|Address||725 - 73rd Avenue NE|
|Current Status||Implementation Planning|
|Park Type||Neighborhood Park|
|Special Use||Hockey Rink/Specialty Basketball Court|
One of the larger neighborhood parks in a highly visible location along the frontage road to 73rd Ave that services neighborhood #5 and potential to better service neighborhoods #6, #7 and #9 with improved pedestrian connectivity. The park has a broad range of amenities that includes an off-street parking lot, hockey rink, pleasure rink, single tennis court, specialty basketball court, playground and open lawn that was once a ballfield. The site has areas with drainage issues.
General recommendations include redevelopment of the site with a focus on expanding on the recreation to accommodate the large service area and to improve the recreational experience for a broader range of users.
- Landscape enhancements to include an edible orchard
- Multi-use lawn field space
- Improved parking lot, potentially moved with expanded capacity
- New playground meeting varying age groups with unique elements and connected seating plaza with shade structures
- ADA compliant playground surfacing (engineered wood fiber) with rubber surfacing or tiles in high wear areas
- Concrete playground border
- New park trails with internal loops and improved connection to external trails with crosswalks
- Exercise or challenge pieces along trails
- Park pavilion building with wifi, restrooms, open air picnic area, and potentially an internal meeting room
- Paved hockey rink for multi-season use including basketball overlay
- Ballfield improvements
- Site furnishings with common characteristic (benches, tables, receptacles, bike racks, drinking fountain, etc.)
- Reconstructed tennis court
- Wayfinding signs
- Stormwater improvements
- Security light
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.