Mar 11, 2024 - News

6 takeaways from St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter's State of "Our" City address

A sign on the exterior of a building in faded art deco style says "City Hall Annex." A downtown skyline stretches upward in the background.

Downtown St. Paul's City Hall Annex. Photo: Kyle Stokes/Axios

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter delivered the State of "Our" City Address on Monday. Here are five things you should know:

1. 🏒 St. Paul may close its City Hall Annex, convert the building into apartments, and scatter its workers into leased office spaces downtown.

2. πŸͺ™ Sales tax medallions: St. Paul will install medallions marking every road or parks project funded by the city's newly-approved sales tax increase, which Carter is branding the "Common Cent."

  • Carter likened the medals to the markers for projects built by the New Deal's Works Progress Administration.
A screen with a circular logo reading "Common Cent: Saint Paul, 2024" displayed next to a politician's podium where a Black man in a business suit stands in front of a teleprompter.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter debuts the "Common Cent" medallion, which will appear on projects funded by the city's newly-approved sales tax increase. Photo: Kyle Stokes/Axios

3. 🏟️ Xcel Energy Center: St. Paul plans to ask the state Legislature for $2 million in planning money to renovate the city-owned arena. Carter said the building has good bones, but is still a pre-9/11 building that needs to be modernized.

  • Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, whose team is the X's chief tenant, was on-hand for the speech.

4. 🀝 Hiring local: The mayor wants to double the number of St. Paul residents working for the city.

  • Carter told reporters that eliminating college degree requirements, hiring more youth workers, and maybe introducing an interview requirement for St. Paul residents are all steps toward this goal.

5. 🏘️ Housing reset: Merging several siloed conversations about housing issues, from homelessness to new construction to first-time homebuyer programs is also a top priority.

6. 🌳 Ash trees: This year, St. Paul will wrap up a 15-year effort to cut down all trees compromised by the the emerald ash borer on city-controlled property. Now, the focus shifts to programs for removing affected trees from private property.

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