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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Monitor in a Minute

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

Hot Rod’s penalized
Hot Rod’s Bar & Grill, 1553 University Ave., will be penalized for not following license conditions, the St. Paul City Council decided July 19. But the council put a stay on part of the penalty, as an incentive for no more violations.

Hot Rod’s, like many other establishments, is required to have video surveillance. Tapes are to be turned over to the St. Paul Police Department and city licensing officials as requested. Businesses are also to have video surveillance plans filed with the city.

The longtime Midway business not only didn’t file its plan by a required Dec. 31, 2016, deadline, it also failed to turn over requested video from April of this year in a timely manner. Another red flag for city officials was finding that not all patrons were wanded when entering the establishment.

The council weighed testimony and heard steps taken by the business to prevent future issues. The council agreed that while Hot Rod’s would pay a $2,000 fine, a 10-day suspension will be cut to five days, starting Aug. 13. But if there are additional violations in the next 18 months, the additional five-day suspension will be imposed.

Work on Dickerman Park
Work on Dickerman Park continues, following a formal dedication and ceremony last month. The St. Paul City Council July 26 authorized city staff to execute an easement for the existing encroachments at 1745 University Ave.

The property is part of Dickerman Park, a century-old linear city park on the north side of University. The park extends from Fairview Ave. to Aldine St. Commercial and institutional properties along the street used the area as front yard space for many years. Only recently has the city taken steps to reclaim and improve the park.

The building at 1745 University, which is the planned new home for Junior Achievement, has some unique issues tied to the park property. It has window wells, building light fixtures, building steps, an access ramp and a portion of its parking lot that encroach upon city property. These items have been on city property for many years.

While other parking spaces and other encroachments have been removed from Dickerman Park in recent years, the St. Paul Department of Parks and Recreation has agreed to design the park around the existing encroachments at 1745 University given their integral relationship to the function of the building. The change is being made now because the building is being sold for use by Junior Achievement. The encroachments can remain in place under the city agreement, but nothing new can be placed in the park area. When and if the building is torn down, the encroachments will be removed.

The St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission recommended approval of the agreement.

City updates bike plan
After several weeks’ delay, St. Paul has an updated citywide bike plan. The St. Paul City Council, on July 19, approved plan amendments covering the Grand Round, a citywide bike and pedestrian trail system which extends through the Como, West Midway, and Desnoyer Park neighborhoods, and downtown’s Capital City Bikeway.

The plan has been the topic of three public hearings. Although it has drawn strong support from cyclists, the plan amendments have drawn fire from affected property owners. Most of those have been St. Peter merchants and property owners. At this time there aren’t set plans for bike facilities on St. Peter, said Council President Russ Stark. Extensive community outreach is going to be needed. “But to be realistic, it’s going to be difficult to fit everything in.”

The July 19 vote to amend the citywide bike plan allows the St. Paul Department of Public Works to seek additional funding for engineering design for St. Peter, said Reuben Collins. He oversees bicycle facilities planning for the city. Having other plan amendments approved and an updated plan also helps other projects as funding is sought.

The Grand Round has been on the books for more than a century. It was the vision of parks planner and visionary H.S.W. Cleveland. The Grand Round travels throughout the entire city. Some sections have been in place for many years, while other sections need to still be completed.

Bye-bye to co-named streets
What’s in a name? Saying there are better ways to honor prominent city residents, the St. Paul City Council voted July 19 to drop its longstanding practice of co-naming streets.

While the change will disappoint those wishing to bestow honors or be honored themselves, City Council members said the loosely regulated honors need to stop.

The adopted resolution states “a street co-name sign has confused some in the public who do not recognize the official street name, resulting in the potential for miscommunication in an emergency situation.”

The change was made at the instigation of Ward Two Council Member Rebecca Noecker. She asked the council earlier this year to look at street co-naming and was surprised to learn that the city had no consistent policy.

Co-naming a street is not the same as a street name change. For many years the city has given co-names to stretches of streets, allowing a second white and black street sign to be placed below the street’s official name on a green and white sign. It’s not clear how many co-named streets there are in the city—likely more than a dozen. Most co-names are for only a block or two.

Ellen Biales, program manager for Public Works, said there hadn’t been a consistent policy on co-naming of streets. “The expectations people have had when seeking the co-naming is hard to judge,” she said. “Some people may think it’s a permanent change.”

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