Parks update // Pedestrian bridge

To repair pedestrian bridge, neighbors might have to pay up

LYNNHURST — The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is considering applying a long-unused special assessment law to help pay for the rehabilitation of a shuttered pedestrian bridge.

The bridge, which extends over Minnehaha Creek, was sealed off last spring because of stability concerns. Fixing it would cost $234,000, according to a study.

The City Council has allotted about $141,000 for such a project. To cover the remaining amount, the Park Board might apply a special assessment last used more than 30 years ago to buy new parkland. It would impact properties that “benefit” from the bridge; the exact range would need to be determined.

The full board is expected approve the bridge repair at its May 6 meeting.

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Park Board hits the road

Through October, the Park Board will spread its first meetings of the month around the city. Here’s the road-trip schedule:

• May 6 in the Armatage Park gym, 2500 57th St. W.

• June 3 in the Bottineau Park field house, 2000 2nd St. NE.

• July 1 in the Powderhorn Park gym, 3400 15th Ave. S.

• Aug. 5 in the Elliot Park multipurpose room, 1000 14th St. E.

• Sept. 2 in the Folwell Park gym, 1615 Dowling Ave. N.

• Oct. 7 in the Pearl Park gym, 414 E. Diamond Lake Road.

Videos of the meetings will
be posted at www.minneapolis
parks.org.

Crown Hydro makes another pitch

Crown Hydro’s latest chance to present to the Park Board its plans for a hydroelectric power plant near St. Anthony Falls came and went on April 15.

The private company brought forward neighbors, researchers, engineers and labor representatives to show there is support for the controversial project. It’s hoping the Park Board eventually will back an Environmental Assessment Worksheet, which is needed for the project to move ahead.

No vote was taken, but Crown Hydro attorney Christian Sande said he hoped the presentation was “a starting point for future negotiations.”

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DFL, Green Party to announce endorsements

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party will make its Park Board endorsements on May 16. A week earlier, on May 9, the Green Party will do the same. Here are the candidates seeking party nods:

At-large
(Three seats)

Mary Merrill Anderson (DFL)
Mary Merrill Anderson has been with the Park Board much of the past four decades, starting as a recreation supervisor in 1972 and working her way up to superintendent. First elected to the Park Board in 2005, children are a top priority. She’s currently board vice president.

John Erwin (DFL)
If elected, this would be John Erwin’s second term on the board, although he hasn’t been on it since 2005. He’s back with the largest number of pre-convention endorsements of any DFL at-large hopeful. Erwin wants to boost tree planting and grant writing.

Tom Nordyke (DFL)
Tom Nordyke’s biggest goal has been to make the parks more financially sound. Currently serving his second year as the board’s president, he also has made a point to try to improve communication between the parks system and the city, an often-testy relationship.

Annie Young (Green)
Annie Young is seeking her sixth term. She has long promoted energy conservation, green building and utilizing renewable resources.

District 4
(one seat)

Anita Tabb (DFL)

Anita Tabb as a citizen has attended almost every Park Board meeting for the past two years. Some of her top issues are transparency and public process. For now, she is the lone candidate to replace outgoing Commissioner Tracy Nordstrom.


District 6
(one seat)

Brad Bourn (DFL)
Brad Bourn’s first dealings with staff and commissioners at the Park Board left him disappointed. He doesn’t want that experience for others. If elected, he would try to ensure community input opportunities and board responsiveness and transparency.

Bob Fine (DFL)
In Bob Fine’s 12 years on the Park Board, he has worn many hats, including board president and currently, Planning Committee chairman. His main concerns involve infrastructure and serving youth. Fine has coached softball, baseball, basketball and soccer for more than 30 years.