West St. Paul

City Council Preview: March 9, 2020

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The March 9 West St. Paul City Council meeting includes routine business, though the earlier work sessions will have some involved discussions—including a prevailing wage requirement we seem to have been ignoring.

Prevailing Wage

The proposed apartments on the former K-mart site have been held up over a question of a prevailing wage requirement. Prevailing wage is a labor standard that mandates an hourly wage, benefits, and overtime in an attempt to ensure workers are making a living wage. West St. Paul passed a prevailing wage requirement in 2007 for financially assisted projects.

But it sounds like we haven’t been enforcing that ordinance. Oops. There have been nine projects going back to 2007 that likely would have required a prevailing wage, yet there was “no mention of prevailing wages.”

Special Services District

During the OCWS the Council will also discuss the next step in creating a special services district with the South Robert Street Business Association. Originally discussed back in November, this would create a business district to do things like maintain Robert Street, add flags, market the corridor, and assess properties to pay for it.

Other Notes:

  • Cosmetic tattooing: Semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo, such as microblading, eyelid and lip colorization, etc., will be approved with a new ordinance.
  • More new ordinances: Several other new ordinances will be considered on a first reading, all pretty minor—how the fire department reports inspections to come in line with state standards, changing the pawn reporting ordinance to be less specific and allow the police to switch providers as needed, and vacating easements for an already approved senior care center on Robert Street.
  • North Gateway: The workforce apartments proposed for Robert and Annapolis will be discussed during an Economic Development Authority work session. This project was previously discussed in January—no details in the agenda on what will be covered.
  • Chaplains: Look for a presentation on the police chaplain program.

The official West St. Paul City Council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 9, 2020 at city hall.

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