Only one local project is among six tentatively selected for funding as Saint Paul’s 2023 Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) process winds down. A public hearing on the projects is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in the fourth-floor conference room at the George Latimer Central Library, 90 W. Fourth St.

The lone local project recommended for approval was submitted by Union Park District Council Transportation Committee member Lisa Nelson. She is seeking $65,675 to add bike parking at 13 city parks and playgrounds. Among her suggested parks are Shadow Falls, Iris, Dickerman, Mattocks, Webster and Carty.

The bike rack project ranked fourth out of six still in the running for funding. The top-ranked project is for solar-powered lighting at Frogtown Farm and Park. It would replace lighting lost to copper wire thefts and has an estimated cost of $154,526.

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Other projects recommended for funding include safety updates to Hayden Heights Recreation Center ($280,370), path lighting between Maryland and Iowa avenues ($120,347), safety improvements around Como Lake ($104,715) and Raymond Avenue lighting upgrades ($30,000).

The CIB Committee has $1 million to allocate for neighborhood projects that focus on public safety. It is expected to finalize its recommendations on June 27 and forward them to Mayor Melvin Carter. He will review them and can make further changes before presenting them to the City Council as part of the 2023 city budget.

Some of the local projects not recommended for funding included an improved pedestrian crossing at Alton Street and Shepard Road, slower speed limits and a separated bike/pedestrian path on Mississippi River Boulevard, a median to improve crossing at Saint Clair Avenue and Kenneth Street, and a variety of other pedestrian safety improvements near schools, libraries and recreation centers.

Also not making the cut were requests for flashing beacons near the Midway Peace Park and at Selby Avenue-Ayd Mill Road, reconfiguring the Selby Avenue-Saratoga Street intersection, restrooms for Mears Park, converting a vacant parcel into park space in Highland Park, and adding sidewalks in the West Midway area.

— Jane McClure


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