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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Monitor In A Minute, April 2019

Posted on 08 April 2019 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

Vendor dispute sent to hearing
A dispute between city officials and a 2018 Minnesota State Fair vendor was assigned to an administrative law judge Mar. 20, after the vendor disputed facts in the case. Fridley resident Todd L. Grosklags was set to pay a $500 fine for selling state fair tickets in the street median at Snelling Ave. and Midway Pkwy., in violation of city regulations. He was seen selling the tickets in the prohibited area between Aug. 24-28, 2018. Grosklags was warned in writing once and then seen committing the same violation.

Grosklags asked to address the City Council, which is allowed in license violation cases. Typically, people who ask for that opportunity ask for leniency. But because he disputed the facts in the record of violation, the City Attorney’s Office recommended that the council not vote and instead send the matter off for a hearing.

The hearing will produce a recommendation, and the issue of a fine or penalty will be returned to the City Council in the future. If a fine is recommended again, failure to pay the fine within 30 days can result in a license suspension.

It was the second 2018 fair vendor violation case the council has heard this year, reflecting a crackdown during the 2018 fair. Another vendor didn’t show up for his hearing earlier this year and was fined.

The Department of Safety and Inspections conducted numerous license compliance checks for peddlers operating during the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

Facilities receive funding
Area parks and facilities are slated for improvements this year as part of the city’s capital maintenance program. On Mar. 20 the St. Paul City Council approved more than $1.425 million in work on city parks, public works, fire, police, and libraries facilities.

The projects were recently reviewed and recommended for funding by the city’s Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) Committee. The city budgeted about $2.8 million in 2018-2019 for capital maintenance needs. Demand for money always exceeds the amount available. About three dozen projects receive funding each year.

The largest area project is at Como Lakeside Pavilion, where a $175,000 rooftop condenser and air handler project are planned. The nearby Como Golf Course building is slated for $150,000 in HVAC work.

Trash collection hearings set
St. Paul residents and owners of small multi-family properties who have not paid, or refuse to pay, their city trash bills will be going to legislative hearings. On Mar. 20, the St. Paul City Council authorized a legislative hearing process in an attempt to collect the roughly $120,000 that is owed the city for 2018 bills.

The council action launches legislative hearings starting at 9am., Thur., Apr. 11. Council members weren’t told exactly how many individual bills are outstanding, but it’s likely that hearings will continue into May.

The first garbage bill hearings before the City Council are planned for 3:30pm on Wed., May 22. As hearings continue, the City Council is likely to have to act again in June.

The hearing process will be similar to that used for property code enforcement, in which there is a hearing before a legislative hearing officer. In those cases, final decisions are also in the hands of the City Council.

Most of the $120,000 in unpaid bills range from $55 to $200, with much smaller late fees pending. Single-family home and rental property owners of up to four units can go through the hearing process, pay their bills if directed to so, or having the late amounts placed on their property taxes.

Organized residential collected began Oct. 1, 2018. The program has drawn a slew of complaints, as well as a lawsuit.

Police horses trot away
It’s official: the St. Paul Police Department Mounted Patrol is riding off into the sunset. On Mar. 20 the St. Paul City Council, approved the retirement of the police horses to This Old Horse, a charitable equine sanctuary.

A resolution authorizing the donation stated that the mounted patrol unit horses “have served the department with honor.” The horses were the focus of an independent equine expert recently and were retired based on their age and condition. The city’s administrative code authorizes them to be donated to a nonprofit, with City Council approval.

This Old Horse is a volunteer-based charitable organization and certified animal sanctuary whose mission is to provide shelter to retired, rescued, and recovering horses. The nonprofit is in the southeastern metro area. It provides opportunities for the public to see the horses and offers activities including youth horse camps.

When the St. Paul Police Department announced plans to disband the mounted patrol earlier this year, the intent was to return three of the six horses to their donors. The unit was disbanded so that police officers assigned to it could be reassigned to street patrol.

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