Here is a smattering of news since the publication of the November Bugle:
Virtual meeting Nov. 17 on possible use of vacant Luther Seminary dorm
Ramsey County will host a virtual community town hall meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17 to discuss potentially using the vacant Stub Hall dormitory at Luther Seminary as a temporary shelter for women and couples experiencing homelessness. Click on to this link to join via Zoom or phone.
“This is the first step in a community process to evaluate this potential shelter location.,” the county said in a statement. “COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn has further exacerbated the housing crisis in Ramsey County. The county and its partners have been working since the start of the pandemic to identify locations in the community that could provide additional shelter for those who are experiencing housing instability or unsheltered homelessness.”
Luther Seminary is located at 2481 Como Avenue in St. Anthony Park.
Falcon Heights Community Park building needs renovations
Falcon Heights officials received disappointing news in late October: When the state bonding bill finally reached Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s desk, it did not include their requested $1 million allocation to renovate the building at Community Park.
City Administrator Sack Thongvanh reminded the City Council at its Nov. 4 workshop that the building was closed due to safety issues before the pandemic struck last winter. “We’re going to have to do something with this building,” Thongvanh said.
Council member Melanie Leehy said Parks and Recreation Committee wanted to consider using it for a winter warming house. She said the committee was “energized to keep folks active and engaged and safe” this winter.
Thongvanh said there will be a flooded skating area there this year, and while the building won’t be available yet, that’s one possible future use.
Recent uses have included shelter for sports teams as well as frequent use for weddings, meetings, and other events.
Thongvanh said the city has capital funds that can be used for repairs. But he advised the council to consider adding $300,000 to $500,000 to the city’s budget for more extensive work.
Black is Beautiful Holiday Market coming
The Lab, a pilot brewery at 767 Eustis St., has scheduled a “Black Business is Beautiful Holiday Market” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 28 and 29 and Dec. 12.
Owners of The Lab said one goal of the holiday market is to “allow new customers who are not part of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color community to experience awesome BIPOC businesses and people. We know that this will not end racism or wealth inequalities. But doing something is better than doing nothing.”
CARES funds disbursed by cities
Lauderdale and Falcon Heights city councils recently directed their staffs to disburse federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act passed last spring. The cities had until Nov. 15 to spend the money or allow it to be distributed elsewhere.
Lauderdale received about $180,000 and is using its CARES funds on a small-business grant program along with spending on or internal expenses, including upgrading the city’s website and related communications. The remaining funds have been dedicated for public safety.
Meanwhile, Falcon Heights received $412,789 in CARES funds. They, too, used the funds for supplies related to remote work and protective equipment.
Coming up in the December Bugle
Look for the Holiday Shopping Guide to be among the goodies packed into the next issue of the Park Bugle. Other stories for the December issue will include a look at an anti-racism discussion/initiative taking place at St. Anthony Park Elementary School and ideas for holiday book buying.