Ruth Circle Park
|Address||8160 Ashton Avenue NE|
|Current Status||Implementation Planning|
|Park Type||Neighborhood Park|
|Special Use||Hockey Rink with Warming House|
Neighborhood park servicing neighborhood #3 that includes an underserved population. The park contains a broad range of amenities including a playground, basketball court, hockey rink and pleasure skating area, warming house, and open lawn. The site has on-street parking only.
General recommendations includes full redevelopment with some modifications to the layout to make the most of the park land available for an improved recreational experience.
- Landscape enhancements
- Low-grow lawn in select locations
- Replace playground equipment meeting broader range of challenge levels and age groups
- ADA compliant playground surfacing (engineered wood fiber)
- Concrete playground border
- Improve basketball half court
- Optional: paved rink for multi-season use (remove existing half court with this option)
- New picnic shelter with 4-6 tables and permanent restrooms
- Optional: include an indoor room for rentals and warming house
- Site furnishings with common characteristic (benches, tables, receptacles, bike racks, drinking fountain, etc.)
- Loop trail system and added walk connections for improved accessibility
- Optional: four parallel parking stalls along building for improved accessibility
- 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.