West St. Paul City Council chambers

West St. Paul City Council Preview: Nov. 14, 2022

Thanks to Cherokee Service and Southview Animal Hospital for their support.

A potential community center, shopping for a city attorney, and the budget will all come up for discussion during the West St. Paul City Council work session, with a public hearing for next year’s road projects and alcohol and tobacco compliance checks during the regular meeting.

Parks Master Plan & Community Center Study

Back in September, City Council discussed a proposed parks master plan, which would include a community center study. During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council will review the request for proposal (RFP) and give direction on whether or not to proceed.

The point of the Parks Master Plan is to create a new vision for the city’s parks and recreation system and shift from a mindset of maintenance to improvement.

An additional study will be tacked on to the creation of the master plan to look at a potential community center. This includes assessing market demand and how much people are willing to pay (in membership fees and property taxes). The agenda packet includes the presentation with a look at existing services, potential locations (and why the Hy-Vee/YMCA site is not ideal), and ballpark estimates of costs.

Shopping Around for a City Attorney

City Council raised the topic of shopping around for city attorney services last month. Apparently the city has retained the legal services of Levander, Gillen, and Miller with City Attorney Kori Land for over 27 years without getting competing quotes. The issue took some members by surprise and with only a few minutes to discuss it they opted to table the issue. They’re taking it up again this month.

The question is whether or not to put out an RFP and compare prices. The contract with Levander, Gillen, and Miller isn’t up until 2024, but there is an option to cancel it. Council will discuss it during the OCWS and could move to approve the RFP at the regular meeting.


City Council will get another look at the budget during the OCWS. The general fund budget is increasing by about $1.4 million

  • Priorities: The budget focuses on long-term financial stability, investing in a stable, well-qualified workforce and public safety, and technology improvements that can deliver a higher return on investment.
  • New costs: Most of the increases are concentrated on staff, with new employees (including police officers), increased pay, and improved benefits.
  • Tax increase: The city is looking at a 6.1% property tax increase, which amounts to $167 per year for the average household. (Learn more about how property taxes work.)
  • What’s next: More discussion and changes can happen at the next meeting on November 28, then there’s the public hearing and final approval on December 12.

Other Items on the Agenda:

  • 2023 road projects: There will be a public hearing for the 2023 mill and overlay projects, initially presented last month.
  • Alcohol and tobacco compliance checks: Four local businesses failed the annual police compliance checks for alcohol and tobacco products and will face a fine: Lafayette Tobacco Shop and Marathon gas station for tobacco and Southview Country Club and Jameson’s Irish Bar for alcohol.
  • Election: Council will also review and certify the election results.

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

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

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

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