City gets $75,000 in grants from Dakota County
The city of Rosemount received two grants from the Dakota County Development Agency that add up to $75,000.
The CDA Board of Commissioners granted the city $65,000 through the Redevelopment Incentive Program, which encourages community revitalization. The CDA also granted the city $10,000 through a redevelopment planning grant.
Redevelopment Incentive Grant
The bigger grant will assist with costs to demolish five houses bought by the city over the last year on Cameo Avenue. The houses border the new Robert Trail Library and License Center and the old St. Joseph's Church properties, which the city plans to turn into an arts and cultural center.
The houses will be demolished to provide a buffer zone between the public buildings and the residential neighborhood, said senior planner Eric Zweber. It will also open the space up for other opportunities such as an additional access and landscaping.
"We realized that there would be a large impact to those five homes," Zweber said. "It will make those facilities more pleasant."
The five houses are from 14300 to 14350 Cameo Avenue. Zweber said the city bargained with the owners of those homes.
Zweber said the houses on the properties will be inspected to see if they could be moved. Otherwise the house will be demolished and the land graded. There is no timeline yet for work to begin on the properties.
To receive the grant the city had to spend $2 for every $1 the county granted. However, the money spent to purchase the land counted towards that stipulation, so Zweber said the grant should cover the cost to remove the homes from the properties.
Redevelopment Planning Grant
The smaller of the two grants will be spent to develop several scenarios to improve Central Park. Zweber said the city would like to improve the parks frontage along 145th and the access to the park.
Zweber said as the downtown area attracts more residential dwellings the park will play a more important role as a neighborhood park. In addition, he said, the park has significance to the city as a whole because it hosts community events such as Leprechaun Days..
Four scenarios will be created for the park, Zweber said. Some of those scenarios will include the possible acquisitions of Polfus Implement and BP Amoco.
He emphasized that the grant only allows for plans and that the city does not intend to make offers on either property anytime in the near future. He added that both property owners are aware of the city's planning.
The city has received a number of grants this year for downtown improvements including a $1.5 million grant from the Metropolitan Council that will support redevelopment efforts to the city's coming Town Centre project.
Stonebridge Developers plans to start construction soon on the three story multi-use building that will have 13,000 sq. ft of commercial space on ground level and more than 100 apartments on the floors above. The grant will assist with infrastructure improvements needed for the project.
While the city has tried in the past for grants, Zweber said it has had more success lately because of the city's Development Framework for Downtown Rosemount document.
He said entities such as the Met Council and the CDA are more likely to give grants when cities have a larger vision for community improvements. The projects the city has received grants for have all been in the framework document.
"That planning document has been really helpful in getting these grants," Zweber said.