December greetings! Here’s city-related news for residents of Ward 1 and beyond.
Wooddale LRT station area development: A new three-acre, mixed-use development that includes two six-story buildings with apartments, commercial space, community/co-working space, and a large public plaza is being proposed for the northeast corner of Wooddale Ave. and 36th St., near the future Wooddale light rail transit station. Fifty-seven of the 283 apartments are proposed to be affordable at 50 or 60 percent area median income. The developers, Saturday Properties/Anderson Properties, are St. Louis Park-based companies. You can view a detailed report on the proposed project here (click on "Developer recommendation for SWLRT Wooddale Avenue Station Site.") You can also watch tomorrow night's study session, where the proposed project will be presented and discussed, here. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.
Another new restaurant in SLP: Twin Cities-based Revival announced last month they'll be opening an eatery (their third) the newly renovated Texa-Tonka mall in spring 2021. The 100-seat restaurant will feature fried chicken and other Southern dishes along with specialty cocktails. See you there!
Relief for local restaurants & other venues: On the topic of local restaurants, to ease a little of their economic pain, the City recently refunded a portion of prepaid liquor license fees totaling nearly $20,000 to 39 establishments forced to stop in-person service due to the pandemic and the Governor's emergency orders. This is the second time the City has refunded fees for the time periods local venues are unable to provide in-person drinking & dining, as a gesture of support.
Park Pride masks: In other pandemic-related news, face masks sporting the SLP schools logo are being sold as a fundraiser by the St. Louis Park Schools & Community Foundation, which makes grants to fund a variety of positive activities in SLP. Masks are $10 and for every mask sold, one will be donated to a family who needs one. You can order masks here.
2021 tax levy increase: At our Dec. 21 meeting, council is likely to approve a 4.5% tax levy increase for 2021, slightly lower than last year's 4.96% increase. Due to a variety of factors, a 4.5% increase next year will show as a reduction in the city portion of the tax bill for many single family homeowners, and an increase for many multifamily and commercial property owners. If you or someone you know needs help paying their property taxes, here's a link to property tax relief programs offered by the state.
Keeping our neighborhoods strong: To support vibrant, connected & inclusive neighborhoods, the City annually awards grants to neighborhoods who request funds for a variety of activities. Twenty-three neighborhoods were recently awarded a total of $46,330 for 2021, including four Ward 1 neighborhoods: Birchwood ($3,000), Bronx Park ($1,600), Lake Forest ($1,000), and Sorensen ($2,450). Shout out to these Ward 1 neighborhoods whose 2021 activities will include facilitated conversations about race, a garden operetta, a zoom trivia mafia party, skating parties, dancing parties, pollinator education events, park beautification activities, and more.
COVID phone app: The Minnesota Department of Health is inviting people to download a free phone app called COVIDaware MN that notifies people if they've been near someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. No personal identifying information is shared with others; the goal is to give people information to protect their families and help stop the spread. More info and to download the app here.
City-sponsored virtual fun & learning: City staff have reintroduced Park ... at Home and Westwood Wednesdays to entertain and educate while facilities are closed and programming is on hold due to the pandemic. Fun for families and others; check it out!
Your City Council: As a reminder, you can watch city council meetings and study sessions live on Monday nights. You can also review agendas and minutes for past and upcoming meetings. Here's where you can find contact information for all city council members and the Mayor. Here's my email.
Thanks for reading, be well, and stay in touch.
I send out a monthly summary of city-related news to Ward 1 residents and interested others, posted here. If you’d like to receive it via email, let me know here.