City Council Passes 8-80 Vitality Fund
Road improvement projects, bikeways and Palace Theatre to receive funding
SAINT PAUL – The Saint Paul City Council today voted in favor of Mayor Chris Coleman’s 8-80 Vitality Fund, putting into motion funding for city projects such as street reconstruction, new and improved bicycle infrastructure, Palace Theatre renovations and green space development along the Green Line.
“This is a huge step forward in the revitalization of Saint Paul,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “With this funding, we can make serious investments in the vitality and growth of the city and make significant improvements to our overall infrastructure, making Saint Paul a place for every age, economic status and cultural background.”
Based on the work of internationally-renowned urban designer Gil Penalosa, the 8-80 Vitality Fund focuses on recent investments such as Rebuild Saint Paul and the Green Line, and aims to create city infrastructure, streets and public spaces that function for residents ages 8 to 80.
“This is a huge win for Saint Paul neighborhoods whose roads are in disrepair, and it represents the most significant investment in bike transportation in the city’s history,” said Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen. “Roads are shared space and should be planned for the safety, enjoyment and well-being of all people, and the 8-80 Vitality Fund is furthering that mission for Saint Paul.”
Saint Paul recently retired outstanding bonds for the River Centre, resulting in revenues that can be used to finance $42.5 million in investments to jumpstart key projects across the city. The 8-80 Vitality Fund will be funded by these bonds, and includes:
- $8 million towards reconstructing Jackson Street and completing the first phase of the downtown bike loop;
- $13.2 million toward completing the Grand Round – including road reconstruction and bike pathways along Wheelock Parkway and additional bike pathways along Johnson Parkway and Pelham Boulevard;
- $9.5 million toward 8-80 streets and public spaces;
- $2 million toward adding green space along the Green Line, including Dickerman Park;
- $8 million toward the renovation of the historic Palace Theatre into a live music venue and hotspot in downtown Saint Paul’s Central Business District; and
- $1.8 million for optical fiber infrastructure necessary to support the city government’s network.
“This unique bond fund will spur economic development that will attract residents, employees, businesses and visitors to the city,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of Planning & Economic Development. “The fund includes projects to attract millennials to downtown, families to our great neighborhoods, and development along new, attractive public spaces.”