Monthly Archives: November 2015

Heads-Up for the December 2, 2015 Park Board Meeting

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.  Visitors to Park Board meetings can find at the back of the meeting room the agenda book with all the printed materials for the meeting

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”

5:30 P.M.  PUBLIC COMMENT.  (Following Open Time)  Public Comment on the Superintendent’s Recommended 2016 Budget

Listed below are some agenda items of interest:

Continue reading

New Ideas Advanced for Park Changes at Harriet and South Calhoun

The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the November 19, 2015 edition of the Star Tribune. 

New Ideas Advanced for Park Changes at Harriet and South Calhoun

Planning for reshaping of lakes Harriet and Calhoun continued Tuesday night with sparser attendance by the appointees given the job of advising the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on the future of the two lakes.

But perhaps the biggest new idea was taken off the table.

That was the concept of creating a land bridge over the intersection of Richfield Road and William Berry Parkway, just south of Lake Calhoun, to relieve what can sometimes be a congested confluence of motor vehicles, pedestrians and bikers. The idea of a seamless bridge of parkland over that junction appeared on a drawing last month but the citizen advisory committee didn’t get to it in that meeting.

Assistant Park Superintendent Michael Schroeder said Wednesday that he thinks there are more cost-effective ways to improve the intersection.

Last month’s discussion focused entirely on ideas for the Calhoun lakeshore. This month’s session meeting focused more on Harriet, plus the Berry parkway area that connects the two lakes, and Calhoun’s east shore.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune
New ideas advanced for park changes at Harriet and south …

Calhoun, Harriet CAC Meeting on November 17, 2015

Calhoun, Harriet CAC Meeting on November 17, 2015

A Park Watch Note: This CAC meeting was very democratic. There were several members of the public in attendance and many of them were allowed to ask questions and make comments during the meeting.  Star Tribune reporter Steve Brandt was there and his coverage is posted on Park Watch.

Park Board Superintendent Recommends 2016 Budget

The following article by Eric Best was published in the November 5, 2015 edition of the Southwest Journal.

 

Park Board Superintendent Recommends 2016 Budget

 

File photo by Ellen Schmidt
parkboard 2016 budget article

Bryan Square Park is one of several neighborhood parks with expired facilities due to budget shortfalls.

Superintendent Jayne Miller is proposing a $71 million 2016 budget for the Minneapolis Park
and Recreation Board based on a 4.4 percent increase to its property tax levy.

The budget is up about $2.7 million or 4 percent from last year’s approved budget. Next year, 8
cents of every Minneapolis property tax dollar will go to the Park Board.

In September the Board of Estimate and Taxation set the board’s maximum property tax levy at $54.3 million, a 4.4 percent increase. It includes a .4 percent increase or about $1.7 million for the Tree Preservation & Reforestation Fund, a special fund to address tree loss across the park system. Miller’s recommended budget also includes $8.3 million for the board’s enterprise operating fund and $21.8 million for capital projects. Continue reading

New Meetings Added for Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan

New Meetings Added for Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan

Also, new survey available for community members! 

The November 17 Citizen’s Advisory Committee #6 meeting focused on Focus Areas 5-9 which included East Calhoun, South Calhoun and William Berry, the Harriet Bandshell area, the Lower Road on East Harriet,and Lyndale Gardens. Focus Areas 1-4 have been posted and can be found under the CAC Meeting #5 summary. Visit the project page (under the “Get Involved” tab) for all meeting presentation materials.

Additional meetings have been added to the Calhoun-Harriet master planning process. The design team is formulating a preferred plan that will be presented and discussed in January.

A new online survey is available for the community to provide comment on the design options and will be available for response until December 4.

Mark your Calendars!

Open House #5: Design Options for Focus Areas 5-9 (new!)

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 1

Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

Location: MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road N.

Nokomis Room (first floor, to the right of the lobby)

CAC #7: Master Plan and Recommendations

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 12

Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

Location: Jones-Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave.

CAC #8:  Projects, Costs, and Prioritization (new!)

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 16

Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

Location: Jones-Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave.


Meeting accommodations or language interpretation

Cindy Anderson

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

(612) 230-6472 (or the Minnesota Relay System at 711)

canderson@minneapolisparks.org


Español: 612-230-6573 | preguntas@minneapolisparks.org

Soomaali: 612-230-6574 | suaalo@minneapolisparks.org


Contact

Deborah Bartels

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Email: DBartels@minneapolisparks.org

Office: 612-230-6438

Editorial Counterpoint: The Truth Behind Light-Rail Sticker Shock

The following item by Bob “Again” Carney Jr., a transit activist, was published in the November 13, 2015 edition of the Star Tribune.

Editorial Counterpoint: The Truth Behind Light-Rail Sticker Shock

Light-rail funding is a continuing point of contention in the Twin Cities area.

Richard Sennott: Star Tribune file photo

Light-rail funding is a continuing point of contention in the Twin Cities area.

If you’re thinking about kicking the tires on a new light-rail line, be sure to wear steel-tipped boots. Maybe some body armor. Light rail can kick back pretty hard. The Bottineau Line budget recently kicked up about $500 million — it’s total is now $1.5 billion.

The Star Tribune Editorial Board’s response: Things will be a lot worse if we do nothing (“Doing nothing is the costliest transit plan,” Nov. 1). Fortunately, the editorial included a saving grace, noting “finding effective alternatives” as an option.

Unfortunately, light-rail sticker shock is a symptom of a much deeper problem: a built-in mandate favoring light-rail construction boondoggles.

This paper’s opinion-page discussion on transportation and transit hasn’t delved much into the mysterious “CTIB” — the Counties Transit Improvement Board. Most people have never heard of the CTIB. But to understand the transit challenges our Legislature faces, we need to deal with some CTIB basics.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune
http://m.startribune.com/editorial-counterpoint-the-truth-behind-light-rail-sticker-shock/347276662/?section=opinion

Heads-Up for the November 18, 2015 Park Board Meeting

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.  Visitors to Park Board meetings can find at the back of the meeting room the agenda book with all the printed materials for the meeting

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”

5:30 P.M.  PUBLIC COMMENT.  (Following Open Time)  Public Comment on the Superintendent’s Recommended 2016 Budget

Listed below are some agenda items of interest:

Continue reading

All Shook Up

The following article by Dylan Thomas was published in the November 5, 2015 edition of the Southwest Journal.


All Shook Up

Photo by Dylan Thomas

Paul Petzschke said the unique design of the Calhoun Isles Condos building seemed to amplify vibrations from nearby construction.


Neighbors say a construction project portends trouble for Southwest light rail

CEDAR-ISLES-DEAN — The floor-to-ceiling windows of John Wessinger’s condominium in the Loop Calhoun building look west, their view framing what has troubled him and many of his neighbors since early this summer.

A block or two distant from his condo building is the southern end of the Kenilworth Corridor, where construction of a tunnel for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project is expected to begin in 2017. If Wessinger and many of his neighbors look forward to that date with a sense of trepidation, it’s because of the scene that dominates the foreground of his view: a half-block-long construction pit crawling with machinery.

This spring, work on a new apartment building was halted for weeks at 3118 W. Lake St. — better known as the former Tryg’s restaurant site — when damage was reported at several nearby buildings, including the Loop and the Calhoun Isles Condos located just across the Midtown Greenway. During installation of sheet piling for the apartment’s foundation, vibrations rattled the dishes in Wessinger’s cabinets “like an earthquake” and left hairline fractures in his walls.

What neighbors experienced then was just a “prelude” to SWLRT tunnel construction, said Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association (CIDNA) President Craig Westgate. Westgate contends Metropolitan Council, the agency leading the $1.77-billion transit project, has not adequately prepared to deal with what could be significant damage caused by the tunnel work.
Continue reading

Minneapolis Parks Chief Keeps a Tight Grip on the Reins

The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the November 7, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis Parks Chief Keeps a Tight Grip on the Reins

Superintendent Jayne Miller pushes her staff but has professionalized management of a tradition-bound system.

Minneapolis parks Superintendent Jayne Miller has bolstered a chronically ailing budget, instilled a new level of professionalism in the park district and ably responded to natural disasters.

Now she is embarking on her most ambitious plan yet: persuading Minneapolis voters to raise property taxes by more than $210 million over 15 years, providing the most comprehensive overhaul of neighborhood parks in recent city history.

She is deeply focused on ensuring that Minneapolis’ cherished park system retains its nation-leading luster, but she must balance that against skeptical city officials and voters concerned about soaring tax bills.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune

Minneapolis parks chief keeps a tight grip on the reins

Minneapolis Park Board Wants to Ask Taxpayers for at Least $210 Million

The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the November 6, 2015 edition of the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis Park Board Wants to Ask Taxpayers for at Least $210 Million

 

Improvements for a number of Minneapolis parks, including Matthews, have been delayed. Now the Park Board is preparing to ask taxpayers for help.

Photo: Glen Stubbe

Improvements for a number of Minneapolis parks, including Matthews, have been delayed. Now the Park Board is preparing to ask taxpayers for help.

Minneapolis Park Superintendent Jayne Miller wants to ask city taxpayers for at least $210 million over the next 15 to 20 years, money that would be used for improving some of the most worn-out and outdated park amenities.

Park commissioners said Wednesday they want to make a request to voters next year for $14 million annually in new money, but they directed Miller to craft a detailed list of projects that would happen in the first five years if the measure passed.

It is the park system’s largest request for tax money in at least a generation, serving as a high-stakes test of voters’ commitment to city parks and recreation areas.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune
http://m.startribune.com/minneapolis-park-board-wants-to-ask-taxpayers-for-at-least-210-million/341377181/?section=%2F