Ward 6 Weekly Update 1/6/2022

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January 6, 2023

1% Sales Tax Proposal to Support Roads and Parks Infrastructure

road repair

This week, City Council supported 6 to 1 the proposed 1% sales tax increase to fund special capital improvement projects. This local sales tax of one percent would generate $984,000,000 over 20 years, starting in 2024, and would be used to support regionally significant improvements for transportation infrastructure as well as parks and recreational infrastructure. This proposed tax will require approval from the House and Senate Taxes Committees before becoming law. If passed, the use of this tax money will require a ballot measure subject to voter approval for each project.

I am supportive of this 1% sales tax increase as it will fund much needed improvements to our streets and parks infrastructure. It also ensures that all people, beyond just Saint Paul residents, who utilize and benefit from all that our capital city has to offer contribute toward this critical revenue gap. This is a form of tax relief that Saint Paul residents in financial distress have been asking for.

St Paul has the 2nd highest rated Parks and Recreation system in the nation with more than 15 million visitors, but it is aging, with an overall average building age approaching 40 years.  The City would revitalize and improve this aging infrastructure with a focus on those parks, community centers, trails connections, and athletic facilities that attract regional visits and are in need of critical updates. Parks investments such as these have been shown to improve quality of life and health and spur economic activity and private investment.  The City will re-invest in older facilities, with a focus on those with regional significance, including Crosby Farm Regional Park (River Learning Center) and the Downtown River Balcony, along with a newly renovated  community center that would serve the East Side of Saint Paul and surrounding environs. 

The St Paul Department of Public Works conducted a pavement condition analysis in 2019 and 2022. They predict that as currently funded, the average pavement condition for arterial/collector streets will drop from “fair to poor” condition to “very poor to serious” condition within the next 20 years, an unacceptable outcome for our region. Sales tax revenue would be used to reconstruct or rehabilitate arterial/collector streets in the City’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Program in order to attain an average “satisfactory” rating for pavement condition, which is an industry standard that governmental agencies strive to achieve. These investments would  improve safety for all users.

Collected revenue for street reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts would also allow the City to achieve its broader transportation goals of: improving multimodal transportation connections to the Mississippi River; improving regional transitway corridors; expanding the off-street bicycle trail network; improving pedestrian access and safety; and improving industrial freight connections. 

I hope you will join me in supporting this important measure to improve our streets and parks infrastructure.

Read the full resolution here

Honoring Sepak Takraw Victory

Sepak Takraw Team USA

Image: Team member Oo Reh; team manager Gao Chang, team members Jim Thao, Ker Cha, John Thao, Yan Naing Soe, and Christ Blu Moo; and coach Jeremy Mirken. Credit: Jeremy Mirken

Congratulations to Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc. for their historic gold medal win at the 2022 International Sepak Takraw Federation World Cup in Daejeon, South Korea from November 25 - 29, 2022!

Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc. recruited Christ Moo, Jim Thao, John Thao, Ker Cha, Oo Reh, and Yan Naing Soe from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, and California to form Team USA under the direction of head coach Jeremy Nathan Mirken and team manager Gao Chang. 

Team USA defeated Germany, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iran to win two gold medals in the Division 1 category of the 3x3 and 4x4 games at the tournament in South Korea. 

Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc. was founded in Minnesota in 2014 as a non-profit organization to promote the sport of sepak takraw in the United States through organized community leagues and competitions at the local, national, and international levels. 

The Greater East Side of Saint Paul welcomed two of the first sepak takraw courts in the country at Marydale Park and the Duluth and Case Recreation Center in Minnesota in 2017.

St Paul City Council proclaims Sunday, January 8, 2023, as Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc. Day in the City of Saint Paul in celebration of this achievement!

Establishing the St Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission

reparations report

This week, St Paul City Council unanimously voted to continue with work on reparations for the descendants of chattel slavery living in St Paul (Ordinance 22-52). 

The Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission will serve as an 11-member advisory body to the Mayor and City Council on matters related to repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism in the City of Saint Paul which resulted in racial disparities in generational wealth, homeownership, health care, education, employment and pay, and fairness within the criminal justice system among the American descendants of chattel slavery.

Read about the work and recommendations made by the Legislative Advisory Committee on Reparations that have led to this ordinance

Share Your Housing Input to Win $100

anti-displacement study survey

Do you live in St Pal? Complete this survey for a chance to win $100! Open through January 13, 2023. 

This survey is part St Paul's effort to identify, explore and analyze strategies to minimize displacement risks for low- and moderate-income people and businesses, while encouraging housing production and business investment. 

Visit the project webpage for more.

Year Round STAR Grants

Ward 6 STAR funding

Do you own a business or run a non-profit in St Paul's 6th Ward? Are you in need of funding for a time-sensitive building repair or improvement?

You may be eligible for a Year-Round STAR Grant from Ward 6. Please email our office at Ward6@stpaul.gov with information on your project and to receive an application.

Applications are subject to approval from the St Paul STAR Board and St Paul City Council. Funding is given as reimbursement for approved expenses, up to $15,000 per project per year. 

Contact Us

Email: ward6@stpaul.gov

Phone: 651-266-8660

Facebook: NelsieYangWard6

Twitter: @NelsieYangCM

Meet & Greet phone call appointments are available on Thursdays. Register online at stpaul.gov/ward6.

Hmong Plaza Design Open House

possible design for Hmong Plaza

Help us celebrate Saint Paul’s Hmong Plaza Design! 

Join the City of Saint Paul for an in-person community design open house celebration at Hmong Village Shopping Center (1001 Johnson Pkwy) on Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 10am-1pm with a brief presentation at 10:30am.

RSVP here. More information about the Hmong Plaza and Saint Paul Changsha China Friendship Garden here.

MPCA Environmental Justice Advisory Group

playground and pollution

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking new members for its environmental justice advisory group.

Through participation, members can share insight and feedback with MPCA leadership to better inform the agency’s work in communities disproportionately impacted by pollution.

The advisory group advises the MPCA commissioner on implementing the agency's environmental justice framework, provides feedback on its effectiveness, and ultimately help guides systemic change within the agency.

Information sessions: 

More information here: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/about-mpca/environmental-justice-advisory-group

Youth Spring Sports Registration 

Spring Youth Sports collage with volleyball and futsal photos version 2

Youth Spring Sports registration now open!

Registration fees have been eliminated for youth sports 10U and up (ages 9+) at all recreation center sites.

Eliminating these fees allows Saint Paul youth to have access to quality programming, encourages healthy and active lifestyles, builds confidence, and creates community.

(Please note that fees apply for ages 4U, 6U and 8U.)

East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Grants Available

open business

Is your business along Payne Ave, Arcade St, East 7th St, or White Bear Ave? If yes, apply for the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program! This program will distribute up to $7 million in grants to businesses and nonprofit organizations for capital projects in select St Paul business corridors. Grants will support economic recovery from the impacts of civil unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges to these commercial corridors since March 15, 2020.

Learn more and apply here. For translation support, please call 651.325.4202.

Financial Help for Homeowners

mortgage assistance

The Saint Paul Homeownership Preservation Program (SPHPP) still has funds available to help struggling local homeowners with future housing costs. Eligible Saint Paul homeowners can receive grants for direct mortgage assistance or other associated costs.

Check your eligibility and get started by visiting hocmn.org/stpaulhpp or by calling 651-236-8952.

COVID Testing and Treatment Resources

Test to Treat

Find test-to-treat locations  where you can get and fill COVID treatment medications same-day. 

Make an appointments to receive the newest covid booster, available for adults and children ages 5-11.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Self-testing 

What to do if you are Sick or Test Positive: COVID-19

Close Contact or Exposure to COVID-19