BRIEFLY January 2022


MatasCastillo elected Chair
The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners elected Trista MatasCastillo as Chair of the Board for 2022. Since 2019, Commissioner MatasCastillo has represented Ramsey County District 3, which is made up of Falcon Heights and the Saint Paul neighborhoods of Payne/Phalen, North End/South Como, Como Park, Frogtown, and Hamline-Midway.

LSE to design hamline library
Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) announces today that it has selected LSE Architects (LSE), opens a new window as the architecture and design partner for the next phase of its facilities transformation process, which includes a vision to invest in three libraries across Saint Paul: Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview libraries.
In August 2021, SPPL released a request for proposals to select a design partner to develop community-informed designs for its three priority libraries: Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview. This phase will include community engagement, schematic designs, cost estimates, and 75% completed construction documents. LSE was selected through a competitive process in which a number of local and national architecture and design firms with library experience applied.
Community engagement and schematic design work is slated to begin in January 2022.

Grants through NUFC
Neighbors United Funding Collaborative is now accepting grant requests for up to $5,000 for small businesses and retail focused nonprofits, and community activation projects from the broader community.
NUFC is seeking ideas and projects focusing on economic justice, ownership, work which spur new improvements, involve placemaking/façade improvements, public art, public safety, community-activation ideas, in total, projects that preserve what people love most about the community. Many of NUFC’s small retail businesses and retail-focused non-profits are owned and operated by immigrants and people of color, and NUFC is committed to ensuring that support is accessible to those businesses and has an equitable impact.
For more information on how to apply:

ServeMinnesota, the state’s hub for AmeriCorps, partners with Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) to form a new initiative: Refugee Response Initiative. The program creates opportunities for about 40 Minnesotans to serve as resettlement navigators for Afghan refugees new to the state. The DHS Resettlement Programs Office is working closely with community partners like ServeMinnesota and other agencies to coordinate Minnesota’s response in welcoming families evacuated from Afghanistan and ensure they have a safe temporary place to stay with access to critical short-term services and longer-term assistance.
Anyone who wants to learn more about supporting the Refugee Response Initiative is encouraged to fill out an interest form at

Food scraps drop off site open
A new collection site in Highland Park will make it easier for Ramsey County residents to drop off food scraps. The new site is open 24 hours a day, year-round at 800 S. Snelling Ave., Saint Paul.

Congratulations to Gary Kane, whose décor at 989 Barrett St. N. was voted the winner in D10 Como Park’s Holiday Decoration Contest. Second Place went to the Hershey’s house at 985 Stinson St., and third place was Joe Mabbott and Nell Graham at 1383 Como Ave. Gabe’s by the Park donated prizes for the contest.

Cervantes, Hahm retiring
Department of Safety & Inspections Director Ricardo Cervantes and Parks & Recreation Department Director Mike Hahm, who each have more than three decades of public service, will transition out of their respective leadership roles at the end of February 2022.


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