At its Jan. 12 meeting, the St. Michael City Council discussed a slew of updates — notably in regard to Town Center Park and the County Highway 19 project — and prepared for the 2021 session. State Rep. Eric Lucero was also present and gave his annual legislative preview.
REP. LUCERO LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
State Rep. Eric Lucero spoke before the council, and outlined his personal priorities as the Minnesota House of Representatives continues its 2021 legislative session. He also assured folks that extra precautions are being taken at the Capitol in St. Paul in response to recent insurrection in Washington D.C.
“I am super humbled that I was given another term, my 4th term, representing this community,” he said. This year brought a tremendous amount of change, and Lucero’s constituents were sure to make their opinions known. As per the thousands of communications Lucero said he received this year, frustration over COVID-19 response, distance learning and the role of law enforcement topped the list.
“Individuals, families and businesses across our community are very concerned with the continuation of emergency powers and the usage by Governor Walz,” said Lucero. “A close second is election integrity. I’ve received an incredible amount of communications from people who are concerned about election integrity.”
“Each and every person expects and deserves to be confident in a free and fair election, and I am among those that will be working to make sure to bring that confidence back to Minnesota.”
Similarly, Lucero gave credit to local educators for their persistence and decision-making during this past year.
“Our great teachers, administrators, school board members, superintendents are working incredibly hard to bring the highest quality education to our students that are possible in this learning environment,” he said. “Distance learning, I don’t think, can meet the same levels that in-person learning can, and that’s why I trust our elected officials, our school board members to make the best decisions for our community and our children.”
Lucero reasserted that he wants to protect law enforcement and ensure that they are given the resources deemed necessary to conduct operations, in addition to his pro-life and pro-gun stances.
Rep. Lucero was appointed to the Capital Investment, Commerce Finance and Policy, and Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committees. He can best be reached at [email protected] .
Community Development Director Marc Weigle updated the council on the construction of Town Center Park, which will likely not be complete until June. While the council hoped to have park business buttoned up last fall, weather concerns and other unforeseen issues prevented this from happening.
As of now, the park needs to be seeded, parking lot completed and building exterior completed. Weigle said that city staff are looking at the potential needs for the concession area, which will likely be staffed both during the week and on weekends.
Similarly, the city will be receiving quotes for benches and tables for Town Center Park, which Weigle will then present before the council for approval.
For more information and to view the plans for Town Center Park, visit the city of St. Michael’s website under the “Parks and Recreation” tab.
City Administrator Steven Bot shared the results of an online CSAH 19 Project open house, which was relatively consistent with staff and council concerns. The virtual open house was online for about a month, and received over 1,000 hits and many comments in regard to the two options for this project.
The first option is a signaled design at each one-way pair intersection, and the second includes a hybrid roundabout at St. Michael Parkway and a signal at the Central Avenue intersection. Out of folks who chose to vote, there was a 28-8 preference for the signaled option.
Two residents — a St. Michael Elementary student and her father — were present and expressed their own concerns with pedestrian safety near roundabouts.
Councilor Nadine Schoen also said that she spoke with some business owners in the area, and they also preferred the signals option.
The council ultimately decided they would suggest this design to the county for further planning and decision-making, and that an in-person open house was not necessary to gauge further public opinion.
Mayor Keith Wettschreck and Councilors Joe Hagerty and Tom Hamilton took their oath of office.
The council APPROVED of its 2021 annual appointments.
The council APPROVED a revised final PUD plan and plat for Town Center North’s second addition.
Copyright © 2021 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.