October Update: Street Cleanup, New Signs, Building Community

Leaves are falling and many neighbors are helping to pick them up! Fall street sweeping is underway in Crystal, and Public Works staff asks to avoid parking on the street during the day when possible and keep trash, recycling and yard waste containers out of the street or gutter on collection day. More on street cleaning:

The old neighborhood signs are being replaced with new signage that is much easier to read. They also highlight our new city flag design — the star’s 14 points represent our 14 neighborhoods.  The signs are paid for from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) fund. City Council is currently discussing updating our city look to help people know where they’re at in Crystal. Blue street signs were recently placed above some street signs to help locate city parks.

Neighborhood signs

This year’s West Metro Fire Open House was another success on Oct. 14 at Station No. 3 in New Hope. Visitors enjoyed demonstrations, fire-related activities, safety and equipment displays from North Memorial, the K-9 Unit and more. Find out more about our fire department here: http://www.wmfrd.org/

wmf-open-house-blog
(photo by Council Member Jeff Kolb)

On October 14, I joined representatives and staff from area cities for a Blue Line light rail development tour. We visited St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Eden Prairie and Bloomington. Each station is adding customized projects that fit the area for usage, for example Bloomington’s stop near Health Partners had a park area and green space. Others had parking, retail, and housing projects planned. Thanks to Hennepin County and Metro Transit for a very informative tour, along with ideas for Crystal’s proposed station at Bass Lake Road and Cty. Rd 81.

Light rail tour

Crystal is home to many different houses of faith, and I was honored to be invited to Refuge International Ministries’ service October 15 by visiting Bishop Wesley Smith (pictured with me below), who I met in 2013. Refuge International’s Senior Pastor Zephaniah Kaffey serves on the Multicultural Advisory Committee with Crystal PD. MAC meets monthly with police personnel to discuss topics important to their communities, build mutual trust, and open up communication. For more information of Refuge International Ministries (6412 45th Ave. N), call 763-232-3063.

Bishop Smith at Refuge Int'l Ministries

Upcoming Events:

It’s getting colder and daylight is getting shorter, so head over to Crystal Recreation and sign up for fun activities throughout fall and winter! Visit their Facebook page for the latest updates. See all fall recreation offerings in the brochure — view it online.

There are openings on city commissions, including Planning, Community Outreach Task Force, and Environmental Quality. These volunteer positions require just a few hours a month, and it’s a chance for you to have a voice in advising the city. Application deadlines are due Oct. 30 and interviews begin in November. See all open positions here.

New to Crystal or want to get to know your neighbors? Try out a Halfway Happy Hour with Light of Crystal, an active and diverse group that promotes city pride and community building. The next HHH is Wed., Nov. 15 at the Crystal VFW on Bass Lake Rd, beginning at 5:00pm. All are welcome – find out more about LoC here.

For council meeting updates, visit my recap page — and City of Crystal’s website to view meetings and council packets.

Enjoy a happy and safe Halloween!

September – Ideal for Outdoor & Indoor Activities!

For many like me, fall is the favorite season in Minnesota – enjoying the colors, cooler temps and activities in and around Crystal.

This month, we saw park design ideas for future improvements. Exciting news for MAC Nature Center (60th & Regent Ave): Three Rivers Park District is partnering with Crystal to improve the trails and make the area more usable. An open house was held on September 13 in Brooklyn Center, and here’s a link to see the plans. Work is expected to be done over the winter.

MAC

A shout out to Forest neighborhood resident Jan Jorgens, helping keep Memory Lane Pond beautiful. She and other neighbors gathered September 16 to clean up trash. Jan wrote on NextDoor.com, “The group called Friends Fond of the Pond officially meets twice a year to look for litter. You are welcome to join them next spring. Watch for announcements!”

memory-lane-pickup-2017
(Photo from Jan Jorgens via NextDoor.com)

Residents gathered at Welcome Park for the Park/Rec Commission neighborhood meeting to discuss future plans for that area, including ballpark improvements, a new shelter/restroom building and other features. Welcome Park will be the site for the Crystal Frolics in 2019 when Becker Park is closed for a big storm water project. See current plan concepts here.

Speaking of commissions, there are several openings on city commissions, including Planning, Community Outreach Task Force, and Environmental Quality. These volunteer positions require just a few hours a month, and it’s a chance for you to have a voice in advising the city. Application deadlines are due Oct. 30 and interviews begin in November. See all open positions here.

board-vacancies

Fall is also a colorful time as Council meets to plan the 2018 budget! On September 14, we discussed and voted on utility fees. City staff reviewed the fee schedule over the last few years, getting rid of some while restructuring other fees to simplify it. Water, sewer and storm drainage will see increases to help cover the costs of maintaining and repairs. For example, the residential sewer fee per quarter will go from $55.15 to $61.22 beginning in January. There will be no increases to your recycling and street light fees next year.

Events & Updates:

  • The Diaper Drive ends Sept. 30 — drop off diapers, wipes or donations to the Community Center, benefiting Helping Us Grow.
  • The Fall Coat Drive is on now until Sept. 29. Donate new or gently used coats at the Community Center. Hosted by American Mortgage & Equity Consultants, ReMax Results & State Farm Insurance.
  •  The 3rd Annual Run for Rocco fundraiser is on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Bassett Creek Park; 8:30a.m. Kids Race; 9 a.m. Run/ Walk. Register now
  • Kids Garage Sale is also on September 30: 8:20 am until noon at the Crystal Community Center
  • The next Council Meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7:00pm at City Hall. A work session will be held at 6:30 and after the council meeting in Conference Room A.
  • See all recreation offerings in the Fall Recreation brochureview it online.

For council meeting updates, visit my recap page — and City of Crystal’s website to view meetings and council packets.