Most residents of the City of St. Paul pay a special assessment when sidewalks are added or renovated in front of their homes. But, one exception to this is the members of Town & Country Club, where they threaten to sue for being treated the same and everyone else. Instead, they managed to get the city to pay for what everyone else in the city normally pays for. So, if you live in St. Paul, make sure to yell during golfer’s backswings to let them know how pleased you are footing the bill for a sidewalk along their property.
Here’s a summary of the story from the TC Sidewalks, who summarizes the Highland Villager’s coverage (but doesn’t publish online).
Title: City, club find middle ground on Marshall Avenue sidewalk; St. Paul agrees to pay all construction costs
Author: Jane McClure
Not-so-short version: A [surprisingly slanted] above-the-fold bit which views it a “middle ground” compromise that the wealthy lawyers who golf at the Town and Country threatened a lawsuit and forced city taxpayers to foot 100% of the bill for completing [at long last] the unfinished sidewalk along Marshall. The piece cites the T&C folks prominently, and buries Councilmember Stark’s epistolary defense of the sidewalk: “People walking from the east of Town and Country Club ‘need to cross busy Marshall Avenue twice in order to cross the bridge or go north on Mississippi River Blvd. … A street that inconveniences the pedestrians as compared to the motorist or cyclist, is not a street designed to encourage walking. In my mind, and in the estimation of the many community members who conceived and worked to implement this project, this public good outweighs the loss of the crab apple trees and the addition of a modest amount of concrete'”. [Seems sensible to me? For years, I’ve wondered why there was no place to walk there. Plus, cyclists don’t exactly have it easy. There’s no bike lane on what is a very central route over the Marshall Avenue bridge. -Ed.]