West St. Paul City Council chambers

City Council Preview: Nov. 22, 2021

Thanks to Mister Berndt Photography for their support.

Busy night for the West St. Paul City Council with six public hearings and discussion on big topics including a new Celebrate West St. Paul Days event and recreational marijuana.

  • New WSP Days: During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council will discuss ideas for a new, rebranded Celebrate West St. Paul Days event, which shut down in 2020. They’re tentatively looking at a mid-August date with proposed events including a pickleball tournament, street dance, food truck round-up, art/cultural fair, family fun fest, and more. So far a parade isn’t on the list.
  • Marijuana/CBD: Also during the OCWS, Council will consider potential regulations for recreational marijuana and CBD products. While recreational marijuana is not currently legal in Minnesota, it’s expected the state legislature could legalize it soon and having details worked out ahead of time could give West St. Paul an advantage.
  • 6 public hearings:
    • Tweaks to the business subsidy policy, which among others things strengthens the prevailing wage ordinance.
    • Drive thru at Hawaii Poke Bowl.
    • Drive thru at Southview Square (for Erbert & Gerbert’s).
    • Restore the ‘one sign per yard’ rule invalidated by a judge this summer, though Council wants to rehash the sign ordinance (and may make a motion formalizing that intent). Fun note: Planning Commission voted unanimously to make it two signs per yard, something staff is discouraging.
    • Expanding Planning Commission and encouraging ward balance, the issue vetoed and overturned earlier this year.
    • During the Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting, a development agreement for townhomes planned on the east end of the former Thompson Oaks golf course will come up. Similar terms to those discussed in October—essentially the developer pays for the soil clean up in exchange for the land, within certain limits.
  • Grant for Hawaii Poke Bowl: Big night for Hawaii Poke Bowl as they’re also asking for a $10,000 grant to help with exterior improvements at the former Lucky China.
  • Hazardous building: 927 Charlton has burned at least three times and is uninhabitable, so the city is ready to initiate the process to declare it hazardous and have it demolished.
  • City manager review: There will be a closed session after all the regular business for a six-month performance review of City Manager Nate Burkett.
  • Walmart: Tucked into the consent agenda is an updated police services contract with Walmart where the hourly pay for officers will increase and the city will have more flexibility if they can’t provide officers.
  • Prosecution: Also in the consent agenda is a change to the city’s prosecution law firm. For some 25 years it’s been Levander, Gillen, & Miller, but they are no longer doing doing prosecutions. After getting bids, the city is going with Kelly & Lemmons.

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

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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