City of New Hope
2010 Year in Review
Residents and Business People of New Hope: Even with the challenging economic times, 2010 was a very positive year for the city of New Hope. Grants were especially important in helping the city to maintain core programs and activities. The city of New Hope received more than $2 million in grants in 2010. Maintaining infrastructure is one of the cityâ€™s top priorities. Important projects in 2010 included installation of a new, larger water main and transit improvements along Bass Lake Road and reconstruction of Winnetka Avenue from Bass Lake Road to 62nd. Both projects received significant funding from state and federal grants respectively. In addition, New Hope initiated water quality improvement projects at the Northwood wetland and 45th Avenue pond. New Hope began an Emerald Ash Borer program, with help from a state grant, to proactively address the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. The city also received a Youth Sports Grant from Hennepin County to help improve the New Hope Athletic Fields complex and a grant from Xcel Energy to help plan for renovations at the New Hope Ice Arena. Public safety continues to be a primary focus for the New Hope City Council. The city hired two new police officers and began planning for a new Community Emergency Response Team program to provide public safety training to neighborhood leaders. Another grant is helping to get the CERT program off the ground. Planning and economic development activities continued. A new $23 million North Education Center for School District 287 was approved, Ambassador Good Samaritan Nursing Home constructed a $4.6 expansion, and several other businesses made significant improvements to their facilities. The city began a community-based process to update its vision for City Center at Winnetka and 42nd avenues. And, several ordinances were modified in 2010 including changes to the cityâ€™s temporary sign ordinance, an ordinance revision that requires massage therapists to be licensed, and changes to New Hopeâ€™s business subsidy policy. The following pages highlight some of the more significant activities the city of New Hope engaged in during 2010, and touches on some of the things the city is looking forward to in 2011. Thanks is extended to the City Council, city commissioners, volunteers, and city staff for making 2010 such a successful year for the city. Sincerely,
Kirk McDonald New Hope City Manager
Infrastructure Major Construction Projects While the number and total value of building permits reflected the downturn in the economy in 2010, there were a number of significant building projects in New Hope during 2010, including:
Amabassador Good Samaritan Ambassador Good Samaritan health care facility constructed a new wing on the north end of their complex at 8100 Medicine Lake Road in 2010. The 15,200 square foot addition houses 21 private rooms for short-term adult patients who require rehabilitation after they leave the hospital. The $4.6 million project also involved conversion of 21 existing two-bed rooms at the 85-bed facility into private rooms.
Dignitaries at the groundbreaking for Good Samaritanâ€™s expansion.
The new north wing at Good Samaritan houses 21 private rooms for short-term adult rehabilitation patients.
Paddock Laboratories Paddock completed a nearly half-million dollar interior remodeling project of its headquarters at 3940 Quebec Avenue. This is one of a continuing series of remodeling projects at their facility in recent years.
Plans for Paddockâ€™s new mezzanine.
e and Building District 287 North Education Center Robbinsdale Area Schools sold the 9½ acre former Hosterman Middle School site at 5520 Zealand Avenue to Intermediate School District 287 in September 2010. District 287 serves the needs of unique learners from 13 west metro school districts with various physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral challenges. The district has leased space in Hosterman for the past 10 years, but needs space that is more suitable to the particular needs of its students. District 287 is in the process of demolishing the old school building and will break ground on a new $23 million, 157,500 square foot North Education Center on the site in spring 2011. The new building will be modeled after the district’s South Education Center in Richfield. It will have four wings, an attractive brick façade with glass, masonry and metal highlights, and smaller classrooms. A portion of the new education center will be three stories in height. In October, the City Council approved text amendments to the City Code and Comprehensive plan that allow public, educational, and religious buildings to be up to 48 feet or three stories in height in a residential zoning district. Previously, the City Code only allowed a maximum building height of 32 feet. The Council determined that allowing churches, schools, and other public buildings to build taller will not negatively impact neighborhoods adjacent to schools, will allow land to be better and more fully utilized, and is a more realistic regulation as available land for schools becomes scarcer and more costly.
Infrastructure and Building Infrastructure Major Construction Projects (Continued) Cooper High School Robbinsdale Area Schools made about $500,000 worth of interior improvement including installing a new elevator at Cooper High School, 8230 47th Avenue.
Process Displays Process Displays remodeled approximately 5,000 square feet of interior space at 2721 Nevada Avenue N, including offices, restrooms, a reception area, and an indoor streetscape of display windows to show off the company’s display fixtures. That project was also valued at about $500,000.
Northwest Suburban Remodeling Fair
In 2010, the 18th annual Northwest Suburban Remodeling Fair was held on Saturday, April 3 at the Crystal Community Center. The fair is a joint effort of the city of New Hope and seven neighboring communities. The annual remodeling fair helps to inspire residents and put them in touch with local businesses and other resources they’ll need to maintain or make improvements to their home. About 1,600 people attended the 2010 fair, which featured 87 home improvement exhibitors and 15 informative, how-to workshops and representatives from the eight cities’ police, fire, and building inspections departments. The 2011 remodeling fair is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
e and Building RAVE! Awards New Hope has presented awards since 2006 to homeowners who do an exemplary job of maintaining or improving their residential properties. In 2010, nine properties were nominated and four families were recognized: ✦ Tom Christensen won in the Exterior Renovation category for replacing an old shed with a beautiful new workshop. ✦ Robin Majestic and Dan Rudie won in the Interior Renovation category for their impressive kitchen and dining room remodeling project. ✦ The Truong family won in the Landscaping category for their impressive deck and landscaping. ✦ And, Joan and Bob Sable won in the Garden category for their extensive and beautiful gardens. Each RAVE! Award winner receives an engraved paver, has their name inscribed on a plaque at City Hall, and is recognized at a Council meeting. These award-winning properties serve as a real inspiration to other homeowners in the community to spruce up their properties and keep the city beautiful.
Majestic and Rudie kitchen
Infrastructure and Building Bass Lake Road Water Main and Transit Improvements The city installed a 16-inch water main along the north side of Bass Lake Road from Winnetka Avenue west to Yukon Avenue to improve fire safety and facilitate future redevelopment in the area. The project also included: ✦ Construction of a bus shelter on the south side of Bass Lake Road at Yukon ✦ The installation of decorative, pedestrian-scale, highefficiency LED street lights ✦ Construction of new sidewalk ✦ And, relocation of the entrance to the New Hope Village Golf Course and reconstruction of the golf course parking lot Funding for the water main and transit work came from a $340,000 Transit Oriented Development grant from Hennepin County, municipal state aid, street light fund and tax increment financing. Funding for the parking lot reconstruction came for the city’s dedicated Park Infrastructure Fund.
Transit improvements along Bass Lake Road included a new bus shelter and energysaving LED street lights.
Winnetka Avenue Reconstruction New Hope reconstructed Winnetka Avenue between Bass Lake Road and 62nd Avenue in 2010. The project included reconstruction of the street as well as some curb and sidewalk improvements. This city-owned portion of Winnetka was originally identified by New Hope’s Pavement Management Plan for reconstruction in 2006, but was delayed due to a lack of funding. The city was able complete the project with the help of a $816,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. N New Hope also received a low-interest loan of up to $4 $412,000 from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authorit t Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund to pay for ity re e replacement of the water main. The loan will be repaid at an interest rate of 1.7 percent ov over 20 years with revenue from the New Hope Water Fu Fund.
The Winnetka Avenue project included replacement of the old ductile iron water main.
Planning City Center Transit Oriented Development Study In April 2010, the city began refining its vision for New Hope’s City Center – the area near the intersections of Winnetka and 42nd avenues. In addition to reviewing its vision for City Center, the City Center Transit Oriented Development Study will also investigate design options to improve transit, pedestrian, and bicycle connections within the City Center area and identify potential improvements. Although New Hope has engaged in a couple of previous studies of the City Center area, the City Council believed it was important to reevaluate and redefine the city’s vision and approach toward the redevelopment of City Center in light of current market conditions and changes in financial and regulatory tools. It’s important to plan and prepare a long-term vision now, so that the city is ready to build when the time is right. The City Council believes strongly that participation and support of the local business community and residents is critical to the successful redevelopment of the City Center area. The city held a series of open houses for businesses and residents to share a preliminary vision for About 30 community stakeholders – including City Council memCity Center and get feedback and support from the com- bers, city commissioners, school board members and local business munity. The next steps in the study will be to identify people – participated in a block exercise in June to brainstorm redevelopment priorities and financial tools. about redevelopment in the City Center area. The exercise was The study is being funded by a $50,000 Transit Oriented facilitated by a team of planning experts. Development grant from Hennepin County.
Active Living Hennepin County In January of last year, New Hope joined Active Living Hennepin Communities, a public-private partnership established in 2006 to promote healthy living. New Hope joined 12 cities – including Crystal, Brooklyn Park, jo Golden Valley and Robbinsdale, and eight other agencies G – including Robbinsdale Area Schools and Three Rivers Park District, to work together to increase opportuniP ties for active living in our communities through policy ti change, infrastructure planning, marketing, communicach tions and hosting workshop events. ti New Hope has been exploring three initiatives as part of N its iit t participation in Active Living Hennepin County:
Complete Streets C
Complete Streets strives to create streets suitable for cyclists, pedestrians, mass transit and cars.
Complete Streets is a growing movement which shifts C the focus of road construction and reconstruction to a th multi-faceted approach that aims to create roads that m ccontinue o to effectively move cars, trucks and emergency vehicles while also focusing on the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. The Citizen Advisory Commission has begun work developing a Complete Streets policy tailored to New Hope’s specific needs and creating a Complete Streets implementation plan to guide future roadway improvements in the city.
Plann Active Living Hennepin County (Continued) Community Garden In fall 2010, city staff began working with Gardening Matters, a community gardens consulting group, to explore the potential for creating a community garden in New Hope. A major goal of the community garden will be to engage the community and create a gathering space. A couple of meetings were held with interested residents to discuss the steps for starting up a community garden as well as possible locations for a garden. The garden will be located on the grounds of the Emergency Foodshelf Network at 54th and Boone. It will have about 20 plots available for individuals and families, plus several community plots where civic groups such as boy or girl scout troops or churches can volunteer hours to grow food that will be donated to the foodshelf. The gardens will be run by an independent resident group called “Hope Grows.” The city and a $1,500 grant from the Active Living program will help get the gardens started. Hope Grows plans to start taking applications for garden plots in the spring.
Community garden C pl plots (shown in green at left) along with floowers and a gatherin ing space are planned in front of the E Emergency Foodshelf N Network building at 88141 54th Avenue N.
Highway 169 Noise Wall
The section of noise wall being planned along Highway 169 between 36th and 42nd avenues will likely be very similar to this noise wall which was installed in 2003.
In September 2010, the City Council expressed support for the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s plan to construct a section of noise wall in 2011, along the east side of Highway 169 from 36th Avenue north to an area near 42nd Avenue. MnDOT constructed a similar section of noise wall in New Hope in 2003, along the east side of Highway 169 from Medicine Lake Road to 36th Avenue. MnDOT held an open house for property owners and stakeholders abutting the proposed wall in early September The vast majority of those who attended the meeting were in favor of the noise wall construction project. If the noise wall project moves forward this summer, MnDOT would fund 90 percent of the anticipated $1.2 million project costs. New Hope would fund about $120,000 from an existing construction project fund.
ning 2011 Infr astructure Project The city engineer began preparing plans and specifications in late 2010 for the 2011 Infrastructure project, which will include improvements to most of the streets from Medicine Lake Road north to 29th Avenue, between Flag and Louisiana avenues. Reconstruction of a segment of Nevada Avenue, from Medicine Lake Road north to a cul de sac, will be bid as an alternate part of the project, but will only be constructed if sufficient funds are available. The project will involve improvement of the streets, water main replacement, inflow and infiltration improvements to the sanitary sewer system, and minor improvements to the storm sewer system. The streets involved in the project were identified for replacement through New Hope’s Pavement Management Program, based on detailed analysis of the pavement’s condition. New Hope does not assess taxable properties for street improvement projects. About $3.1 million of the estimated $4.9 project cost will be funded through the city’s dedicated street infrastructure fund. Most of the remaining cost will be paid by the city’s water, storm water and sanitary sewer funds. New Hope advertised for bids on the project in late February, expects to select a contractor in mid April, and begin construction in June of this year.
The streets in red on the map above are scheduled to be reconstructed – with new roadway surface, curb and gutter. The streets in green will be reclaimed – the roadway surface will be replaced and the curb and gutter will be repaired as needed. The streets in light blue will have mill and overlay work done – the top 1½ inches of roadway will be ground off and a new driving surface will be installed. Finally, the dashed red streets will only be included in the project if bids are lower than anticipated and sufficient funds are available.
Planning Meadow Lake School Improvements In May 2010, the City Council approved an amendment to the Conditional Use Permit for Meadow Lake School, 8535 62nd Avenue N, to allow construction of a third parking lot at the school. The school planned to reconstruct its two existing parking lots on the north and west sides of the school building, and wanted to construct a new parking lot on the south side of the building to accommodate the need for additional staff parking. The school proposed to construct a retention pond east of the new lot to hold the additional runoff from the new parking lot. The city suggested, instead, that the school construct a larger storm water retention pond to accommodate both the runoff from the new parking lot and additional storm water from the west parking lot, which previously drained untreated onto Boone Avenue and into Meadow Lake. The city and school agreed to share the cost of the new, larger pond. The new water quality pond south of Meadow Lake School treats The new water quality pond at Meadow Lake School the runoff from the entire school site before it enters Meadow Lake. will help to reduce the nutrient load to Meadow Lake, which has been identified by the state as an “impaired water” due to excess nutrients.
Contamination Cleanup Grant – 5121 Winnetka Avenue G
A Metropolitan Council grant will help the new property owner clean up lead dust contamination at 5121 Winnetka Avenue.
In n fall 2010, the City Council agreed to support a request re e from Hillcrest Development for a Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account Contaminam tion ti i Cleanup Grant from the Metropolitan Council to cl clean up lead contamination at 5121 Winnetka Avenue. The city of New Hope agreed to act as a pass through agent for the grant funds as required by the Met Council. ag A previous occupant of the warehouse left a significant amount am m of lead dust contamination in the building related re e to the manufacture of ceramics. The property was proceeding into foreclosure when the redeveloper w acquired ac c it for well below market value. Hillcrest Development has an excellent reputation for purchasing and revitalizing distressed commercial properties. The firm has the experience necessary to deal with the environmental cleanup required and the expertise to market the property to future tenants. In January of 2011, the city was notified that a $443,150 grant had been awarded to assist with the cleanup project.
Environment Emerald Ash Borer Plan
The tiny Emerald Ash Borer beetle has caused huge problems everywher it has appeared.
In 2009, the first Emerald Ash Borer beetle was found in Minnesota, and forestry experts predicted that its spread throughout the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota was inevitable. Since first appearing in Michigan in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer beetle has spread unabated across 15 states and part of Canada. Because New Hope has thousands of public ash trees, it became clear to the City Council that the city could not deal with the budget impact of addressing an Emerald Ash Borer infestation within a period of only a few years. Instead, the City Council began implementing an Emerald Ash Borer Plan in 2010 that will spread out the cost by systematically removing and replacing ash trees along the boulevard and in city parks over the next 10 to 15 years. New Hope budgeted $100,000 in 2010 to begin implementing its Emerald Ash Borer Plan and received an additional $87,300 grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to help carry out the plan. A forestry intern completed a detailed inventory of all of New Hope’s public trees during the summer which involved counting, determining the species, and assessing the condition of each of the city’s public trees. And, the City Council temporarily changed the city’s Boulevard Tree Replacement Policy to encourage property owners to volunteer to have their boulevard ash tree removed. Typically New Hope pays half the cost of removing a boulevard tree. In 2010, the city’s contractor removed boulevard ash trees at no cost to property owners. In all, the city’s tree contractor removed 234 boulevard ash trees and planted about 120 replacement trees in 2010. Replacement trees were chosen from an approved tree list. The tree list emphasizes a diverse mixture of tree varieties in order to lessen the impact of species-specific tree maladies in the future.
Modifications to the city’s Boulevard Tree Replacement Policy in 2010 made it easier for property owners to deal with their boulevard ash trees.
Environment Northwood Wetland Following a rain event last summer, the water level in Northwood Lake got higher than normal. Excess sediment and vegetation in the wetland at the eastern end of Northwood Lake, just west of Winnetka Avenue, has begun to restrict the flow of runoff through the wetland, causing the water level in Northwood Lake to rise and remain high for an extended period. The city was concerned that, if the restricted flow problem were not resolved, multiple rain events within a few week period could result in property damage and erosion around Northwood Lake. The City Council authorized the preparation of plans and specifications to resolve the problem in November and hired a contractor to do the work in December. The contractor will excavate the wetland, remove the sediment and restore the wetland channel sometime this winter. New Hope will pay the $82,995 project cost with funds from the city’s storm water fund. Eventually, the city will likely be reimbursed for the cost of the project with funds from the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Com- Excess sediment and vegetation in the Northwood wetland channel (in red above) needed to be removed to alleviate high water in Northwood Lake following rain events. mission.
45th Avenue Pond
Runoff from about 81 acres of land in New Hope flows into the wetland near Winnetka Avenue on the north side of 45th Avenue. The dry pond configuration of the wetland provided virtually no storm water treatment to runoff before it continued downstream to Twin Lake in Crystal. Because Twin Lake has been identified as having impaired water quality, it was important for New Hope to make improvements to the pond. The Council approved plans and specifications for improvements to the pond in September 2010, and hired a contractor to complete the work. The improvement project will create a larger and deeper permanent pool and raise the outlet of the pond so that storm water is held in the pond for an extended period of time. The wetland’s design will greatly increase the amount of suspended solids, phosphorus and other nuam m trients that settle out of storm water and are absorbed by ttr ri the th h wetland vegetation. The contractor began excavation work on the pond in early January 2011. w wo The total cost of the pond improvements and wetland mitigation is estimated to be $328,000. Funding for the m project will include a $160,000 grant from the Minneppr r sota so o Board of Water and Soil Resources, up to $82,500 from fro fr o the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission’s Capital Improvement Program, the city’s Storm m Water Fund, and possibly some state aid. W A second phase of the project, involving storm sewer Construction of a permanent pond north of 45th Avenue will reduce the amount of nutrients and suspended solids that continue improvements under 45th Avenue, is planned to be completed as part of a future street improvement project. on to Twin Lake.
Business New Hope Business Forum The city continued to coordinate monthly meetings of the New Hope Business Forum in 2010. The business forum was formed in spring 2009 to provide local business people with a regular opportunity to network with each other and to help make the city be more responsive to the needs of local business. The forum meets from 8 to 9 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. During odd-numbered months more formal meetings, often with a speaker, are held at New Hope City Hall. In summer 2010, forum meetings scheduled during even-numbered months were changed into informal “Coffee Break” gatherings at busi- The business forum provides an opportunity for local business people nesses throughout the community. to get together with each other and city officials monthly. In April 2010, community development staff began producing a monthly business newsletter, “The Business Brief .” The newsletter strives to keep New Hope businesses informed on the issues, up to date on happenings around town, and provides local business people with a forum for sharing information.
Shop New Hope Because the city’s first Shop New Hope coupon book in 2009 was quite popular with both local businesses and residents, the city decided to produce a second coupon book in 2010. The design of the coupon book was similar to the first book, although the 2010 version expanded to 32 pages to provide additional space for coupons and city information. The city also decided to mail the book, rather than simply providing copies to participating businesses to place on their counters. Forty New Hope businesses participated in the Shop New Hope 2 coupon book. The city mailed 18,700 coupon books in early July to residents of New Hope and portions of Crystal, Golden Valley and Brooklyn Park. The city picked up about 80 percent of the cost of the $8,000 project, with participating businesses contribution $50 each. Eighty percent of the businesses that participated in the second Shop New Hope book indicated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the promotion and would participate again. The second Shop New Hope coupon book had more coupons and was distributed by mail.
Busin New Hope Outstanding Business Award The New Hope City Council continued to recognize local businesses for their contributions to the community in 2010. The City Council accepts nominations for the award each quarter. Special consideration is given to businesses that are active in the community, that have made property improvements, expanded on-site, or relocated within the city, that do a noteworthy job of maintaining their property, or that are celebrating some sort of company milestone (like 25 years in business). Any local resident, business patron, or business person may nominate a company for the Outstanding Business Award. Award-winning companies receive a plaque, are recognized on New Hope’s website and in city publications, and have their name engraved on a permanent plaque at City Hall. Four New Hope companies were recognized with Outstanding Business awards in 2010: • Sunshine Factory – Winter • Lifetime Fitness – Spring • North Central Builders – Summer • Applebee’s – Fall
Accepting Outstanding Business Award plaques from Mayor Kathi Hemken were (top to bottom) Randy Rosengren, owner of Sunshine Factory; Sam Remus, general manager of the New Hope Lifetime Fitness; Frank Wattunen and Larry Kraatz, owners of North Central Builders; and Nate McVey, manager of the New Hope Applebees .
ness 42nd Avenue Banners Late last fall, the city purchased a new set of banners for the City Center area. Although New Hope has had banners along 42nd Avenue for nearly 15 years, the city decided to try something a little different this time around… ✦ The new banners were printed in fullcolor and feature photographs for the first time. ✦ The photographs of New Hope on the banners were taken by residents, and were selected from entries in the first annual New Hope In Focus photo contest. ✦ The theme for the banners is “New Hope – a place for all seasons.” Because the new banners have a year-round theme, the city will leave the banners up yearround. Previously, the city always had two sets of banners which public works crews changed out in the spring and the fall. Staff estimates that leaving the same banners up for two years will save the city more than $2,900 in personnel and material costs.
The new banners on 42nd Avenue are uniquely New Hope – with seasonal images of the city taken by local photographers.
Business Subsidy Policy New Hope has had a business subsidy policy in place since the mid 1990s. The purpose of the policy is to serve as a guide for how the city should use Tax Increment Financing, tax abatement, and other business assistance programs to facilitate private development. The policy had not been amended or updated since its aadoption. In June, staff revised the city’s policy based usiing a model business subsidy policy from the League of Minnesota Cities as a template. The city’s revised policy M iis clearer and more thorough and complies with current sstate law. SSome of the key changes made to the policy include: ✦ Changing the purpose of the policy to create a uniform standard for the use of city financial tools ✦ Add a list of eligible uses for business assistance ✦ Establish specific criteria for business assistance project approval ✦ And, adds a business assistance project evaluation criteria section
Business Ordinance Changes Temporary Sign Ordinance In January 2010, The City Council amended the cityâ€™s sign ordinance to allow temporary signs two feet behind the curb and within the sight triangle at intersections. The ordinance had previously required temporary signs to be at least 10 feet behind the curb or behind the sidewalk and prohibited them within a triangular area starting 20 feet back from corners. The sign ordinance was amended to reduce the setback required for temporary signs for 10 feet to two feet.
Solicitor Ordinance In June, the Council approved changes to the city code which requires solicitors to register with the city and pay a $50 annual fee before going door-to-door. The city continues to prohibit any door-to-door solicitation if a property has a â€œNo Solicitationâ€? sign clearly displayed at the front door of the premises.
Therapeutic Massage Ordinance And, in July, the Council adopted a revised ordinance cee that includes detailed regulations for a therapeutic m masasssage business and requires both a massage establishment men nt and massage therapists to be licensed annually in New ew Hope.
Parks and Recreation New Hope Athletic Fields New Hope received a grant from the first round of the Hennepin County Youth Sports Grant program to help pay for a new irrigation system and other improvements at the New Hope Athletic Field complex at 49th and Flag avenues. The complex is heavily used by youth football, a variety of school district programs, and adult softball. In addition to the new irrigation system, improvements also included regrading and drain tile in the infield to improve drainage, new blacktop pathways, and a new drinking fountain. The $98,000 project cost was funded equally by the cityâ€™s Park Improvement Fund and the youth sports grant. The countyâ€™s grant program is funded by a small portion of the countywide stadium tax, which helped to finance the new Twins stadium. The city broke ground on the project with the help of Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, officials from the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission and youth sports representatives, in early August. Improvements are largely complete, and the fields will be put back into play this spring.
Dog Parks New Hope used the hockey rink just west of City Hall in Civic Center Park as an off-leash dog park on a trial basis in 2009. The dog park was well received and experienced no significant problems so, in January of 2010, the City Council decided to make the trial off-leash dog park at Civic Center Park permanent and establish a second dog park in the hockey rink at Lions Park on a trial basis. From April through November the rinks, which are surrounded by boards, are made available to dog owners as an off-leash area for their pets. The city provides bags for droppings, waste receptacles and benches. The off-leash areas are open during daylight hours only. Pet owners are responsible for controlling and picking up after their dogs. In February 2011, the Citizen Advisory Commission recommended making the dog park in Lions Park permanent and the City Council agreed.
Parks and R Ice Arena Engineering Study The 15-member Ice Arena Engineering Study Committee submitted its final report in August 2010 with recommendations to assist the City Council in defining, budgeting and scheduling future improvements at the New Hope Ice Arena. The study identified 11 high-priority improvement needs that involve the ice and mechanical systems as well as the electrical system and building maini tenance at the 40-year-old arena, which is located at 4949 Louisiana Avenue North. The study spells out a variety of options for addressing these needs, includes an approximate cost for each option, and estimates the time it would take for energy-related improvements to pay for themselves. The study committee consisted of 15 members, including representatives from local youth hockey, Armstrong and Cooper high schools, the business community, city staff, City Council and commissions guided by a team of consulting engineers and architects with extensive experience in arena projects. The majority of the engineering study was funded by a grant from Xcel Energy. In November, the Council retained Stevens Engineers, the lead consultant for the engineering study, to develop a plan to group top priority ice arena improvement needs into a project or series of projects. The plan will address the most time sensitive improvements first and will determine appropriate phasing to provide the best value for the city.
Parks and Recreation on Facebook In March, 2010 the city launched a Facebook page for the New Hope Parks and Recreation Department as another way to reach and engage people who are interested in the cityâ€™s recreation program offerings; particularly those who make frequent use of social media. Several members of recreation staff take turns updating the page on a regular basis. The site currently has over 200 fans.
Recreation Lions Park Last spring, city staff began planning for an improvement project in Lions Park, which is located at 38th and Oregon avenues. The city submitted an application for a Hennepin County Youth Sports Grant to help pay for the project in March. After the city was notified that its grant request had been unsuccessful, it decided to move ahead with a scaled back project at the park. The City Council approved a budget of $95,000 to replace the aging play equipment at Lions Park. Originally installed in 1989, the park’s play equipment is the oldest in the city’s park system. The city solicited proposals from play equipment companies and three vendors presented their plans at a neighborhood meeting in November. The Council supported the neighbors’ preferred plan and approved the purchase of new play equipment in December. Other improvements planned for Lions Park later this summer include: ✦ A new playground container – or concrete edging surrounding the play area ✦ Parking lot seal coating and lighting ✦ Trail resurfacing and expansion
Comm New Hope In Focus Photo Contest New Hope’s first ever photo contest, New Hope In Focus, was a big success! Both the quality of the photographs and the number of entries submitted far exceeded expections. Nineteen New Hope photographers submitted 48 photographs before the deadline on August 31, including four youth under the age of 18. A panel of four volunteer judges who work in the photography and communications fields selected winners in three categories – Nature, People and Places, and Youth Photographer. Local residents chose a People’s Choice winner after a month of open voting. The winner in each category received a cash prize and was invited to an award presentation at a Council meeting in October.
2010 New Hope In Focus photo contest winners were (clockwise, from top): Fire in the Sky by Jennifer Schmidt - Nature and People’s Choice (tie); Lake at Hidden Valley by Terri Bangasser - People and Places; Adventure by Naomi Chan - Youth Photographer; Winter Wonderland by Kenneth Fromm - People’s Choice (tie)
munity New Hope City Day City Day, which was held on Saturday, July 31, was a great opportunity for residents to have some fun and get a little better idea of what was going on at New Hope City Hall. The open house event provided residents with a chance to have an informal chat with members of the New Hope City Council and city staff. Staff members from each city department were available to answer questions and share information about many of the cityâ€™s current programs. Activities included heavy equipment from the Public Works Department, tours of the Police Department, tumbling and dance demonstrations, highlights from the outdoor theatre production of Music Man, a police K-9 demo, a fire truck, and much more. The event was planned in collaboration with Public Safety Day at the farmers market, which was occurring at the same time across the street. The event was well attended. City Day 2011 is planned for Saturday, July 30.
New Hope Community Farmers Market
New Hopeâ€™s Saturday market drew big crowds its second year.
The New Hope Community Farmers Market began its second year on June 19. The market provides locally grown produce and a variety of other items every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The open-air market is located in the no north end of the Kmart parking lot at 4300 Xylon Avenue N North, across the street from New Hope City Hall. About 50 vendors participate in the farmers market, A in including fruit, vegetable and flower growers from Minn nesota and western Wisconsin and a variety of prepared fo food vendors, local artists and crafters. An assortment of co community organizations, churches, local businesses and eentertainers n add to the fun each week. Attendance at the market has been very strong. And, a A su survey of market visitors indicates that the farmers market is good for the local business community â€“ nearly twoth thirds of those attending the market incorporate shoppi ping at a New Hope business into their trip to the market.
Comm New Hope Celebrates 40 Years of Outdoor Theatre For the last 40 years, New Hope has offered musicals in Civic Center Park. Off Broadway Musical Theatre, a non-profit community theatre troupe, has been collaborating with the New Hope Parks and Recreation Department to present free community musical productions in the park every summer since 1982 – first at the city’s old “Castle” stage and, beginning in 1986 at the New Hope Outdoor Theatre. The 2010 musical was “The Music Man!,” which was performed on three consecutive weekends beginning July 22. Two family-friendly Wednesday shows starting at 8 p.m. were added the nine traditional “theatre under the stars” performances scheduled for Thursday through Saturday evenings beginning at 9 p.m. Most of the performances had overflow crowds. To help Celebrate 40 Years, Off Broadway also held a humungous cast party on August 1 for the many folks who have participated in New Hope’s summer musicals over the years. The cast party included a private performance of The Music Man! In summer 2011, Off Broadway Musical Theatre will present “Seussical the Musical” at the New Hope Outdoor Theatre, beginning July 21.
Duk Duk Daze
New Hope annual community celebration, Duk Duk Daze, was held the weekend of July 16 to 18, 2010 with most of the events being held in Northwood Park. Last year’s event featured the return of many popular favorites including a dunk tank, carnival games and rides, Lion’s Bingo, a Kiddie Parade and a variety of fabulous fair food. New activities included a custom motorcycle display, a classic car show, and fire safety trailers and a MADD car. Other activities included softball and tennis tournaments, live music on Friday and Saturday Sa nights, and fireworks on Saturday da that were – unfortunately – impacted by a sudden storm. For Fo the first time, festival activities poured out ou into the street, and Boone Avenue was wa closed from 36th to 42nd avenues for the th weekend. Duk D Duk Daze 2011 is scheduled for July 155 to 17. A big change planned for this year ye is to move the fireworks display from Saturday Sa night to Friday at dusk.
munity National Night Out On Tuesday August 3, 2010, the city of New Hope participated in the 27th Annual National Night Out celebration and the 2nd annual Night to Unite. A total of 97 registered events (up from 95 in 2009) were held all across New Hope renewing the commitment of residents, the police department, and city staff and officials in crime prevention and public safety. Although the weather started off hot and sticky, the night turned out very nice with high turnout reported at gatherings across the city. More than 1,000 pounds of food was collected for the local food shelf, and a truckload of school supplies was delivered to NEAR and to local schools for use by children in need.
Mayor’s New Hope Community Prayer Breakfast The annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was held on Wednesday, October 20 at the New Hope Community Gyms. The theme of the event was “The Golden Rule.” The event featured inspirational words by local clergy from a wide variety of faiths and performances by musicians from the area, including the Cooper High School Chamber Singers. About 300 people attended.
Community Giving Back to the Community New Hope City Council members and city staff give quite a lot of their free time and treasure to give back to the community: In February 2010, the city helped promote and many members of city staff and the Council helped pack food for the “New Hope for Haiti” campaign by New Hope’s own Kids Against Hunger nonprofit. Volunteers packaged 1 million high-nutrition meals to benefit survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. The city was well represented at the Shingle Creek Watershed Cleanup in the Northwood Lake area in April, and employees cleaned up Dorothy Mary Park as part of the Adopt-A-Park program. City employees sponsored a year-long food drive as well as special Thanksgiving and December Holiday events that yielded a total of 962 pounds of food and $1,320 for the local food shelf. And, employees held a Teen Gift Exchange in December to contribute to the holiday toy drive sponsored by the New Hope Police Department. Council and staff participated in many community activities in 2010 including a Teen Gift Exchange (top), New Hope for Haiti (above), and the Shingle Creek Watershed Cleanup (left).
Public Safety New Hope Police Officers Police officers Jared Kuyper and Pheng Xiong were hired in February of 2010 and, following completion of their Field Training Officer programs, were sworn in as new officers on May 24. As of January 2010, New Hope and East Grand Forks were the only two cities in the state of Minnesota that had a six month probationary period for police officers. All other cities have adopted a 12 month probationary period for police officer to provide recruits with sufficient time to complete essential training and evaluation. Because New Hope has operated under the provisions of the Civil Service merit system since 1960, it had been limited by state statute to a six month probationary period for all employees, including police officers. With the assistance of Senator Ann Rest and Representative Sandra Peterson, the state House and Senate approved a change to Section 44 of state statutes to establish a 12 month probationary period for police officers under Civil Service rules. Governor Pawlenty signed the legislation into law in March. In early 2011, the city hired two additional police officers. Two probationary officers began field training the end of February.
Officers Jared Kuyper and Pheng Xiong are sworn in.
Community Emergency Response Team In November 2010, New Hope received a grant of almost $16,000 from Minnesota Homeland Security and m Emergency Management to work with the City of CrysE ta tal and West Metro Fire to plan and implement a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. m When natural and human-caused disasters strike, the W resulting re e damage can restrict and overwhelm local emergency responders and other community resources. em The CERT program promotes a partnership between em emergency services and the people they serve. Emergency personnel provide 24 hours of training to members of pe neighborhoods, community organizations and workplacn es in basic response skills. These trained CERT members aare r then integrated into the emergency response capability of the community. Staff from the cities of New Hope and Crystal and personnel from West Metro Fire have begun planning the local CERT program. Initial training sessions for community members will likely begin in the second half of 2011.
Public Citizens’ Police Academy The New Hope and Crystal police departments collaborated on a six week Citizens’ Police Academy that began in mid-September. The program gave 20 residents a behind-the-scenes look at how local law enforcement operates. Topics covered included patrol tactics, investigations, narcotics, crime scene processing, juvenile crime, dispatching, court procedures, use of force, and more. Most of the instructors for the course were police officers from the two departments. Eight people are already on a waiting list for this year’s academy.
Safety Camp 2010 marked the 19th year the city has sponsored Safety 20 Camp. 81 children participated in the three day camp C iin n mid-August, which is designed to teach safety tips on a wide variety of topics to children going into grades 3 too 5. The city also sponsored a one day Half-Pint Safety Camp for younger children in Kindergarten and first C grade in October. Both camps are put on collaboratively gr by the Police and Parks and Recreation departments and West Metro Fire-Rescue. W
Kids at Safety Camp in August learned about first aid, the police K-9, bicycle safety, and much more.
Safety Police Training Every year, New Hope police officers and non-sworn police personnel engage in thousands of hours of training in a wide range of disciplines to refine their knowledge and skills including: appropriate use of force, firearms skills, hostage negotiations, interview and interrogation techniques, emergency driving, less-lethal weapon training, and much more. In 2010, officers also participated in two days of Active Shooter Training at a training facility in Annandale. The training, which is conducted over several days, is designed to provide officers with the skills they will need if they respond to a call involving an active shooter. Whether the problem is in a school, office or home, officers are trained in the latest techniques to ensure the best possible outcome.
Traffic Enforcement Sweeps T The New Hope Police Department participated in several multi-city traffic enforcement sweeps in 2010. Some er off the sweeps focused on getting drunk and impaired drivers off the road while others emphasized enforcing dr Minnesotaâ€™s primary seat belt law. M In all, New Hope participated in Safe and Sober enforcement efforts in May and October focusing on seatbelts, m in June focusing on motorcycle safety, in July focusing on speed and in October and December focusing on driving under the influence. The city also participated in dr 19 Operation Night Cap projects and conducted two DWI enforcement efforts on its own. D The events involved scheduled overtime to put additional officers on the street who could focus their efforts specifically on traffic enforcement. The traffic sweeps resulted in 41 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI), four arrests for other offenses, and 433 citations or warnings issued for seatbelt, speeding, and other moving violations. The traffic enforcement sweeps conducted in 2010 were funded by about $18,500 in grants from the State of Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety including a Safe and Sober grant and an Operation Night Cap grant.
Public Child Passenger Safety Seats The New Hope Police Department received a child passenger safety seat grant from the state of Minnesota to provide car seats to low-income families. The city received 20 car seats and 12 booster seats through the grant. While more parents are using child passenger safety seats, at least 90 percent of the safety seats in use in New Hope are installed incorrectly. The Police Department held a Safety Seat Clinic in August and continues to take appointments for child safety seat inspections for people who live or work in New Hope.
West Metro Fire Rescue District New Hope has shared its fire service with the city of N Crystal since 1998. West Metro Fire Rescue District C h has about 70 paid-on-call firefighters who respond from three tth h fire stations to provide emergency response servi vices to the two cities, including a station at 4251 Xylon Avenue North in New Hope. A In n 2010, West Metro Fire responded to 1451 total incidents including 191 fires, 472 rescue/medical , 206 in hazardous conditions, and 312 false alarms. The departh mentâ€™s average response time to arrive on the scene of a m fire call was 5.46 minutes.
Safety Fire Engine Replacement In April the West Metro board of directors authorized the purchase of four new fire engines for a total cost of $2.45 million, with the cost to be shared equally by the cities of New Hope and Crystal. The new engines will replace equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. The engines have been grouped into a single purchase to obtain a lower overall price. New Hope issued low interest equipment certificates in September that will pay off the new fire apparatus over the next 10 years.
West Metro Fire-Rescue will put four new fire engines into service in 2011.
Finance Upgraded Bond Rating Both major bond rating services, Standard and Poors and Moody’s Investor Services upgraded the city of New Hope’s bond rating in April 2010. Standard and Poors upgraded the city’s bond rating from A1 to AA, just two notches below the highest possible rating. Standard and Poors indicated that it increased New Hope’s bond rating for three key reasons: ✦ New Hope’s diverse tax base ✦ The city’s very strong financial position due to its fund balance reserves ✦ New Hope’s overall moderate debt burden The AA rating is an exceptionally strong rating, especially for a moderately small community like New Hope.
Debt Restructuring At the recommendation of its bond counsel, New Hope issued just under $2.4 million in general oblicgation bonds in March. The 2010 bond revenue was used to pay off bonds originally issued at a much higher interest rate in 1999 and to reimburse the city’s water fund for water system improvements that were made as part of a 2008 street project. The city will save nearly $40,000 by refunding the 1999 bonds and reissuing the debt at a lower interest rate. Paying for the 2008 water improvements without initially issuing bonds had left the water fund with very low cash reserves. That portion of the 2010 bond issuance will replenish the water fund and will be repaid with water revenues over the next several years. In May the city refunded $375,000 in revenue bonds issued in 2000 to build the golf course clubhouse. The city paid off the bonds with an internal loan from Economic Development Authority funds at about one-third the interest rate of the 2000 bonds. The transaction will reduce the debt service the golf course pays each year by about $8,600. These prudent, strategic financial moves to reduce interest costs will have a significant impact on the city’s bottom line.
Clean Audit and Financial Reporting Award In June, the City Council accepted the audit report for the 2009 City of New Hope Comprehensive Annual Financial Report from the accounting firm of Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich, and Co. The audit results were very good – a “clean opinion with no exceptions.” which is the highest opinion an auditor can give. The auditor noted that New Hope made a number of improvements to its internal control systems and accounting procedures in 2009. In April, the city received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The GFOA award is the highest recognition the city can receive in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. New Hope’s has also submitted its 2009 financial report for a GFOA award.
Financial Summary Allocation of Property Taxes 2009 Adopted 2010 Adopted Gross Tax Levy Gross Tax Levy Base Levy General Fund Street Infrastructure Park Infrastructure Bassett Creek Watershed Shingle Creek Watershed Economic Development Authority Special Levy PERA Market Value Homestead Credit/ Local Government Aid Unallotment Debt Service Net Revenue
$6,725,848 1,182,500 296,000 24,517 24,050 85,000
$6,752,834 1,182,500 296,000 22,605 24,186 85,000
Property Tax and State Aid Revenue Property Tax Revenue 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
$5,811,841 7,364,787 8,219,656 8,165,829 8,429,780 8,069,691 8,330,410 8,402,096 8,759,354 8,768,965 9,092,711
Market Value Local HACA Revenue Government Aid $959,227 959,462 256,891 242,642 233,574 220,150 230,208 150,563 305,938 1,021
$1,185,940 1,241,776 1,087,075 650,276 650,276 423,067 582,879 106,466 224,789 423,735 41,843
Total $7,957,008 9,566,025 9,306,731 9,072,996 9,322,698 8,726,332 9,133,439 8,738,770 9,134,706 9,498,638 9,135,575
Financial 2010 General Fund Revenue Sources $7,565,436
Property Taxes Intergovernmental Licenses and Permits Charges for Services Fines and Forfeitures Recreation Fees Other
2010 General Fund Expenditures $5,931,891
General Government Public Safety Public Works Parks and Recreation Miscellaneous
$1,329,315 $904,966 $318,603 $1,667,181
Financial Summary General Fund Operations 2009 Actual
2010 Actual (Unaudited)
$6,865,310 1,298,632 226,303 503,524 236,173 496,389 99,137 215,510 9,940,978
$7,565,436 462,732 210,480 453,250 301,200 514,510 364,677 279,671 10,151,956
$7,458,759 551,688 236,377 499,660 238,961 556,667 288,788 276,967 10,107,867
1,113,998 5,922,453 740,014 1,693,042 42,596 27,001 9,539,104 $401,874
1,329,315 5,931,891 904,966 1,667,181 318,603 0 10,151,956 0
1,310,800 5,782,390 990,825 1,595,390 271,101 0 9,950,506 $157,361
Revenue Taxes Intergovernmental Licenses and Permits Charges for Services Fines and Forfeitures Recreation Fees Other Transfers In Total Revenues
Expenditures General Government Public Safety Public Works Parks and Recreation Miscellaneous Other Total Expenditures Net Revenue