West St. Paul city council chambers

City Council Preview: August 17, 2020

We provide these West St. Paul City Council previews with your support.

The upcoming West St. Paul City Council meeting includes public hearings for a few popular measures—relaxing the chicken ordinance and a conversion therapy ban (maybe?)—as well as an early look at the 2021 budget.

Standard COVID-19 disclaimer: Limited audience, wear a mask, overflow crowd can watch in the lobby. All meetings are broadcast online and on cable TV. Public comments will be in-person and via call-in.

Public Hearings

There are four public hearings scheduled for this meeting. Another public hearing for the proposed apartment at the former K-mart is the one most likely to draw controversy. The proposed conversion therapy ban and the relaxed chicken ordinance have broad support and should easily pass.

Update (Aug. 16, 2020): Looks like there’s a last-minute update to the conversion therapy ban and staff is recommending the Council hold the public hearing but delay the vote until August 31, apparently due to “potential constitutional issues.” Those issues aren’t detailed and the city attorney will not be prepared to discuss them on August 17.

Other Notes:

  • Budget: The Open Council Work Session (OCWS) has an early look at next year’s budget. The operating budget increases by 3.9%. The good news? It looks like the tax levy comes down a bit. The bad news? Increases in market value mean your taxes will go up. Looks like a $97 increase for a median single family home.
  • Cherokee Tavern: You may have seen the news that Cherokee Tavern is about to become Jameson’s Irish Bar. With the remodel and renaming, they’re also asking for a $25,000 grant from the city. Several other local restaurants have tapped this funding, including The Blvd, FoodSmith, and Beirut.
  • Town Center One: The Economic Development Authority (EDA) workshop will include some discussion of the proposed apartment and retail for Town Center One.

The public can watch the meeting live on Town Square TV or cable channel 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 17, 2020 (5:30 p.m. for the OCWS).

If you’re not able to attend the meeting in person, you can always use our coloring pages to imagine you’re there.

Keep City Council previews and recaps coming by supporting West St. Paul Reader.

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