WHNA Major Projects
1. Incentive Program to Register with Police DSM Camera Program.
The Des Moines Police DSM Camera Program is a program where you can register your home security camera(s) with the Police Department. That does not give them direct access to your system. This only lists in their database your address indicating you have security cameras.
If some event happens close to you that has the police interest (accident, burglary, etc.) they will contact you to see if your cameras saw anything of interest. If you have film or data of interest to them, they will provide a thumb drive to transfer the images to the police.
This allows the police to respond much faster to obtain useable information in crime events. Obtaining useful information faster makes it more likely that there will be a positive result for solving the crime.
The more people that are registered with this program; the greater portion of our WHNA area will be covered by security cameras obtaining data possibly useful to the police. It takes only a couple of minutes to register by computer online. We encourage neighbors that have security camera's to register with this program.
WHNA did have for awhile a small incentive program to encourage our neighbors to enroll in the Police Departments DSM/Camera Program. That currently has been ended.
Click on the following website address and it will take you to a webpage giving you information about the City of Des Moines Police Department "WatchDSM Community Camera Program" Near the bottom of that page you will see a Blue Button titled "Register for the Program". Click on that Button to go to the Registration Page.
If you have any questions about this, give me a call (515) 287-1976 Dave
2. Expand WHNA Annual Holiday Lighting Contest
The prize money for this year will be the same as last year: 1st prize = $100.00; 2nd prize = $75.00; and 3rd prize = $50.00. Prizes are awarded with HyVee Gift Cards presented on Christmas. We also present you with an award certificate.
This year we are adding a new feature. Once you enter the contest, if you approve, we will register your address in a database drive-by list. When your holiday lighting decorations are ready to "SHOW OFF" give us a call and we will add your home to the drive-by ready list. If you want to enter the contest but do NOT want to be on the drive-by list, that is okay also.
We will be updating the drive-by list to our WHNA website every day whenever new information is provided to us. We also will email a drive-by list to anyone that gives us an email address and makes the request.
We learned last year, it was the pride involved in having their Holiday Lighting Decorations shown and seen that most of the neighbors liked best. We will begin maintaining the drive-by list Thanksgiving day or the date of the first Contest Entry, whichever comes later. We will try to get pictures of each of the decorations entered, not just the prize winner. We need a photographer living in the WHNA area that is willing to help with this expanded number of pictures. Please contact me (515) 287-1976.
Enjoy. Have fun "Showing-Off" and remember, you will have provided enjoyment for other WHNA neighbors.
3. Complete "Welcoming Package" for neighbors new to WHNA
We started this "Welcoming Package" almost a year ago and then were sidetracked on other issues. We apologize to the neighbors new to WHNA that have recently contacted us; asking if we had such an information package.
We will be providing information: Police contacts and services; regarding the nearest schools, churches, parks, banks or credit unions and major local stores and some of the special services offered through WHNA.
We also will provide contact information for local government services.
If there is additional information you would like to see as a newcomer to our WHNA neighborhood, please contact us with your requests or suggestions.
We would like to be able to have a basic "Welcoming Package" for WHNA newcomers completed within the next month or two.
4. Develop Outreach program for Bilingual Spanish neighbors.
Our "Meet our Board" sections of this website introduce you to Ricardo and Maria Corona. We are fortunate to have both of them as new additions to our WHNA Board. They will be key to effectively developing this outreach program. We are currently active in the preliminary planning stage for special programs we will implement.
5. 2020 Completed Absentee Ballot WHNA Hand Delivery Service
Regardless of whom you voted for, this year it was especially important that you voted and that your vote was counted.
The Secretary of State Website has a place where you can enter your name, and birthdate and they can confirm when they received your Ballot.
You can check the latest status of your ballot at the Iowa Secretary of State website. Click on the following website address:
If needed to help insure that a neighbor's vote is hand delivered and will be counted is needed in the future; WHNA may provide this service again.
6. 2021 WHNA Covid-19 compliant Block Party Program
We had a fun WHNA hosted Cul-De-Sac Block Party with live B2Wins entertainment the afternoon Sunday September 27th. The rain quite only minutes before the B2Wins began their outstanding performance.
Altogether there was between 35 to 40 people being entertained or participating. Most were masked and usually social distancing was maintained. Our neighbors really seemed to enjoy this special event. These events are not promoted outside the immediate area specifically to help limit the turnout to Covid-19 compliant crowd size.
Special thanks to our local Kum-N-Go store and our local Wendy's for their donations and support of this event.
With the lead-time needed to put this on, it is unlikely we will be able to host another event before the weather is too cold. However, we are now planning ahead for next spring and summer, especially, if the Covid-19 virus is still a threat next year.
Please reach us through the contact section of this website if you would like your immediate area be considered for an event like this next spring or summer.
Pictures of this event are posted to the Gallery in this WHNA Website.
7. WHNA Dog Walking Social Club
This is a recent suggestion of one of our WHNA Board Members. If you have a dog(s) that you walk, send us a message from our WHNA Contact section. We need your Address and contact information and that you are interested in the Dog Walking Social Club. Eventually we are going to need more information, like what time of the day you prefer and when you stop walking, (Rain, cold, deep snow, etc.)
Their is no cost for this. This mainly is so the many dog walkers can walk their dog(s) and have someone other than their dogs to talk to. There is also the possibility of having one or more people that could be a substitute dog walker when you just cannot do it.
NOTE: This is just for Dog Walkers. If there is actually enough demand from the few Cat Walkers in the WHNA area, we will see what we can do.
8. Completion of WHNA Annexation Application
Check the Boundaries section of the WHNA website and you will be able to see a map of our current boundaries. You will also be able to see a map of a proposed area to be added to the WHNA boundaries.
This proposed area is not part of any recognized City Council approved neighborhood association. The proposed area is adjacent to our current area and has a very similar housing and population make-up as our current area.
Back on August 21st 2019 WHNA made our official application to the City Council to expand our area to include the proposed area.
The City required a vote during one of our WHNA Neighbors meeting to indicate the neighbors desire to expand. All of the neighbors in attendance voted positive for WHNA to continue with the proposed addition.
The next step was for the City to pay for and send out an information mailer to see if the neighbors in the proposed area wanted to become part of the Watrous Heights Neighborhood Association. Because of the problems related to the Covid-19 Threat the mailing never happened and no further action was taken by the City on our expansion.
WHNA has since made our best efforts to adjust to the Covid-19 Threat to modify how we operate and have adopted Online WHNA Meetings with Zoom. We have actually expanded the programs and services that we offer to our neighbors. We have expanded our Website and increased our efforts to timely provide information to our neighbors; including neighbors living in the proposed addition to the WHNA boundaries.
we have extended welcomes and Zoom invites to any neighbor living in the proposed area to attend our meetings.
We would like to have neighbors from the proposed area become active members of committees and the WHNA Board of Directors. However, we do not know if we can do that until the City Council finally approves our application filed August 21st 2019.
9. Locate a Neighbor with Digital Photography Skills to add to WHNA Board
Please volunteer to be our WHNA photographer. We need digital pictures as part of the WHNA Third Annual Holiday Lighting Contest. We are an active neighborhood association and often have needs for a photographer getting pictures of what is going on in the WHNA area. If you have photography skills, we would love to have you volunteer and to demonstrate your skills to our WHNA neighbors.
10. Ready 2021 Application for Polk County Community Betterment Grant.
We are currently completing our Report following the 2020 CBG Application and the Community Betterment Grant.
When we have completed and filed the required report we will begin work on the 2021 CBG Application. This application process needs to be completed by February 28th 2021.
Based on prior experience, Polk County Community Betterment Grant Program will be a major portion of WHNA's operational funding for 2021.
11. Develop ongoing Funding sources separate from CBG Program
As President of WHNA, I consider one of my most important duties is to find additional and ongoing funding sources that will best allow us to reach our WHNA goals.
Most of the Projects that would allow us to provide the best services to our neighbors cost money. We cannot reach those goals without obtaining the needed funding.
12. Upgrade Appeal and Methods re Zoom Neighbors Meetings.
We are very much still in the learning process regarding the use of Zoom. We need to learn how we can be more effective and more appealing to our neighbors with the use of online meetings.
We believe, even after the Covid-19 threat has gone away, there will be many uses in our operation for online meetings like Zoom.
13. Expand "Blight Home" attack program
A. First Step in the Blight Home Problem is for our neighbors to stay alert and notify our WHNA or our City Inspector of abandon homes or problem homes.
B. The Second Step is to track the legal and title battle regarding the Blight Home. Again the City Inspector normally will have the latest info regarding this situation. When close to title change, the immediate neighbors (Maximum of 20 homes) will be contacted to get their contact information to push for Blight Home Destruction.
C. The Third Step would be a combined communication campaign from WHNA neighbors in the immediate area around the Blight Home (Maximum of 20 homes). These neighbors need to provide communications (emails, letters, calls) to Joe Gatto specifically expressing their desire to have the Blight Home demolished as soon as possible.
14. Continue and Update Efforts to obtain WHNA Vest-Pocket Park
WHNA does not have a neighborhood Park anywhere in our area. We are one of the very few Neighborhood Associations that do not have a park or even any green space (vest-pocket park).
There was a Blight home demolished on the NW corner of SW5th and Leach. This lot was nearly centered in our area and would have been ideal for a Vest Pocket Park.
The WHNA Board thought they were making headway when they obtained a substantial verbal commitment from a major funder to provide 50% of the cost to acquire and develop the site into a vest pocket park.
We had a few meetings and then a major meeting including City and County personnel and our key representatives from for the City and County. The meeting also had a leading individual from the Parks and Rec Department. This individual made a major presentation to kill the project.
Our desire to have a WHNA Neighborhood Park is not dead. It was partially a learning process. We will look for a different approach. But we will not abandon our goal to have a Vest-Pocket Park for the WHNA neighbors.
15. Locate a CPA in or near WHNA area to work with us
For us to ever reach most of our WHNA Goals, we are going to need the services of a CPA. Some Grants and other sources of funding will require a CPA review or Audit.
Our preference is to have a CPA from within our area. We could not find a CPA firm that could provide the type of potential services we likely would need. After some extended research the CPA Firm of Faller, Mincheloe & Co, PLC surfaced as probably the best match for us. They have experience in our potential area of need and they have a great reputation from several of our contacts. They are not in our WHNA area but they are located on the Southside of Des Moines, which was a plus.
I had an extended conversation with one of their Partners. After that conversation, there is no question but that when the actual WHNA need arises, we will reach out to Faller, Mincheloe & Co, PLC.
16. Effort to increase our benefit for and appeal to WHNA Neighbors
This is our underlying duty at WHNA is to constantly try to find more and better ways to benefit our neighbors and how we can increase how the neighbors believe we are meeting that goal.