A great egret soaks in the cleaner water that's evident in Como Lake this summer. Photo: Nile Fellows
Making Water Less Hazardous on the Course
The storm water retention pond between Holes 3 and 11. 
Capitol Region Watershed District began construction this week on two projects to clean up storm water before it flows from the western side of the Como Golf Course into Como Lake.

Water from a sewer pipe near Hole 7 will be diverted -- first to an infiltration basin (which the watershed district describes as a "large rain garden"), then to buried pipes that allow water to soak into the ground. The water at Hole 7 comes from the Zoo (which is to the south) and from nearby residential blocks. The 7th green is closed until 2021; a temporary green takes its place.

Meanwhile, the watershed district is adding an iron-enhanced sand filter to the storm water pond between Holes 3 and 11. The pond , which run along Chelsea south of Hoyt, holds storm runoff from nearby parts of Saint Paul, Falcon Heights, and Roseville. The filter will remove dissolved phosphorus, which fuels algae growth. A "smart" system will help control the depth of the pond to optimize the sand filter and reduce flooding on the course.

Don't miss your chance: This Wednesday, July 15, is the last day to comment on the first draft of the watershed district's next 20-year Watershed Management Plan, for Como Lake and beyond. You can read the draft, then submit comments online. You can also watch the recording from a virtual community meeting last month.
City Offers Down Payment Assistance
Saint Paul's Down Payment Assistance Program can provide up to $40,000 to qualified home buyers who purchase in South Como or other selected city neighborhoods. Eligibility requirements include having net assets of less than $25,000 and an annual income no higher than 60 percent of the area median income. (That translates to $43,400 for an individual, $55,860 for a family of three, for example.)

The money can be used for home inspections, closing costs, and down payments on one- and two-unit houses in certain census tracts. Get more details
Free Fresh Food Available Tuesday
Keystone Services and Second Harvest Heartland provide a free Farmers Market in a Box this Tuesday, July 14, at noon at Roseville Area High School, on County Road B2 west of Lexington. Up to 500 households will each get a box of produce, a box of dairy, and a box of chicken and pork.
More Time to Apply 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.)
Figure Out Where We're Going
The Metropolitan Council's Transportation Advisory Board is taking comments on its 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program. These are essentially highway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects for which Met Council will seek federal funding. Comments are due by this Monday, July 13.

Once you've warmed up with that: The transportation plan of transportation planning in the Twin Cities also is available for public comment. The Met Council's "2040 Transportation Policy Plan 2020 Update" covers not just planes, trains, and automobiles, but also biking, walking, freight, buses, congestion, air quality, equity, land use, and more -- plus how to pay for it all. They're taking public comment online and other ways through Aug. 10.
Cooperation Among Neighbors
When it comes to hard-to-dispose-of items that don't belong in the trash, Saint Paul residents can benefit from a reciprocity agreement between Ramsey and Washington Counties. The agreement lets residents of one county bring items to the other county's hazardous waste collection site for free.

That's especially useful because the Washington County site in Woodbury accepts electronics that Ramsey County does not. Both sites accept cell phones and tablets. But the Woodbury site also takes TVs, microwave ovens, DVD and VCR players, fax machines, computers, monitors, and computer peripherals such as printers, keyboards, mice, and speakers. The Woodbury site farther away, and not open as often, but it can be a helpful option. 

Now, if we can only figure out how to recycle plastic bags...
Different Ways to Reduce Anxiety
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  from 10:30-11 a.m.  They begin  this week, July 16, and last until Sept. 3. Sessions are free but you must register through North Dale Recreation Center by this Sunday, July 12. (There's information on Facebook, too.)

Exercise your green thumb: Ramsey County Master Gardeners hold free online or phone consultations every Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon. to ease your growing frustrations. 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, Master Gardeners host three free online workshops this month: 
You Think You Know Your Neighborhood?
Staying "safe" during the pandemic no longer means staying home all the time. To help you make the most of being out and about, the Como Community Council created a Como Scavenger Hunt. This family friendly activity helps you discover your neighborhood, past and present; get some fresh air (responsibly); 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
Happening This Week
  • Something new to do: Ramsey County Historical Society is opening Gibbs Farm for limited group tours on weekends beginning today, Friday July 10. Fridays offer 75-minute tours for $25 per group; Saturdays offer two-hour tours for $30 per group. You must register in advance, either online for the day you want, or by calling 651-646-8629 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The pioneer farm is at Larpenteur and Cleveland.
  • Taxes are due: If you've delayed this long, time is up. The extension to file federal and state income taxes without penalties and interest expires this Wednesday, July 15. Forms are due by midnight. The extension for Ramsey County property owners to pay their first installment of property taxes also expires this Wednesday, July 15.
It's Never Too Late to Sign On 
  • 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
  • You can still order Como Kindness lawn signs, which are 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
Public Hearings You Might Care About
  • 978 Front Ave.: City Council has scheduled a public hearing this Wednesday, July 15, at 3:30 p.m. The owner wants to rezone the property from B2 community business to T2 traditional neighborhood.
  • Sound level variance: City Council also holds a public hearing this 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.
Members of the public can submit comments on either issue before noon this Tuesday, July 14. You can email comments or record a voicemail at 651-266-6805. 
Keeping Track of Traffic Hassles
  • Como Ave.: More barrels on the boulevard and paint on the asphalt are indeed signs that work could begin this week on rebuilding the road from Hamline west to the Cleveland/Raymond intersection. The work includes building the Como Ave. Trail for cyclists and pedestrians. Project manager Don Pflaum says contract paperwork is all that's holding things up. When work begins, it will start with construction on the western portion and water work east of Snelling. Sign up to get a regular email on project updates. Meanwhile, farther west, Como Ave. is closed at Hunting Valley Road for complete reconstruction. Future phases will move east; the entire project is expected to last through October.
  • Como Park parking lots: Construction is not until 2021, but Como Community Council is taking feedback now on initial concepts for rebuilding the parking lots outside Como Golf and north and south of the Lakeside Pavilion. Plans include reconfiguring some nearby bicycle and pedestrian paths. Take a look at the preliminary ideas, then email us your comments and suggestions.
  • Dale St.: The east side of Dale gets paved this week, but nothing changes from a travel perspective. The street 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.
  • Lexington and County Road B2: Reconstruction of the intersection isn't until 2022, but Ramsey County is wondering which of two designs you prefer. Click around to view the options, compare pros and cons, then make comments and suggestions.
  • Robert Street Bridge: The downtown Saint Paul bridge closes this Saturday, July 11, for pavement repairs. Work is expected to last six weeks.
Burglars Ended June in a Flurry
This week's Como community crime update
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.