Here is the latest “Bugle Midpoint,” a mid-month Web report on some new local news and information since the publication of our July issue:
Park Press annual meeting Thursday, July 23
Park Press Inc., the publishers of the Park Bugle, will hold its annual membership meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 23 via Zoom.
Business will include election of the volunteer board of directors, an update on financial activities, set the 2020-21 budget, approve bylaw changes and discuss challenges and plans for the new fiscal year. Members are any persons who support the purpose of the Bugle as set out in the Park Press’ articles of incorporation.
To join the meeting please copy and paste this link to your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84220941719.
Drop-off events canceled
Saint Paul Public Works announced July 16 it will not hold any city-wide drop-off events in 2020. That includes the State Fairgrounds event that tentatively had been rescheduled for Sept. 12.
The annual events typically were organized by district community councils each spring and fall in different parts of the city. The drop-offs gave residents an affordable and accessible way to dispose of household junk that could not be put in the trash — or at least not trashed easily.
Two spring events were cancelled long ago because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic continues to create too many unknowns for fall events, says Kris Hageman, recycling programs manager for the city.
Two months out, it’s impossible to project whether state health guidelines even would permit the events, Hageman says. Then there are the challenges of staging an event to maintain safety and social distancing, trying to predict how many volunteers would be comfortable staffing an event, and anticipating how much participation there would be if the events were different from past years.
The city expects to send residents a mailer explaining what options they have in disposing bulky items through their regular trash hauler, or utilizing private waste transfer stations.
Submitted by Michael Kuchta, District 10 Como Community Council executive director.
Noise ordinance raised at Falcon Heights meeting
The Falcon Heights staff has asked the City Council to review the city’s noise policy, and Mayor Randy Gustafson responded it’s “on our radar” but not a high priority.
Materials prepared for the Council’s July 1 work session described the city’s existing noise ordinance as “somewhat thin” and requested “discussion of possible changes to the city code” pertaining to noise.
Mayor Randy Gustafson said later, “After discussion of the issue at the workshop it was determined that at this time revisions to the noise ordinance are not a high priority item, but it is on our radar.”
The staff reported that generally, the city receives “three or four” complaints per year, usually concerning construction noise. Staff officials then respond by asking construction workers to adhere to the schedule allowed for garbage trucks operating in Falcon Heights. Those hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Currently, the city code makes some reference to noise, but has only one item that explicitly defines it as a nuisance. The staff described this passage as “vague and nearly unenforceable” and asked for it to be changed or replaced entirely.
Gustafson noted, “As part of normal business practices, the Council and city staff periodically review ordinances to determine whether or not they are meeting the city’s needs.”
Como Golf Course clean water project underway
The Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) said it and the city of St. Paul have begun construction on a clean water project at Como Golf Course on July 6 that is expected to capture and clean 11 million gallons of runoff before it reaches Como Lake.
This is the third project the two entities have collaborated on in 2020. An herbicide treatment was completed in March to reduce invasive curly-leaf pondweed and an alum treatment in April to reduce phosphorous cycling inside of the lake to improve water clarity and reduce algae blooms.
The improvements will prevent approximately 55 pounds of phosphorus from entering Como Lake each year.