I’ve been offline for a while, and need to catch up on some current issues of importance to Section 2. For an excellent December overview, which covers the Budget and Utility Rates, please read Council Member Kolb's update here. Take a look at that stack of reading material! On to my update:
LRT Municipal Consent
We are in the Municipal Consent stage of the LRT project. The Blue Line Open House on Thursday, January 14th, 5:30-7pm, at the Crystal City Hall Community Room. The preliminary design plans of the project will be presented, and community input taken. The City Council will also hold a Public Hearing on February 2, 7:00pm, City Hall, Council Chambers.
Station Area Planning
Community members have been actively participating in the Station Area Planning phase of the project. One of the issues has been the use, and potential improvement, of Becker Park. Residents have singled out Becker Park as one of our most important public assets. The park is in need of updates, and there is significant excitement about the possibilities. Residents and the Council agree that Becker Parks should remain its current size; we now need careful planning and community input to bring out the best in this space. Another issue is the pedestrian crossing over Hwy 81. The current design and traffic conditions of the 81 and Bass Lake Road intersection make it nearly impossible for pedestrians to cross safely. There are several options to improve this intersection and make it more user friendly, including building a pedestrian overpass. Click here to learn more about Municipal Consent and Station Area Planning.
Freight Rail Quiet Zones
City Staff are officially researching the establishment of Quiet Zones at the Canadian Pacific intersections at Douglas Drive and West Broadway. Staff is working directly with SRF (the city's quiet zone consultant), and representatives from Hennepin County, MnDOT-Rail, Federal Railroad Administration, and Canadian Pacific railroad. A meeting was recently held on the actual rail crossings to review the options. This issue will be discussed in more detail at a work session in approximately one to two months.
New Tenant at the Crystal Shopping Center
Robbinsdale School District plans to open an educational facility at the Crystal Shopping Center. This facility will be geared towards children with disabilities and adult learners. The leased space will be 42,000 square feet in the south two- thirds of the west building. Most of the space is currently vacant, with the Dollar Tree and Pro Nails Salon moving to another unit within the Shopping Center. Both the Council and Paster Properties feel that this is a positive step for the area- expanding the Shopping Center’s use by serving the community, and bringing in more consumers for established businesses. The proposed opening date for the school is July 2016.
City Code Review Task Force
City Code Review Task Force is making great progress! This Sun Post article gives a good overview of their work.
Looking for Commissioners
We are recruiting volunteers for our Commissions! Click here for more information.
I am due to have my third baby at the end of January, and will be on a semi-official maternity leave for approximately 6 weeks. In the meantime, I will be watching the council meetings and listening to the work sessions. My plan is to come back as soon as possible, with baby in tow.
A detailed summary of each Council Meeting is now available in this handy format:
Upcoming Community Events
Light of Crystal Half Way Happy Hour
Friday, January 15th, 5:30pm, Buffalo Wild Wings
Quad Community Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Bowling Fundraiser
Fundraiser to benefit our local Service Members and Veterans.
Sunday, January 31
Sign up at Doyle's Bowling & Lounge begins at 10:30 a.m.
Bowling begins at 11:00 a.m.
(includes 3 games, shoes & lunch)