West St. Paul city council chambers

City Council Preview: Sept. 13, 2021

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

City hall renovations and new sidewalk/trails are on the agenda, as well as some conflict over medical clinic permits and a Planning Commission appointment.

City Hall Renovation

The renovation of the police department was recently completed and now it’s time to do the city hall portion of the building. During the Open Council Work Session, City Council will discuss hiring an architect to begin design of the renovations. The hope is the redesign will improve customer service, safety and security, storage, and efficiency.

The goal is for design to happen this fall and construction to begin in the spring. The renovations are projected to cost $2 million, though that could change in the design process. The building fund currently has $1.9 million to cover these costs.

Medical Clinic Approval

Two medical clinics, Forward Motion Recovery and Horizon Autism Center, are asking for a conditional use permit to move into 34 Moreland Avenue East. Planning Commission approved the request, but before it came to City Council on August 23, new concerns came to light. Currently Sherry’s Dearest Treasures is operating in the building as a retail store while the building is not zoned for retail, and another business in the building, West St. Paul Silver and Gold Exchange, is not licensed. Additionally, the city attorney had concerns about people recovering from chemical dependency being in the same building as vulnerable children without adequate security and a recovery clinic being in the same building as a precious metals dealer. The building also has code violations.

City staff recommend denying the permit for Forward Motion Recovery and approving the permit for Horizon Autism Center with a number of conditions, including bringing the building up to code, evicting Sherry’s Dearest Treasures, and West St. Paul Silver and Gold Exchange must get a proper license before reopening.

Thompson and Oakdale Trail

West St. Paul is moving forward with proposed sidewalk and trail on Thompson Avenue between Robert and Highway 52 and Oakdale Avenue between Wentworth and Butler. Thompson will have sidewalk on the north side and trail on the east. Oakdale will have sidewalk on the west side and trail on the east. Oakdale will also lose parking.

The Thompson project will be fully funded by Dakota County as part of the Thompson Avenue turnback. The Oakdale project will receive $1.7 million in federal funding and have an 85/15 cost share with Dakota County, resulting in a cost of about $135,000 for the city.

Construction won’t happen until 2023.

Other Items on the Agenda

  • Planning Commission appointment: Mayor Dave Napier will appoint Liz Gillen to the Planning Commission.
  • 2022 budget: Council will approve the preliminary budget for 2022 and a maximum property tax levy of 4.74%, as presented in August.
  • City of excellence: Looks like West St. Paul is getting a City of Excellence award from the League of Minnesota Cities.
  • Optimist Club: Council will recognize the 50th anniversary of the Optimist Club of West St. Paul.
  • Vacating alleys: The city is vacating two alleys between Christiansen Avenue and Waterloo Street that don’t appear to exist and won’t in the future.

The public can watch the meeting live on Town Square TV or cable channel 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday (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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