Rettman Ramsey Report Nov/Dec 97: Maxson Steel/Dale

MAXSON STEEL/DALE STREET SHOPS REDEVELOPMENT

"Brownfields:…contaminated industrial property that was most likely the home of a thriving employment center." Well, Maxson Steel is no longer that thriving employment center: IT’S a "brownfield." Three million dollars in grant funds have been awarded to the St. Paul Port Authority and is designated to partially clean up the site. It will cost roughly 20 to 30 million dollars to completely clean up the site and redevelop it. Within 3 years it may once again be a "thriving employment center;" and more according to the task force made up of District 6, District 7, Frogtown Action Alliance and North End Area Revitalization: It seems simple enough: bring together the "stakeholders"; set a timetable for cleanup; create living wage jobs for neighborhood residents; and, revitalize the neighborhood by making the site design "...both urban in character and respectful of the area’s ecosystem."

County Commissioner Janice Rettman, along with Councilmembers Jerry Blakey and Joe Collins, brought together those interested parties at a community meeting on October 2nd so that all could share their information and concerns. The Frogtown Times reported that the meeting was overrun "with people that said they already had businesses and jobs at the Maxson Steel site, and didn’t want to be redeveloped out of them." Commissioner Rettman remains focused: Brownfields are polluted land and must be cleaned up; some existing businesses will remain with good paying jobs, the "Welfare to Work" program and unions must expand their outreach to include apprentices, and to think of this potentially revitalization area as one that needs a resource hub like now!

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