May 2013 Meeting

Our meeting started with further discussion of Thrive MSP 2040 started last month.

April 2013 Meeting

This month's meeting was held on the site of the previously discussed proposed Kingswood Special Recreation Feature. We had a chance to tour various areas of the site, including the old cart path along a glacial esker that would become part of a regional trail, a beach on the lake, hiking trails, and the campground and picnic area. I've posted photos from that tour online.

March 2013 Meeting

I also chaired the meeting this month, as Dean Johnston was still away on vacation. Our first business item was reimbursement consideration for a bicycle and pedestrian trail bridge over I-35W in Lino Lakes. This spot is interesting as it has some parallels to the I-35W crossing at Highway 96. In this case, the existing highway bridge will need to be replaced "eventually", but there's no sign of that happening soon, so Anoka County determined that it made more sense to build a separate bridge to carry the Central Anoka County RT over the freeway.

February 2013 Meeting

This was my first meeting chair in Dean Johnston's absence, so that was fun. Our primary item of business was an amendment to the Regional Parks Policy Plan adding "Kingswood Special Recreation Feature" in the Three Rivers Park District. This is a property that was formerly a church camp and has been offered for sale to the park district. Adding the feature to our policy plan is the first step before any acquisition and development could occur.

January 2013 Meeting

For the start of the new year, one item of business was for the chair of the commission to appoint a new vice-chair to run meetings when he is absent, and I'm excited to say he chose and the commission approved me for that position.

December 2012 Meeting

This meeting revisited the changes to the Acquisition Opportunity Fund grants previously discussed in June, July, August, and September of this year. All comments submitted in the public hearing process was in support of the changes, including testimony from both Ramsey and Anoka Counties, and as such the changes were approved.

November 2012 Meeting

We approved two new master plans in Dakota County, for trails that connect with each other in the Rosemount area. The first is the Rosemount Greenway, and the second is the Vermillion Highlands Greenway.

October 2012 Meeting

This month had a very short meeting. One notable item was that a new chair was sworn in, filling the spot vacated by Charles Haas earlier this year. The selection was Dean Johnston, who was previously mayor of Lake Elmo. Our other item of business was to approve the master plan for the Intercity Regional Trail in the Minneapolis/Bloomington/Richfield area.

September 2012 Meeting

Once again, we spent a fair bit of time discussing proposed rule changes for acquisition grants. Really I don't think members of the commission actually disagree much on what these should be, but since the majority of the commission is relatively new at this we've had to spend a lot of time learning about past procedures and interactions with the legislature years ago, and figuring out what is politically feasible - something we don't normally spend a lot of time dealing with as a generally non-political body.

August 2012 Meeting

This month's meeting primarily consisted of discussion and information items. We continued our discussion from June of proposed policy changes for park acquisition grants. Significant changes in the proposal since the last meeting included retaining a requirement of a local match, but allowing the inclusion of land value donations from the seller towards that amount, and allowing the inclusion of environmental remediation and minimal recreational access development in eligible acquisition costs.


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