Civic beat

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March 28, 2011
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter
Boom Island, BF Nelson parks set for $2 million renovation

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on March 16 voted to spend $2 million in state and Metropolitan Council funds in order to develop BF Nelson Park and make improvements to Boom Island Park along the Mississippi River.

The Park Board acquired both parks in the 1980s. Boom Island has since been developed into a popular picnic area, boat launch and green space along the river. But its neighboring property to the south, BF Nelson, has sat mostly undeveloped.

The Rochon Corporation of Plymouth was the lowest bidder. The construction company will pave pedestrian trails in the 12-acre BF Nelson site. It will also build a plaza and parking lot and install benches, bike racks, drinking fountains and flower beds.

Pedestrians and vehicle traffic will be able to enter the park from 5th Avenue NE and from 3rd Avenue NE and Main Street.

The total cost for the BF Nelson development is $800,000.

Boom Island will get new soil to replace poor soil that has inhibited tree growth. The land will be re-graded to allow visitors better sites of the Mississippi River.

The southern parking lot and access road, as well as the park’s playground, will be removed.

Work also includes the dredging of the river near the boat launch and near the dock used by excursion boat company Paradise Charter Cruises. Additionally, the marina docks will be repaired and a canoe landing area installed.

Boom Island improvements will cost $1.2 million.

A lighted trail will connect the two parks.

Half of the project’s funding will come from the state’s Legacy Act, sales tax money that was approved by voters in 2008 and can be used for parks and trails.

The rest of the funding comes from a grant the Park Board received from the Met Council.

Construction is set to run from April 1 to Sept. 30.


City crews battling potholes

The city has used 300 tons of a temporary pothole patching mixture since February as crews try to keep roads passable.

According to the city, crews cannot permanently fill potholes until temperatures warm up. Hot mix asphalt is needed to for permanent patches, and the city won’t be able to use it until April 5.

To report a pothole for repairs, drivers can call 311, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Reports can also be made online at


City has 112 openings for boards and commissions

The city of Minneapolis is hoping to fill 112 open spots on 14 boards and commissions.

The City Council and Mayor will make appointments this spring for openings in groups such as the Planning Commission, Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Animal Care and Control Advisory Board, to name a few.

The city will begin reviewing applications April 4, but the positions will be open until filled. For a full list of open appointments and position descriptions, visit


City, Small Business Administration partner for business growth initiative

The U.S. Small Business Administration has chosen Minneapolis as one of the newest cities where it will host an initiative to help grow small businesses.

Called the “e200 Emerging Leaders Initiative,” the program helps businesses acquire financing, access new markets and leverage networking.

For eight months, the program offers 100 hours of training and allows participants to work with experienced mentors, develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities, according to a city press release.

The program participants must be small businesses located in Minneapolis, under three years old and generate revenues between $400,000 and $10 million.

The SBA began recruiting businesses in early March. Classes begin April 18. Interested business owners can contact Cindy Collett of the SBA at 612-370-2312 or


Minneapolis launches ‘Pet of the Week’ in effort to find homes for orphaned pets

The city of Minneapolis is using Facebook and cute pet photos to ramp up efforts to help find homes for pets at the Minneapolis Animal Shelter.

The city launched its “Pet of the Week” program in early March. Every Monday, Minneapolis Animal Care & Control will post a photo and description of an animal up for adoption on the city’s Facebook page (

Already, the city has advertised for Bubu, a black cat; Cinnamon, a Pit Bull; and Precious, a mixed German Shepherd.

Those interested in adopting the animals can visit the shelter, 212 17th Ave. N.

Adopters will need to pay the required fees and have the pets spayed or neutered. For more information, visit