Project Goes Beyond Repaving Parking Lots
Initial ideas for reconstructing the south Pavilion parking lot.
Better routing of pedestrians and bicycles near the Como Lakeside Pavilion is among initial ideas on the table when Parks and Recreation rebuilds parking lots near the Pavilion and golf course next year.

Project manager Anne Gardner and her Parks and Recreation colleague, Cheeneng Yang, unveiled initial concepts for parking lot reconstruction during District 10's Land Use Committee meeting July 1. While rebuilding the three lots, Yang and Gardner say, they hope to do more than bring lot design, stormwater management, and traffic flow up to modern standards.

One idea does a better job of separating cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists near the Pavilion. The separation would occur in the stretch from where paths now converge south of the Pavilion (near Schiffman Fountain) to where paths converge north of the Pavilion (near Como Lake Drive and Lexington Parkway).

Existing paths closest to the lake would be for pedestrians only. Cyclists passing through would ride on the newly repaved, two-way path along Lexington. Cyclists visiting the Pavilion would take a new, two-way path that would be built along the west side of the Pavilion's south parking lot and the south side of the Pavilion's north parking lot.

Another idea builds a boat launch south of the Pavilion. Yang stressed that these initial proposals are "very high-level concepts" that will be refined. Learn more -- including how to add your comments and suggestions.
Moving from Talking to Doing
Examining specific ways to address systemic racism in Como will be the focus of this week's District 10 Neighborhood Relations Committee. Participants will discuss suggestions and challenges raised in the past month through an online survey hosted by the Como Community Council, and through gatherings among neighbors.

All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to sit in and share their ideas and opinions. The discussion takes place via video and phone conferencing this Tuesday, July 7, beginning at 7 p.m. If you want to participate, email the District 10 office; we'll email you access information. The preliminary agenda will be posted when it's available.
Learn What Our Utility Has in Mind
Xcel Energy's Jim Pearson will give an overview of the utility's draft Integrated Resources Plan at this week's District 10 Environment Committee meeting. The mandatory plan spells out exactly how Xcel intends to generate power in Minnesota for the next 15 years. That includes how much the utility intends to spend in areas such as nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind, solar, transmission, and more. 

All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to sit in on the presentation, raise questions, and make suggestions. The presentation takes place via video and phone conferencing this Wednesday, July 8, beginning at 7 p.m. If you want to participate, email the District 10 office; we'll email you access information. The preliminary agenda will be posted when it's available.
Nothing Changes for Trash, Recycling
Although banks, government offices, and even the District 10 office are observing the Fourth of July on the Third of July, it's not a holiday for trash haulers and Eureka Recycling. So get your blue and gray bins out bright and early for regular service on Friday July 3.
Phalen Beach
Youngsters Can Get Outdoors ...
You can head to the beach: The public beach at Saint Paul's Phalen Park and most Ramsey County beaches now are open. You are supposed to practice social distancing and other outdoor public health measures at the beaches. That means staying away if you are sick, staying 6 feet apart if you're not, masks when you are not in the water, hand sanitizer within reach, and the rest of the drill. Beyond that, however, you'll find different conditions:
  • Phalen has lifeguards on duty from noon-8 p.m. Public restrooms are not open, though there are portable toilets. Drinking fountains do not work.
  • Ramsey County's beaches do not have lifeguards. The beaches do have open restrooms or portable toilets. Their drinking fountains also do not work.
In addition, Saint Paul has opened splash pads at Phalen, Conway Park, and Lewis Park. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Youth can gear up: Registration is open for youth sports leagues at Saint Paul parks. This fall's sports are tackle football, flag football, lacrosse, and soccer. Different sports take place in different locations, and the leagues are set up for different ages.  All sports have a fee except flag football, which is free. Registration runs through July 31; there are price discounts if you register before this Sunday, July 5. In addition:
  • Weeklong Sanneh soccer camps for youth ages 5-13 take place at different city parks beginning this week. Camps include North Dale from July 20-23. Register here
  • Saint Paul Urban Tennis is beginning two-week camps for youth ages 5-18 at six city locations, including Como Park Senior High School. Get details
... Others, Not So Much
Stay calm: The Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program is offering weekly meditation for adults 55 or older. The online sessions run Thursdays, July 16-Sept. 3, from 10:30-11 a.m. Sessions are free but you must register through North Dale Recreation Center by next Saturday, July 11.

Exercise your green thumb: Ramsey County Master Gardeners hold free online or phone consultations every Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon. First, fill out the diagnostic form for plants or insects. Then join the consultation clinic, either online through Zoom, or by calling 651-372-8299 (the meeting ID is 976 9690 3081).
In addition, the Master Gardeners have three free online workshops this month: " Pest Detective" on Saturday July 11 from 1-2 p.m.; " Spotting Problem Plants" on Thursday July 23 from 6-7 p.m.; and " Herb Gardening" on Tuesday July 28 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Deadline Delayed for Food Benefit
Minnesota has extended the application deadline for its temporary Pandemic EBT benefit. If you have children ages 5-18 who received free or reduced-price meals at school, you may be eligible for up to $325 per child to purchase groceries this summer. The new deadline to apply is July 31. (Families who receive SNAP or MFIP benefits do not need to apply; they are enrolled automatically.)
In Case You Missed What We Did
Because of the pandemic, board members and staff of the Como Community Council had to deliver our annual report to the neighborhood online. Here's what we accomplished (or didn't) in the past year -- and what we're working on for the next year.  (The video clocks in at about 22 minutes.)
You Think You Know Your Neighborhood?
Staying "safe" during the pandemic no longer means we have to stay home all the time. To help you get out and about productively, the Como Community Council has created a Como Scavenger Hunt. This family friendly activity helps you discover your neighborhood, past and present; get some fresh air; and exercise your body and mind along the way.

There are two hunts: one east of Lexington, one west of Lexington. Do them at your own pace until July 31. We'll enter all completed lists into a drawing for gift cards to District 10 restaurants.  
Download the lists
It's Never Too Late to Sign On 
  • You can still order Como Kindness lawn signs, which are now back in stock. Suggested donation is $15. After we cover costs, proceeds go to the Como Park block nurse program, which works to handle the health-care and everyday needs of neighborhood seniors.  Order your sign(s) here
  • You can still promote the new, lower residential speed limits in Saint Paul with a 20 is Plenty sign for your front yard, side yard, or window. The Como Community Council is distributing the signs for free in District 10 while supplies last. To reserve yours, fill out this form
Keeping Track of City Paperwork
  • 949 W. Iowa: Saint Paul holds a legislative hearing this Tuesday, July 7, at 11:30 a.m. on an appeal of the fire department's revocation of occupancy certificate and order to vacate.
  • Como Golf: City Council intends to vote this Wednesday, July 8, on an amended contract giving Foursome Golf Management Group a two-year extension (until the end of 2021) to make its full $200,000 investment in the Como Park golf course. The amended contract also spells out how the company will make additional investments through 2027.
  • Scooters: City Council intends to vote this Wednesday, July 8, on a contract authorizing Lime to unleash between 150 and 500 electric scooters in Saint Paul. Among contract provisions: Scooters are supposed to be limited to speeds of 10 mph in parks.
  • 978 Front Ave.: City Council has scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday July 15 at 3:30 p.m. on the owner's request to rezone the property from B2 community business to T2 traditional neighborhood.
  • Sound level variance: City Council also holds a public hearing on Wednesday July 15 for sewer-lining work that will be done sometime this September or October on Como Ave. between Snelling and Pascal. Much of the work will be at night over a 48-hour period. The contractor is requesting a sound level variance allowing 70 decibels as measured at 50 feet from the machinery.
Previously reported:
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: The liquor and Sunday liquor licenses are up for renewal on July 23. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali.
  • D&L Food and Gas: The gas station license for this business at 626 W. Larpenteur is up for renewal on July 28. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
  • Half Time Rec: The liquor, gambling, and entertainment licenses for this bar and restaurant at 1013 Front are up for renewal on Aug. 21. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
  • Hmong College Prep Academy: The license for the school's parking ramp at 1544 Brewster is up for renewal. Anyone who has concerns should raise them with the city's Department of Safety and Inspections: Call 651-266-9106 or send an email.
Keeping Track of Traffic Hassles
  • Como Ave.: The street is closed west of Hunting Valley Road for complete reconstruction. Future phases will move east; the entire project is expected to last through October.
  • Dale St.: You can watch construction live: with one camera facing southwest, the other camera facing north. Meanwhile traffic restrictions remain the same. Dale is restricted to one lane in each direction between University and Carroll while Ramsey County builds a new bridge over Interstate 94. Ramps to and from I-94 are closed. At least until fall, motorists also cannot get from Dale to St. Anthony Ave. or from Dale to Concordia Ave. (No surprise: they can't get from St. Anthony or Concordia to Dale, either.) Central is cut off east of Dale.
  • Energy Park Drive: The street still looks like a construction zone between Snelling and Lexington, but all lanes are now open in most places. That's until Ramsey County begins its full mill-and-overlay later this summer. 
  • Larpenteur Ave.: Thanks to the rain, expect another week or two of lane restrictions between Snelling and Highway 280. Crews are fixing concrete that wasn't repaired well enough last summer.
  • Robert Street Bridge: The downtown Saint Paul bridge closes next Saturday, July 11, for pavement repairs. Work is expected to last six weeks.
Keep Your Place Safe
Saint Paul Police continue to offer a free "premise survey," in which they size up your home and tell you what you can do to make it less of a target for crime. Request your survey here
Spread the Word
District 10 is one of Saint Paul's 17 citizen participation districts. The District 10 Como Community Council is a nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members of the community. The Council's mission is to inform, educate, and connect the neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence. 
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.