Saint Paul officials have been lobbying the Minnesota Legislature this session to approve a new 1 percent sales tax in the city to help pay for two dozen street repair and reconstruction projects and the building and maintenance of new and existing parks and recreation facilities.
St. Paul’s even-sided parking ban continues
Possible strikes, missed recycling pickups add to city woes this winter
Saint Paul was facing a possible strike of city workers, including the Department of Public Works employees who drive snowplows, even as its parking ban on the even-numbered sides of residential streets continued. It was just one more inconvenience in this winter of Saint Paul’s discontent.
Peg Brenden never wanted to write a book about her experiences as a high school tennis player who fought for gender equity on the court and in the arena of women’s athletics.
Six Summit-University dwellings will be acquired by the Rondo Community Land Trust as part of an effort to preserve affordable housing in Saint Paul. The City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), recently earmarked $1.37 million in federal Community Development Block Grants for the project.
The Saint Paul Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 14, on zoning changes that would make it easier to convert large single-family homes to duplexes or triplexes and to add accessory dwellings next to single-family homes.
A Grand Avenue property owner is one step closer to having a mid-block building with homes on either side rezoned for his footwear and apparel retail store. The Saint Paul Planning Commission on March 17 recommended rezoning 1416 Grand Ave. from office-service to traditional neighborhoods 2 use. That recommendation will go to the City Council for a final public hearing and vote.
Saura Jost and Isaac Russell have announced their candidacies for the Ward 3 seat on the Saint Paul City Council. They are hoping to succeed Chris Tolbert, who will be stepping down at the end of the year. Jost is a structural engineer in the commercial building industry and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. Russell serves as the director of Public Policy at the Center for Economic Inclusion. He also worked for nine years as a legislative assistant for the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus.
The West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee (WSNAC) voted 6-5 on March 14 to form a working group that will review possible changes to its structure, including a proposal to make it a committee of the Macalester-Groveland and Union Park district councils.
The city of Saint Paul is facing a June deadline to draft a Safe Streets for All Transportation Safety Plan and apply for federal funding to carry out the plan. The plan would identify specific projects, policies and design strategies to eliminate or reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by addressing the root causes of traffic accidents.
Billy’s on Grand, 857 Grand Ave., is seeking a new Class N license to serve liquor until 1 a.m. The longtime Victoria Crossing establishment’s request will go before the Saint Paul City Council at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. In February, Billy’s was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for license violations discovered last year.
A small bike trail along a former railroad spur could make a big difference for cyclists and pedestrians who use the Grand Round and other paths to access the West Midway area, Minneapolis and other destinations.
Mayor Melvin Carter and Fire Chief Butch Inks announced on March 15 that the Saint Paul Fire Department is purchasing the state’s first fully electric fire truck.
The Saint Paul City Council ruled on March 15 that Greg Trentman and Rachel Goligoski must remove a box stand on city property at 1317 Selby Ave. The box has been used to offer free food and spare change for bus fare.
ON THE TOWN
Park Square Theatre has waited three years to stage The Revolutionists. Playwright Lauren Gunderson’s irreverent comedy about four women caught up in the French Revolution was originally scheduled to be performed in 2020. It will now open on March 31 for a three-week run on the proscenium stage at 20 W. Seventh Place.
As fate would have it, The Revolutionists is both the first and last production in Park Square’s 2022-23 season.
John Middleton and Jen Maren star in Bakersfield Mist, a comedy-drama by Stephen Sachs now playing at Gremlin Theatre, 550 N. Vandalia St. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through April 2.
Minnehaha Academy started off soundly in the quarterfinals of the state Class AA girls’ basketball tournament on March 15, coming back with a furious second half to dismantle New London-Spicer 50-28 at Williams Arena.
The Cretin-Derham Hall boys’ hockey team can certainly feel better about its state Class AA tournament appearance earlier this month than it did a year ago when it qualified for the first time since 2009.
It would’ve been a great Cinderella story for Saint Thomas Academy. Unfortunately, the second-seeded Cadets saw their season end with a 65-48 loss to top-seeded DeLaSalle in the Section 3AAA final on March 16.
Minnehaha Academy topped Concordia Academy 90-61 to advance to this week’s state Class AA boys’ basketball tournament. The Redhawks were to take on Maple Grove at 8 p.m. March 21 at Target Center.
For the vast majority of the 363 Division I men’s basketball teams, the season will end with a loss in either a conference or NCAA tournament game. The University of Saint Thomas was no exception. The Tommies’ season ended on March 6 with a 70-65 loss to Oral Roberts in the semifinals of the Summit League tournament. It was the third time the Golden Eagles, who won the title but lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament last week, had defeated UST. However, that fact did little to diminish the Tommies’ excellent sophomore season in Division I basketball.
Saint Paul city leaders concocted a simple plan 30 years ago: Collect a half-cent on every $1 in sales in Saint Paul, use the tax revenue to remodel and expand the Civic Center, and dole out the rest as loans and grants to further residential, cultural, commercial and economic development. Dubbed the Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) program, the city’s new half-percent sale tax would expire once the $65 million of Civic Center debt was retired. The Minnesota Legislature approved the city sales tax, and Saint Paul residents had no say.
A tip of the cap to Saint Pat.
Jeff Schmidt couldn’t be missed outside Landmark Center on March 17 during the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Saint Paul.
Photo by Brad Stauffer
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