Redevelopment of the former Macy’s building in downtown St. Paul won $11 million in public funding Wednesday, when the City Council approved a tax-increment financing district for the site.
The funding was supported by the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Wild, which plans to build a 500-seat domed hockey practice facility on the roof of the five-story building on Wabasha Street.
The St. Paul Port Authority, which bought the building from Macy’s last year, named Oppidan Investment Co. in September to be the project’s master developer. Renovation will cost an estimated $50 million to $60 million.
Lorrie Louder, senior vice president for the authority, said the project would create 100 to 150 permanent jobs and at least 400 construction jobs. The development would include office and retail space, including a new Walgreens store, as well as brewpubs and an event center.
The lone dissenter, Council President Russ Stark, said he believed downtown’s momentum would create even better opportunities for the site in the future. He said he disagreed with using TIF for retail businesses, which don’t always pay living wages.
Police, firefighters save life with naloxone
Eden Prairie police and firefighters are the latest Twin Cities law enforcement agencies to use naloxone to temporarily counteract a potentially lethal heroin overdose, saving one person’s life with it recently.
The city trained police and firefighters on the drug this fall and officers now carry naloxone in squad cars. In the past month, there have been three heroin overdoses in Eden Prairie, the city said, with two of the three young adults dying. Across Hennepin County, there have been 38 heroin-related deaths so far this year through October. Last year, there were 51 deaths and in 2013, there were 56 deaths — the highest number on record.
Last year, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office became the first law enforcement agency in Minnesota to carry the drug, which can also temporarily counteract a potentially lethal prescription painkiller overdose. It followed a new state law that allowed first responders and law enforcement officers to administer the prescription drug Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone.
Electronic crimes unit gets U innovation award
An electronic crimes task force formed last year in Dakota County will receive a local government innovation award next month at the University of Minnesota.
The university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs announced this week that it will honor the Dakota County Electronic Crimes Unit at a ceremony on Dec. 10. The unit, which covers eight cities, was created last year with funding from each of its partner cities and includes investigators from police departments in Apple Valley and Burnsville, and from the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Tim Leslie said the task force was created in anticipation of a worsening spate of cybercrime. He noted the rise of peer-to-peer sharing of child pornography, identity theft and financial crime. Using federal grant money, the unit also funds a position to help investigate electronic evidence in domestic abuse cases.
Waste processing rates scheduled to increase
Dakota County residents and businesses may soon have to pay more to get rid of their garbage.
Each year, about 50,000 tons of waste in Dakota County end up at Resource Recovery Technologies, a refuse-derived fuel facility in Newport. The facility processes the waste and sends it to a Mankato power plant, where it’s burned to produce electricity.
Washington and Ramsey counties recently bought the Newport facility and will be able to send waste there at a discounted rate. But for Dakota County and other public entities required by state law to deliver waste to resource recovery facilities, rates will go up.