted that the Shining Star Church did go through the neighborhood since yearly to clean the curb. Also, Michael noted that he did have access to equipment that could be used to clean up; He suggested that a donation at some level would need to be provided to cover some costs. No additional comments were made.

Ice Cram Social: Last year got away from planning and holding our Ice Cream Social, plans are to get back to a community celebration event. The Ice Cream Social was a very successful day with high attendance. Neighbors met each other who had never met before. We had music, prizes, raffle, and historical information about the community. We really had a great time. Anyone interested in planning this event please contacttremontgardensca@gmail.com

Community Yard Sale: Last July we had a very successful community Yard Sale. The thought was to hold two per calendar year. We are ready for our next sale. Anyone interested in helping with schedule this event please contact tremontgardensca@gmail.com. This is a very easy event to plan!!!

Communication Vehicles TGCA uses:

• Website: We have a website (https://tremontgardens.wordpress.com) up and it currently contains basic information. Please take a look at it and provide feedback on content. If you want something on it please provide all content so we can get it posted. The site is a free as wordpress is the host. We can use flicker to post any photos from events on this page. In the future if we want our own sight we can choose to at a cost of approximately $ 130.00 per year.
• Email: TremontGardensCA@gmail.com
• Signs: Posted at both common areas
• Yahoo group: May use in the future (more information on this to come).

Next Community meeting scheduled for June 2010. Location TBD.

There will be sub-committee meeting held more frequently to being work on the following:

• By-Laws
• Common Are Improvement Projects
• Event planning

Appreciation was expressed to all in attendance

Adjournment 8:10PM

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