Heads-Up For The January 8, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Heads-Up For The January 8, 2014 Park Board Meeting

4:30 P.M.  CLOSED MEETING. There will be a closed meeting regarding pending Downtown East development litigation.

5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held  in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.  This is the first regular meeting of 2014

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers can call 612-230-6400 before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting to sign up or they can sign up at the Board meeting prior to the start of “Open Time.”

Some agenda items of interest include the following:


Approving the Concept Plan for the Wading Pool Improvements at Harrison Park.  Following the CAC recommendation, the plan calls for re-building the pool in a new location closer to the recreation building and parking area.  This location would provide better access and improved security.  The Plan also calls for an enlarged seating area around the pool, with a shade structure for comfort if funding allows.

Approving Master Plan for Northeast Park.  This 37-acre park includes tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, a miniature golf course, sand volleyball courts, and the Lupient Water Park.

The Master Plan calls for constructing a new $4 million recreation building, removing the miniature golf course, with that area possibly to be used for a skate park in the future, temporarily removing the sand volleyball courts, upgrading the athletic fields, adding some “un-programmed” green space for pickup games, adding picnic facilities, and improving pedestrian circulation.

The Plan suggests that the Park Board acquire some additional property on the west side of Fillmore Street.  That would allow for more baseball fields and tennis courts, plus bringing back the sand volleyball courts.

No funding source has been identified for land acquisition or the new facilities.  The land in question is being used for industrial purposes at present but is owned by a developer, who might or might not be willing to sell it.

–Under Unfinished Business, discussion of Southwest Light Rail Transit


Interim Policy on permits to use athletic fields.  The draft Policy gives priority to MPRB-organized athletic events, followed by Minneapolis Public Schools events.  MPRB and MPS events are not charged any fees.  The next priority for field time is given to organizations who have had permits in previous years, with last priority given to newcomers.

The process of getting a permit for athletic-field use is rather complex under this Policy.  It isn’t clear how a newly-formed sports organization could find out what fields are available on what dates.

The complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday January 8, 2014 is at http://minneapolisparksmn.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

Also of interest and now available to the commissioners and the public are the monthly reports that Superintendent Miller has initiated for construction permits and for Planning Department projects. The availability of these reports is one of the important changes instituted by Superintendent Miller. They are normally in the agenda packet for the first regular meeting of the month.  This month’s report is attached to the regular Board agenda.

View Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast Cable. You may also view live meetings online on the Channel 79 webpage: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/79

Regular meetings are typically re-telecast on Channel 79 on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m. Telecast schedules are subject to change.

Webcasts of MPRB regular board meetings are posted on the MPRB website two to five business days following each meeting and are available for viewing, along with webcasts for the recent two months, at www.minneapolisparks.org.

Board meeting agendas and related information are posted on http://www.minneapolisparks.org two business days prior to meetings.

The Park Board’s website is www.minneapolisparks.org. The phone number is 612-230-6400.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch