Thursday, December 18, 2008
All the plans are not yet complete, but this is a major accomplishment for local residents after Highwood Hills was closed last year. There are an estimated 500+ young people at the apartment complexes between Lower Afton and the Totem Town Community Garden who had been left without a safe, warm indoor winter play area.
Given the budget situation for the city, it is not a done deal that this program will continue after this winter. If you are interested in helping District 1 seek additional foundation funding for this program, contact our office (651.501.6345).
Monday, December 15, 2008
Everyone knows the hassle of doing their shoveling and then having the city plows come along and push that nasty stuff back up over curbs. So remember to reclear those access points from your sidewalks to the street.
If their are elders on your block who could use some help, be generous with your shovel or snowblower!
And don't forget your neighborhood mail carrier!! Try to make sure that access to your mailbox is cleared to make it easier for these hard-working folks.
COMING SOON we will have door-hangers that you can leave as a gentle reminder for your neighbors who forget what needs to be done. Let us know if you would like some of these handy notices to use to keep our sidewalks SAFE for us all to walk.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Marathon needs to submit an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for this project. Wetlands are impacted by the proposal. The site
- is within the 100 year floodplain of the Mississippi River (which is 706.3 ft above sea level);
- has already gone through some remediation with 4-6 ft of dump materials removed by the MPCA, replaced by geotextile fabric and overlain with clean compacted aggregate to a height of 701 ft;
- would include 3000 feet of linear track varying in width from 1 to 8 tracks.
The proposal has to deal with these factors:
- Wetland A (east end of site) is 6.05 acres and will have to have 0.79 of those acres infilled to avoid impacts on Battle Creek. This wetland discharges through a 15 in. culvert into Battle Creek just after the creek flows under the railroad bridge. A culvert would be used to control its discharge.
- Wetland B (an infiltration ditch built between 2000 and 2002 that is 0.29 acres total. 0.06 acres would be filled and would be replaced by drainage ditches north and south of the proposed rail lines.
- Wetland C (a narrow ditch formed when a flood berm was built) is 0.13 acres.
- Wetland D (an incidental ditch 0.04 acres in size) - only its western edge is in the project area where it flows into Pigs Eye Lake.
- Battle Creek (0.4 acres of the creek is affected) where it flows from Little Pigs Eye Lake under the railroad bridge near where Wetland A discharges into it.
The Wetland Mitigation they are proposing is based on trying to minimize disturbing the old dump materials that underlie this area. There are no places at the site to replace the wetlands they are removing and no opportunities within Saint Paul or Ramsey County where they can do a substitute replacement, or buy credits. They are looking outside this area but will replace wetlands at a ratio of 2:1.
Flood Control Mitigation they are proposing would require compensating on site for the project's displacement of 100 year (and less) floodwaters. They propose on-site compensation by removal of dump materials and providing a buffer between the remaining materials and the final grade (exposed dump materials would be buffered).
Treatment of StormWater is usually done through plantings to form a buffer. They are asking for a variance of this rule, saying that there is not enough space or the proper soils for a natural buffer.
COMMENT - What is puzzling about this proposal is that they say they don't want to mitigate the net loss of wetlands at this location for fear of disturbing the contaminated soils and yet they are seeking a variance to avoid mitigating potential pollution caused by stormwater in the flood compensation ponds they would construct by digging into the contaminated soils. Does anyone else find this problematic!!
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL! Comment here or contact our office SOON (651.501.6345, email@example.com)!!
Monday, December 8, 2008
This survey was developed for us by Keely Gerhold, the Council's fall Environmental Sustainability intern. Thanks to Keely for all the work she did for us on home energy issues while she was working with us.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Everyone needs to be counted, whether you are a citizen or not, because everyone counts in determining what our country needs!
The census is a CONFIDENTIAL process!! No one's personal information is tied directly to them. There is no danger that anyone finds out about you personally. Think of it as a big family picture that tells us how we are growing as a nation and what the family looks like as a whole.
The census office is HIRING workers for a variety of jobs that pay well and will be temporary through 2010. There is a test that is required and you can find out more by calling toll-free, 1-866-861-2010.
This is important to all of us, so start thinking about it NOW!!