Future fate of Como Park swimming pool is on Parks Commission agenda.
The Como pool planning committee approved for final report preparation the refined schematic design that was presented Monday, April 20.
A detailed report (140 pages) was released last week. You can download it by clicking this link (warning, this is a 17.4 MB PDF report on the “Como Park Regional Pool Replacement”) It might take 10 minutes or more to download.
This report now goes to the Parks & Recreation Commission who will meet July 15 at 6:30 pm. at Hazel Park. I believe citizens will be allowed 3 minutes to voice opinions about the Como Park pool replacement plan.
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.
Where is the money coming from for the Como pool?
Money to pay for the Como Park pool replacement was to come from C.I.B. funds. My understanding is that Capital Improvement Budget funding is borrowed money. Bonds are sold to raise this money, then must be paid back from taxation.
Starting in early 2009, the CIB Committee began the process of developing the 2010 and 2011 capital budgets by reviewing project proposals submitted by City departments, district councils, and neighborhood organizations.
The CIB committee recommendation was to limit borrowing to about $20 million. Their rankings and how they were ranked is explained on the City of Saint Paul web site.
- Community Facilities Task Force Final Rankings
- Streets and Utilities Task Force Final Rankings
- Residential and Economic Development Task Force Final Rankings
Did the Como Pool Replacement make the cut?
According to a PDF download titled “2010 - 2011 CIB Tentative Recommendations.pdf” on a District 10 webpage Como Pool Replacement was not included for funding
I think this complicated process is only to provide advice. I believe Mayor Coleman can choose to propose a budget differing from the CIB committee’s recommendations. Will he? That step is scheduled for Aug 5 or 12?
N.O.P.E. - (Neighbors Opposing Park Exploitation)
Several Como Park residents, including the two members on the Pool Design Task Force who voted “No” to the proposed plan, feel that the public needs to know what is being proposed and have the opportunity and the time to react. These quotes are from some e-mails:
*It appears that mega-development is being pushed with no direct public input opportunity to react to these plans.
*The Task Force process was flawed . . . No discussion was made of other sites and their merits (or lack thereof) . . . Como Park is featured out, struggling to deal with the features that already exist.
*Important questions related to the pool design remain unanswered. Chief among them are:
- What is the impact on the overall park?
- What is the impact on traffic in and around the park?
- What happens if the future phases are delayed or not completed at all - what is the risk (to the park/neighborhood) associated with delays or denials?
- Were other sites within the city considered - why Como Park?
- In effect, can the park accommodate the increased traffic assoicated with the additional bathers who will use the new pool?
*I think it is VITAL that those interested in Como Park, the comoparkalliance etc. consider finding ways to:
- have a more public process for developing an updated 2009 Park Master Plan.
- have a presentation of projected plans in the Campus area for the next 5-10 yrs. so those plans may be integrated with the overall park plans.
- find a way, as the Dist 10 Environment Committee did with the lake, for Como Park or at least the Parkland to be given an able steward.