Oak Hill Park
|Address||5391 7th Street NE|
|Current Status||Implementation Planning|
|Park Type||Mini Park|
Mini park with a playground and picnic areas set on a hill of mature oak trees and servicing neighborhoods #37 and #36 in conjunction with Jubilee Park, which currently has redundant amenities. Due to the traffic on 7th Street, there is a chain-link fence along the park boundary.
General recommendations include redevelopment with some minor layout modifications for an improved recreational experience to be complementary to Jubilee Park.
- Landscape enhancements, potentially naturalize groundcover among the oaks
- New playground equipment potentially with a natural theme to blend with surroundings
- ADA compliant playground surfacing (engineered wood fiber)
- Concrete playground border
- New realigned concrete walks to potentially remove retaining wall and to meet ADA guidelines (match up to proposed crosswalk locations)
- New seating and picnic areas
- Site furnishings with common characteristic (benches, tables, receptacles, bike racks, drinking fountain, etc.)
- New ornamental or black vinyl clad chain link fencing
- Wayfinding signs
- 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.