SURPRISE!

MPRB STAFF RECOMMENDS ANOTHER STRUCTURE FOR LAKE HARRIET

When MPRB’s General Manager Donald Siggelkow issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for operating the Lake Harriet concession stand on August 15, 2008, the RFP clearly stated it was for a “Lake Harriet Concession Operator.” That is, it was for ONE concession operator. BUT, when the staff report on the result of the RFP for “concession operator” appeared in the materials for the January 21, 2009, Park Board meeting, there was the surprise mention of a SECOND concession operator.

Sea Salt, a seafood vendor, was the recommended vendor for the concession stand and the SECOND recommended concession operator was Wheel Fun. And for Wheel Fun–this second out-of-the-blue concession operator–General Manager Siggelkow is planning to CONSTRUCT and PAY FOR A NEW BUILDING! Part of this expanded plan for Lake Harriet is the addition of beer and wine to the beverage menu and the possibility of expanded hours.

THE JANUARY 21 VOTE ON THIS SIGNIFICANT AGENDA ITEM IS PREMATURE AND SHOULD BE DEFERRED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS PROJECT CAN BE ANSWERED:

1. How did the RFP for a single vendor result in TWO vendors AND the requirement to build a NEW BUILDING?

2. How many buildings can this small area accommodate?

3. Do we really NEED another beige building on Lake Harriet?

4. Where is the money to pay for this new beige building coming from?

5. Is this new structure a priority at a time of financial constraint?

6. Do we need beer and wine served in this family venue?

7. Do we need a THIRD seafood restaurant in our parks?

8. Why was no Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) created for this project?

9. Why was the Lakes’ Coalition not informed of this project before it appeared on the agenda?

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch