Ed Wilmes Park
|Address||150 - 64 1/2 Way NE|
|Start Date||Summer 2023|
|End Date||Fall 2023|
|Current Status||Implementation Planning|
|Park Type||Mini Park|
Residents recently had the opportunity to help decide the specific pieces of playground equipment at the park. Feedback was collected online via survey and at an in-park community meeting on Tuesday, August 16. Attendees voted on different playground designs and discussed additional ideas for the park.
The feedback collected will help decide what equipment to order for construction in 2023.
General recommendations include redevelopment with some minor layout modifications and replace existing amenities as needs dictate.
- Replace playground equipment as necessary with modified container
- ADA compliant playground surfacing (engineered wood fiber)
- Concrete playground border
- New concrete walks
- Potentially add a half basketball court with smaller court overlays (hopscotch, four-square, etc.)
- Small arbor or picnic shelter with two tables and and outlet
- Site furnishings with common characteristics (benches, tables, receptacles, bike racks, etc.)
- Optional ornamental planting area with signage identifying the parks name
- Potential water management area
- Security light
Construction is set to begin in 2023.
Beginning in 2019, the City undertook a comprehensive public engagement process through a variety of methods, allowing for a better understanding of current views, desires and trends related to parks, trails and recreation.
Engagement methods included:
- Online outreach through Social PinPoint and Polco platforms
- Four-part in-person visioning series conducted by the Twin Cities LISC's Corridor Development Initiative
- Targeted outreach to specific project stakeholders including Fridley athletic associations, senior center and Fridley ISD 13
- Gathered feedback through an interactive, GIS-based story map project website
- Targeted community outreach through pop-up events
- Community survey conducted by The Morris Leatherman Company
An in-park community meeting was held on Tuesday, August 16 to allow residents to vote on playground equipment and discuss the project with City staff. Residents who could not make it to the meeting had the opportunity to give feedback via an online survey. The feedback will help decide what equipment to order for construction in 2023.
A total of $50 million in possible park system improvements were identified in the Park Plan. Based on resident input, Fridley City Council directed staff to work with a Park Plan Refinement Task Force advisory group to recommend $30 million in park projects that would be most impactful to the community.
Further, a resident Finance Task Force recommended funding the park system improvement plan by issuing General Obligation (GO) Tax Abatement Bonds for $20 million in bond proceeds, being repaid over no more than 15 years, with an additional $10 million to come from other City of Fridley funds.
Tax abatement is a tool that can be used by cities to abate all or a portion of property taxes levied by the City for a given purpose, such as public infrastructure improvements. All taxpayers, whether identified as an abated parcel or not, will continue to pay property taxes as they normally would. Minnesota Statute 469.1813 gives cities authority for tax abatement, and this has become an increasingly common means of funding park improvements, as they provide benefit to all residents. A requirement is holding a public hearing for the consideration of tax abatement, and that was held on May 23, 2022.The bonds will be repaid over 15 years with annual debt service payments being levied for and it is likely there will be an increase in property taxes beginning in 2023.
This plan will provide many opportunities for expanded recreation programming, enjoyment of nature and social gatherings. Enhancing and modernizing the city park system will position Fridley as a great place to live, work and play now and for many years to come.