Mayor Chris Coleman commented and took questions at the Como Park auditorium about budget cuts.
Mayor Chris Coleman met with the Saint Paul community Tuesday night, Feb. 24, 2009 to discuss budget cuts. To show their opposition to the proposed closing of their Hamline Midway Library, hundreds came dressed in red.
Several families taught their children how to petition their government by making signs and speaking up during the question and answer segment. They also created a “Save our library” blog (click link for updates and videos). The Star and Tribune covered Mayor Coleman’s previous meeting – “Mayor gives St. Paul libraries a dose of good and bad news“.
A process to replace the Como Pool
Last fall the City of Saint Paul explained the process for redeveloping the Como Park swimming pool. The adjacent Woodland Classroom and McMurray Field area along with their parking and traffic needs will be included. You can learn more by clicking the link below.
The Como Pool Planning Committee members are providing input to US Aquatics, Anthony Kell Architects, and the City Parks Design Staff & Planning Committee. One activity was to choose key words describing what they wanted. The twelve members were then told to “vote” for their top four choices via colored stickers. (Clicking on the photo makes it larger.)
At the third planning session, project manager Don Ganje presented design concepts his team thought the group was asking for. The committee was told to voice their opinion, yes or no, as they went through these lists. (These lists should show up on the city website soon)
Como Park swimming pool is closed
The City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation is planning a complete redevelopment of the Como Regional Park Pool and adjacent facilities located at Horton Avenue and Lexington Parkway in Como Regional Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
US Aquatics and Anthony Kell Architects will collaborate with the City Parks Design Staff & Planning Committee to design an aquatics facility “Master Plan” that Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and the Saint Paul community can support and be proud of.
The city wishes to develop a comprehensive design beyond just the Como Pool area which includes other adjacent proposed areas and uses:
Proposed Como Woodland Classroom
McMurray Field area
Vehicular circulation improvements and impacts for the entire study area
The overall project approach anticipates four (4) primary phases of work:
Phase I – Study area site analysis including traffic and circulation study, program development, preliminary design, and schematic design
Phase II – Design Development
Phase III – Construction Management
Phase I – October 2008 – March 2009
We currently have funding for phase I ($220,000) through Metro Parks but anticipate additional funding from 2010/11 CIB and Metro Parks.
Estimated Total Project Budget: $7.22 million
– Construction Budget: $5,921,220
– Design Engineering: $1,299,780
The Como Pool Planning Committee will have a representative from each of the following groups.
Parks & Rec Comm
District 10 Communty Council
District 6 Community Council
Star Swim Club
Lexington Pkwy Resident
Council Member Lee Helgen
Council Member Russ Stark
Youth Community – Regular User
Neighborhood Pool User
Click this link if you wish to fill out an application to be on the Como Pool Planning Committee
The Planning Committee recommendation goes to the Parks & Recreation Commission. The Parks & Recreation Commission then makes a recommendation to the Mayor of Saint Paul. The Mayor looks at it and judges whether it meets the Park’s Master Plan guidelines. The Mayor then sends the plan to the Saint Paul City Council who has the funding authority to pay for the project.
If all goes will ground breaking might happen in 2010.
The video below is from a public meeting presenting the Como Pool renovation process to the public. For more information, contact: City of St. Paul Park & Recreation Director, Bob Bierscheid, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sholom Home for sale
The Sholom Home at 1554 Midway Parkway is currently for sale. RS Eden is exploring development of the current Shalom Home building into an affordable, supportive, sober, permanent rental housing option for individuals. The Sholom Home sits across from the State Fair Grounds entry gate on Snelling Ave. and is a few blocks West of Como Park.
RS Eden seeks community partnership
Dan Cain, President of RS Eden, wrote an open letter to the Como community (click link to read entire letter) from which I snipped these quotes.
We asked for a meeting with the community, not to propose a project, but to determine whether or not a project would work in Como and, if so, to solicit a partnership wherein the community would be involved in planning the project. We did not make a purchase offer on the property.
Our projects all had a lease expectation of the tenants that they live sober, both on and off the premises, and that they be productive. For most of them this last means work, for some, who are disabled, this means community volunteerism.
Our projects were developed with the neighborhood as a partner and, as a result, all of them had a covenant with their host neighborhood that there would be NO sex offenders, no arsonists and no predatory drug offenders.
Reaction to RS Eden makes the media
- MN Public Radio – Recovery home protests
- Fox 9 News – Controversy brews over St. Paul Sholom property
- Park Bugle – Debate on Sholom Home site heats up
- Park Bugle – Editorial by Dave Healy
Websites provide information
Several websites hope to help you find information about RS Eden and the Sholom Home proposal. I recommend Sale of Sholom Facts (click link to go to their home page). Their navigation box (upper left) links you to these addition pages
The District 10 Como Community Council website at comopark.org has created a web page titled Sholom Home Reuse Information. This page includes a letter from the Land Use committee chair and the agenda for the land use committee meeting being held Oct 7 (7 pm) at the Street Car Museum located at Horton and Lexington Pkwy N. The process District 10 uses to evaluate land use issues is also explained.
Como Park Alliance
A group of people with an interest in preserving, maintaining, and helping Como Park have created an organization called the Como Park Alliance. Their mission is:
To preserve the park’s rich history and natural environment to ensure the integrity of the park for the future through partnerships, proactive activities and education.
The Como Park Alliance started with some neighbors who wanted to have a voice in what happens in the park, and is now extended to anyone anywhere who has an interest in helping the park achieve mutual goals. The Como Park Alliance website has a link to a Como Park Monitor article describing how Rhonda DeBough-Insook initiated the creation of the Como Park Alliance.
Como Park Pool Survey
The Como Park swimming pool will likely be closed for the 2009 season. The pool is in disrepair and needs some major work. A decision whether to repair or perhaps start fresh with a new facility needs to be made. A Saint Paul Park and Recreation task force will be created to assess the Como Park pool situation and to make recommendations about options. The Como Park Alliance wants to provide input from its community.
A Como Park Alliance pool subcommittee drafted a survey and distributed it to neighbors East and West of the pool area. The survey can also be filled out on the Internet or printed from a pdf file. They are asking for the survey to be returned by Aug. 15. The drop off is to be at 1168 Lexington Pkwy N. (C. Daly’s residence) The survey was designed to be compared with a survey already done city wide in 2005. They feel that the results of this survey, when properly analyzed, will allow them to speak confidently about neighborhood sentiments to the task force this fall.
District 10 Como Community Council
The Como Park Alliance shares many of its goals with the District 10 Como Community Council and hopes their united efforts can impact the decisions made effecting Como Park. Como Park Alliance representatives regularly attend District 10 meetings.