Lake Calhoun facelift
The Park and Recreation Board has decided to meet with neighborhood groups before finalizing the Lake Calhoun Master Plan. The proposal has been in the works for over a decade, with many residents worried about the effect of new structures around the lake.
“The less stuff around the lake, the better,” Park Board Commissioner Scott
Vreeland said at the June 6 board meeting. “It really needs to be protected as much as possible.”
The overall scale of the project has been modified and reduced, but it still includes a sailing refectory, traffic flow improvements and bank restoration.
Bar on wheels
During open time at the June 6 Park Board meeting, two representatives from PedalPub introduced the idea of bringing their “party on wheels” to Minneapolis parkways. The user-propelled vehicle consists of a “bar” that seats three to 16 people and travels on city streets, with a staff member steering at the helm. It’s environmentally friendly and intended for slow, scenic rides around the city. The Park Board expressed reservations about the effect that the 5 mph pub would have on traffic, but according to PedalPub representatives, it’s supposed to keep to the shoulder and allow backed-up cars to pass at stoplights. The motorless bar hails from Europe and would be the only PedalPub in North America, should its use be permitted. To learn more, visit www.PedalPub.com
Superintendent Gurban’s new contract
Park Board members discussed the terms of Superintendent Jon Gurban’s new three-year contract at the June 6 board meeting. The contract is still in draft form, but as it stands Gurban would receive an annual salary of $139,817, at least 30 days of vacation each year, a $500 monthly car allowance and 10 days for professional development annually. He would also be expected to provide the board with an annual work plan based on a list of priorities that the board creates.
Gurban’s proposed car allowance was one of the most contested parts of the contract. Commissioner Kummer felt that it was unfair to award an allowance to the superintendent when no other employees receive the same level of compensation. Because Gurban drives so much, Commissioner Merrill Anderson pointed out, his mileage would be at least that amount. Commissioner Nordstrom suggested leasing a hybrid car, but the board agreed that it would be too expensive.
The board expects to reach a final decision on the terms of the contract before the end of June.
Hot dog, anyone?
The Park Board approved a request by a mobile concessions company to sell snacks around tourist attractions like Lake Calhoun, Loring Park and Historic Main Street. The vendors will be allowed to sell candy, beverages and hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day until 2009. Commissioner Vreeland expressed concern over the lack of vegetarian options. “We want to provide healthy options to folks,” he said, but admitted, “If you’re the vendor, you’ve got to have on your cart what’s going to sell.”
Reach Mary O’Regan at [email protected] or 436-5088.