Midtown Neighborhood

Midtown Neighborhood Association

Meeting Minutes

November 14, 2005

Rachel began the meeting at 7:05 PM. For attendance see attendance sheet.

Crime Report

Chief Bassar explained the incident in 1100 Block of N. Congress. He stated that he could not tell us many more details than what was already explained on the sheet he sent out.  He asked us to just pay attention to the details of our surroundings (license plates, people in the neighborhood, etc.), and to keep lights around our house around. The Chief did state that the turnaround time from the State Crime Lab would still be another month.

Mark Harschburger spoke about the 911-phone number as opposed to the non-emergency number. The best way to reach 911 is with a telephone that is a landline. This is because they instantly get the location you are calling from. With a cell phone, your location is not always detected. He suggested programming all of your phones for a speed dial 911.  If you can take your cordless phone out to the yard with you, that is the best. You can even press 911 on the phone and leave the phone somewhere and if you do not answer the police will come check on you. 483-2311 is a local number to call.

Special Presentation

Jacob Coordiva from WARM presented. They are a nonprofit that deals with energy efficiency issues, mainly in low-income areas, but now are doing general public presentations. www.warmtraining.org

The EPA now identifies indoor air as the 4th environmental hazard….New carpet – the infant is inhaling 3 cigarettes a day.  Every week it gets better. Household plants are one of the best ways to reduce indoor air toxicity—spiderwort, peace lilies.

DTE does not make any money on the increase in gas prices. The state regulates the gas prices—natural gas prices do not fluctuate that much, they will remain steady or rise.

CPU’s are like large squares.

Three basic things:

The house shell. If the home has a good shell, then the furnace doesn’t have to work that much. If the shell isn’t in good shape, the furnace keeps turning on. So, the number one thing to do fix air leaks.

Anywhere that you can see light coming into your house, then that is an air-leak.
Around the door put in a door sweep on the bottom. There is weather-stripping for around the sides of the door. He likes the V-tape. A plastic tape that folks in half.

Turn off the lights in the house and see where the lights coming in, esp. in the basement.
Often where the wood frame meets the basement there are often cracks. Chalk is an easy way to fill these cracks.

Another area to look for air coming through are where pipes come into walls. Spray foam sealant is good to use here. There is one for doors and windows.
Fireplaces…. Make sure that the damper is shut! You can use a mirror to look up into it.

Windows: Rope Chalk. A little coil of a chalk like putty. It’s easy to just pull off a rope and stick it in the hall. Or use a plastic bag and twist it with a butter knife. Then use the knife to get it in the hole between the windows.

ACE hardware has these hard plastic window coverings that act like zip loc. They save money- $20-$40 a month per each window. They are reusable; you can keep the one tract on the window all year.

Check outlets on the outside of your house. If there is a breeze coming through on a windy day, you can buy a socket stuffer (at the hardware store). Pull your plate off, put the foam on, put the plate back and then it should stop the air.

One other thing is putting insulation into the walls.
R value of 18 in the walls, R value of 32 in the ceiling. Many homes can’t have this high, but its good.
3 types of fill in: fiberglass, cellulous, (drill holes fill up cavity from interior or exterior. The top part of the wall will eventually lose its insulation.) The third type is poured in expanding foam. Advantage is that is provides insulation but also help block up any inherent air leaks in the wall. They don’t settle. They are at least twice as much at the other two. Arbor insulation in AA that is bio based and is slightly lower priced. John Cunningham.

House systems. Make sure the furnace is putting heat where you want it. The basement should not be hot!! You should close off rooms and vents.
Check the ductwork of the house. The places you can see change it duct tape. (the good kind).

Pay attention to your furnace fuel filter—change it three times a year. Draining water out in boiler.   

There is an official “hers rating system”. They cost $350 a house. Folks will come in and do an in-depth analysis of your home.

Hot water heater. Adjust the heat on it, turn it down to the middle of the dial. Don’t worry so much about the stove and dryer- they don’t take so much.

Occupant behavior! Dress for the winter.
Turn the heat down at night- at least 10 degrees. Use an electric blanket or more blankets!
Thermostat is programmable is a great way to go- 50-100 bucks and you can install by yourself. If you can change the temperature for 5 hours or longer it is worth it to turn down.

Electricity: kwh. Turn everything off!!!!

Appliances. You need to be looking at operating costs. Fridge technology has vastly improved in the last 5 years. The yellow energy tag is what you want to look at. You can also look for the energy star logo: federally backed program to show low cost things.

Light bulbs: compact florescents. Don’t use regular bulbs anymore. Make sure it has the energy logo on them- they are about $5 each. An 18 watt bulb is equivelant to a 70 watt bulb.  They can save you a ton of money.

We thanked WARM for their indepth and informative prsentation.

Announcements
Midtown Website

Harvey asked the website team to unveil the site. Kristen thanked Patti Claydon for her vision and volunteer hours putting together the beautiful site. Everyone is very pleased with the website: www.midtown.ypsi.org.

Leadership Team Rollout

Harvey started doing a leadership team vision rollout:
He noted that we were announced as the most active neighborhood association. Also noted as being one of the most friendly. Harvey stated we are trying to be the most connected!

Proposed Presentation

A midtown landlord present said he is working on a proposal for people to move into Midtown. Ypsilanti mileage is not going to go up-its at its ceiling.

Harvey talked about having a good real estate connection—a presentation for the realtors. Roberta stated using the phrase “up and coming”.

Roberta and Steven suggested talking with EMU about having something for new professors.

Development

Harvey announced the Neighborhood led Development: Thursday night December 8 or Saturday Dec 17th morning. A notice will be sent out later with more information about this.

Night of lights

Lesley passed around Night of Lights info. Get involved! Come out and meet your neighbors. Even if you don’t have lights out, come carol!

Miscellaneous Announcements