By Nicole Brodzik
At the May 23 council meeting, the Mound City Council approved a pair of modifications for the redevelopment plan for the Mound Harbor Project Area and establishment of the Harrison Bay Senior Housing TIF District, as well as a loan for certain costs tied to that project.
There was some discussion on the size of the loan, with the council agreeing on an inter fund loan of up to $10,000, with a four percent interest rate, from the general fund to help the Mound Housing and Redevelopment Association with necessary costs.
Trident LLC is the developer for the Harrison Bay Senior Living Development, a project that has been in the works in Mound for many months. Harrison Bay Senior Living would include 72 units, 20 of which would be designated for memory care. The smaller unit sizes would be made up of large group spaces such as a dining center, pub, lounges and activity areas for resident use. In previous meetings, Trident representative Roger Fink said that, in these kinds of senior communities, they encourage community living, drawing a contrast with more standard apartment complexes, in which people are limited to the space in their individual units. There would also be 15 units set aside for lower income individuals and families, who make less than 50 percent of the median income in the Mound area.
Public hearings were held for both motions, though there were no members of the public there to speak.
The council had little to add to the discussion and voted unanimously to approve both the establishment of the new Harrison Bay Senior Housing TIF District and the inter fund loan for that same project.
Before exiting the meeting, Fink thanked the council for their help with the project.
“We just really want to thank you for supporting this project in this very significant way,” Fink said. “We want to thank the staff for making this a smooth transition.”
Later in the meeting, City Manager Eric Hoversten discussed a budget amendment for tennis court replacement at Swenson Park. The proposal would turn the dual tennis courts into a multi-use space to combine a tennis and basketball court in the reconstruction, as well as adding field space for sports such as soccer or lacrosse.
Currently, Swenson Park is being used as a holding space by the Metropolitan Council as a storage space for construction and sewer project materials.
Multiple councilmembers expressed concerns over whether or not the single tennis court would be enough space. Councilmember Ray Salazar also expressed concern over whether people were asked if this would work and how the Parks Commission decided to approve this.
“I hate to point fingers, but they just pulled the trigger and gave it a green light,” Salazar said. “It’s too bad we didn’t reach out in the last six months to see what the residents want. We don’t want to reconstruct this two years from now.”
Jennifer Peterson said she agrees that the city should put the courts back the way they are, meaning two tennis courts and a separate basketball court.
“Although it’s more money, and we’re all very conservative here and don’t want to spend more money if we don’t have to, I think that’s where we should go,” Salazar said.
Hoversten said he had no issues with the new proposal, but that staff’s presentation was an attempt to keep the costs down.
“From a budget perspective, it’s more generous than I expected,” Hoversten said. “I don’t argue with the logic at all. If the council sees the best answer is for same and similar replacement, that’s certainly acceptable by staff.”
Salazar made a new motion for a $160,000 budget amendment, with $20,000 of that coming from the 2017 Park Capital Budget and $140,000 coming from the general reserve fund. The council voted unanimously to approve that motion.
The next Mound City Council meeting is on Tuesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in the Mound Centennial Building.