SLP City Manager retiring: St. Louis Park City Manager Tom Harmening has announced his plan to retire this year, after 17 years as City Manager and 26 years serving the City. We'll miss Tom's strong and capable leadership; his strategic thinking and steady hand have put the City in a good position despite the pandemic. Council members will begin to discuss the process for choosing the next City Manager at our meeting tomorrow night. As a reminder you can watch all city council meetings and study sessions here.
Apply now to serve on a board or commission: Want to be involved in guiding the city in the areas of housing, technology, human rights, environment & sustainability, policing, or other areas? Applications are invited from residents wishing to serve on various boards and commissions. Learn more about each board and commission and find a link to the application here. Deadline to apply is Feb. 28.
Covid-19 local impact: As of February 2, SLP has seen 3,444 positive cases of Covid-19 and 90 deaths from Covid-19. The case rate in SLP, or number of cases per 10,000 residents in the last 14 days, is 25, compared with 23.9 for Hennepin County as a whole. This and other detailed data on Covid-19 trends is available on the county's Covid-19 public dashboard.
Nordic Ware addition to include a cafe: Nordic Ware has submitted applications for a 45,000-square-foot addition to their warehouse and loading dock operations. The plan includes a small cafe with an outdoor patio, primarily to serve regional trail and LRT users. Find project details here. A community meeting is set for Feb. 11; see details below in the list of upcoming events.
Speaking of Nordic Ware: Did you know that the Bundt pan was invented right here in St. Louis Park, by Nordic Ware founder David Dalquist? You can find this and loads of other historical information and photos on the St. Louis Park Historical Society's website. The Historical Society is currently hosting their membership drive ($25/year for individuals, $35/year for families, includes a great quarterly newsletter). Please consider supporting our community's historical society by becoming a member!
Sam's Club building has a new owner: Business technology & service provider Loffler Companies recently closed on the former Sam's Club property at 3745 Louisiana Ave. S. As many as 400 employees will work at the site when fully operational. Loffler has indicated they will work with a developer in the next several years to create multi-family housing on the site, in support of the City's desire to provide additional housing adjacent to the future SWLRT.
Goodbye trees: Unfortunately, two new emerald ash borer hot spots have been discovered in the City that will result in the removal of more than 200 trees in an effort to keep the invasive species at bay. The hotspots are on the south side of Bass Lake Preserve and in the Triangle Neighborhood east of city hall. The city will be treating nearby public ash trees this summer to help further slow the spread, and reaching out to property owners in adjoining neighborhoods to encourage them to inject the ash trees on their property. More information here. Related: SLP Natural Resources Coordinator Jim Vaughan is also retiring this year after 30 years serving the City. Thanks, Jim, for your service!
Fern Hill Pavement Management: As a reminder, City staff are gathering input on the Fern Hill Pavement management project scheduled for 2022. Your input matters! Find a project description, interactive map, and survey questions here.
Here’s a select list of upcoming events:
Winter Art Walk in the Park: Feb. 2-28, Dakota Park Dog Park & Oak Hill Park. Outdoor exhibit featuring 50 local creatives who have created acrylic paintings and mixed media artwork on plywood. A project of St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts. Info here.
Artist Showcase21: Explore three online galleries featuring visual art, digital media, music and movement work from 60 St. Louis Park and Golden Valley artists. Vote for the People's Choice award and purchase art for sale! Info here.
Wooddale Station area development neighborhood meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5-6 pm. The development team for the proposed Wooddale Station area project will present their concept to Elmwood and Sorenson neighborhood residents and interested others. Here's a link to the meeting.
Nordic Ware expansion meeting (noted above): Thursday, Feb. 11, 6 pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
Online Meetup for residents of Ward 1 and interested others: Sunday, Feb. 14, 3 pm, on Zoom. Please join me for an informal 60-minute discussion on city-related topics. All are welcome! Here's the meeting link.
Town Hall Forum on Community Policing: Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:30 pm. Hosted by the Hopkins Race Equity Initiative and featuring local police chiefs including St. Louis Park Police Chief Mike Harcey. A public Q &A will follow the discussion. Info and meeting links here.
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.