HEADS UP FOR APRIL 16, 2008 PARK BOARD MEETING

Some highlights:

5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME.

5:45 P.M. PLANNING COMMITTEE. There will be a study/report presentation by the East Phillips Park Committee Design Team.

6:15 P.M. ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE. The Committee will be voting on Park Board plans to declare the Pillsbury-Waite Center property, which is valued by the city assessor at $1,234,000, as “surplus” land and giving it to Pillsbury-Waite in exchange for $10.00 without getting any contractual guarantees in return.

This transaction raises several questions:

1. Why isn’t there a written guarantee stating that the new owner (Pillsbury-Waite) will continue to provide social services into the future?

2. What is to prevent a developer from eventually acquiring this land?

3. Is this gifting away of parkland a precedent that the Park Board is establishing that will allow other Park Board land to be declared “surplus” and traded away for minimal consideration?

4. Has this transaction had adequate consideration? Where are the comprehensive staff reports supporting the conclusion that this property should be declared “surplus,” especially in view of the fact that its assessed value is $1,234,000? The property being traded away for $10.00 is a valuable public asset and the Park Board has a responsibility to the public to safeguard its assets.

The meeting’s complete agenda is usually available Monday or Tuesday on the Park Board’s website http://www.minneapolisparks.org

The meeting will be broadcast live on cable channel 14 beginning at 5:00 P.M.