Parks update // Linden Hills pool

Linden Hills pool to reopen in June

The sorely missed Linden Hills wading pool, closed last July because of leaking pipes, will be fixed and open in June, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff said at a recent meeting of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council.

Originally planned as a $400,000 replacement project, the cost was reduced to $125,000 when it was discovered that the pool could be saved with the relining of water supply pipes. A reduction in funding for capital projects, the result of a steadily shrinking Park Board budget, also played a role in the decision not to replace the pool, Commissioner Bob Fine told neighborhood council members.

The pipe relining can be done with very little disruption to the park itself, Lakes District Planner Alexander Zachary said. Trenches won’t have to be dug, he said, and the repaired pool should last 20 to 30 years. Plans also include the installation of new fencing, signage and one or two shade structures.

When work on the pool has been completed, the park’s parking lot will be repaved and re-striped, Zachary said.

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Residents’ input sought for superintendent search

The opportunity for public input on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s next superintendent has begun.

The Park Board this month launched an online survey gauging residents on the qualities they want to see in the successor to Superintendent Jon Gurban. It will be open through April 28. Click here.

Similarly, a 24-hour phone line has been set up to take comments. Call 230-6591.

The board also is expected to take input at two of its upcoming meetings, April 21 and May 5. Public hearings are scheduled for 5:45 p.m. both days at the board’s headquarters, 2117 W. River Road.

Andrea Sims, who is coordinating the superintendent search with the Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment firm, has developed a timeline that matches the board’s goal to hire someone in September. Gurban’s last day is June 30, while an interim superintendent, David Fisher, is scheduled to be in place July 1 through Oct. 31.

For more information, go to minneapolisparks.org.

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Met Council to cover most of lumberyard purchase

Pieces are falling into place for the Park Board to purchase a large property along the Mississippi River.

The so-called Scherer Bros. purchase, named for the company that currently owns and operates at the location, is bringing together the board with a number of other public entities, including the Metropolitan Council. About $1.7 million in council funds will cover much of the purchase’s $2.4 million price tag, while about $700,000 the board received in compensation after the Interstate 35W bridge collapse will cover the rest.

The board already has made a $400,000 earnest money down payment.

At the April 7 board meeting, parks planner Judd Rietkerk said the property has been tested for sediments, which resulted in both good and bad news.

“We found some things we thought we would find,” he said, “and we didn’t find some things we thought we would find.”

Among the things found: heavy metals, including lead. Further testing on that is on-going, Rietkerk said.

What wasn’t found was any trace of petroleum sediments.

“We were very surprised by that,” he said.

The site, just north of Boom Island, is about 14 acres in size and could eventually become open space, commissioners have said. Currently, it’s largely industrial, covered by a parking lot and several buildings.

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Meeting April 27 to talk dog park in Kingfield

Talk of an off-leash dog park in the Kingfield neighborhood continues to gain traction, as Commissioner Brad Bourn announced a public meeting this month to exclusively focus on the topic.

Neighbors have been pushing the issue for some time. Despite having one of the highest densities of registered dogs in the city, Kingfield is located in one of two park districts without a dog park.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. April 27 at Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S. For more information, go to kingfield.org/dog-park or minneapolisparks.org.