September greetings! Here’s my monthly update on city business for residents of Ward 1 and beyond.
Dakota Park bikeway/bridge project: Connect the Park, SLP’s 10-year plan to make our city more pedestrian & bike-friendly, soldiers on. The Dakota Park project (map here) will include new bikeways along Dakota Ave., a bridge over the railroad tracks to the West End area, and new sidewalks/bikeways north of the tracks. A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 6 pm at Peter Hobart Elementary to discuss the project. Work will take place in 2019 and 2020.
Historic Walker Lake: Excitement around this area continues to grow. Along with the recent opening of teen-centric coffee shop The Nest, as well as Minnesota-themed clothing company Sota, local company Craft and Crew has proposed a full-service, dog-friendly restaurant nearby in the old Park Vacuum building. To learn more about the proposed restaurant, including a parking variance they’ve requested, attend a community meeting at the site on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 4:30 pm. Starting next year, planned new sidewalks, bikeways, lighting, trees, signage & public art, along with newly paved streets and parking lots, will make this area shine. Low-interest loans for businesses wanting to locate in Historic Walker Lake will be available too.
Airplane noise: I heard from many Ward 1 residents this summer about what they felt was excessive airplane noise, and frankly, I agree. If you’re concerned, I urge you to contact the MAC to file a noise complaint. The more who file, the better. If this is an issue for you, please take time to file a complaint.
Police Body Worn Camera policy: At its Sept. 4 meeting, city council approved a policy for the SLP police regarding the use of body worn cameras and how to handle the data they generate. I opposed the policy as written, as I felt the language didn’t go far enough in safeguarding civil rights, but I look forward to working with staff and council in the next year and beyond to review and potentially revise the policy to address these and any other concerns that may arise. SLP PD will be piloting body worn cameras over the next six months to try out products and determine next steps.
Budget & taxes: At its Sept. 17 meeting, council will be asked to approve a preliminary property tax levy of 5.18%. The final levy is predicted to be more in the 4.4% range, once the budget process is complete. What are your thoughts on taxes in SLP? Are they manageable for you? Are your local tax dollars funding programs, projects, and initiatives you support? Please email me your thoughts.
Community Art Fair: I believe the arts are one good investment for cities, and data backs that up. Thanks to a modest city grant, local business sponsors, and the hard work of volunteers, the inaugural St. Louis Park Art Fair will take place at the ROC on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 11-6 pm. There’ll be food trucks, kids’ activities, and a community art project, as well as art by 60 local artists for sale.
Sun Sailor: A reminder that the Sun Sailor is a great way to stay informed about what’s happening our community, but it now comes in your mailbox rather than your doorstep. It’s free; sign up here.
First Sunday Meetups: I've been hosting monthly meetups for Ward 1 residents and interested others to discuss a variety of topics. The next meeting will be Sunday, October 7 from 3-4:30 pm at the Birchwood Park warming house. The topic will be residential street safety.
Thanks for reading & please reach out to me any time with your ideas and concerns.