West St. Paul City Council Chambers

West St. Paul City Council Preview: Sept. 12, 2022

We believe in government transparency and provide these West St. Paul City Council previews with your support.

The West St. Paul City Council will consider fine appeals and have a presentation from the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee during the regular meeting, but most of the discussion, including a trail on Butler and budget reductions will happen during the Open Council Work Session.

Trail on Butler

During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council will discuss a proposal to remove parking on one side of Butler Avenue and adding a trail. It would mainly be paid for by Dakota County. Main pros are increased connectivity and traffic calming, main cons are removing parking and some mature trees.

This has been discussed before with community surveys and open houses, and there has been plenty of pushback considering there are sidewalks on most of the corridor.

Budget Discussion

The OCWS will also include a continued budget discussion from last month. Council asked staff to reduce the budget by $400,000 and will discuss what those cuts would mean. The proposed budget would result in a 6% levy increase, which would amount to a $150-per-year increase for the average homeowner. The cuts would lower that to $122 per year.

Cuts include a full-time police officer, a mobile camera trailer, a park maintenance employee (reducing it from full time to part time), police officer residency program, holiday lights on Robert Street, neighborhood grant program, and more.

Fine Appeal

The main item on the agenda for City Council is hearing from two residents appealing assessment and abatement fines. Most of these were approved at the last meeting, but these two residents showed up to explain their circumstances and ask for leniency. When that happens, staff asks Council to delay those items so they can research and prepare background info to share with Council. So Council will get that additional info from staff and decide whether to levy these fines or give the residents some sort of break.

Other Items on the Agenda

  • Yellow Ribbon: The Northern Dakota County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee will be making a presentation.
  • Committee goals: During the OCWS, Council will review the goals and objectives for both the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and the Environmental Committee.
  • Police: The official agreement with ISD 197 for a school resource officer from the West St. Paul Police Department is in the consent agenda. This was discussed last month as a preliminary measure to get it moving before school started. The packet notes the “SRO is intended to be a liaison between the school, students, parents, police and the city. The SRO does not participate in school discipline and is not intended to be simply a patrol officer in the school.”

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).

Learn more about how city council works with our Guide to West St. Paul City Council.

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