Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Pavilion project at town hall gets the go-ahead

Jodi Summit
Posted 2/14/16

GREENWOOD TWP- A revised proposal for township funding for the construction of an outdoor pavilion at the Town Hall received unanimous support from the Greenwood Town Board, Tuesday.

The initial …

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Pavilion project at town hall gets the go-ahead


GREENWOOD TWP- A revised proposal for township funding for the construction of an outdoor pavilion at the Town Hall received unanimous support from the Greenwood Town Board, Tuesday.

The initial proposal, from an ad-hoc recreation group headed by Dean Panian, which asked for the township to fund up to $25,000 in costs failed to gain support at their meeting in December.

Panian was back on the agenda in February, with a revised proposal, seeking $10,000 in township funding which would be matched by $15,000 in privately-raised funds.

Once again, a full house was in attendance, with the audience somewhat split on the proposal. While many clearly supported, and had already pledged funding towards the projects, others pointed to the results of the community survey, which showed a majority against expanding recreational facilities at the town hall property.

“This pavilion is about making Greenwood a more friendly, welcoming, and inviting community,” said Panian. “It will complete the recreation area.”

Panian was the guiding force behind the construction of the new bocce ball courts, completed with volunteer labor and a $5,000 contribution for materials from the township.

“The pavilion will look gorgeous,” he said.

The recreation group is planning to send out 2,000 letters seeking donations and input on the project. Panian said if the response from residents is negative, the project would not go forward.

Panian noted they already had pledges for almost $8,000.

“This is about making Greenwood a better place,” he said. “We are the wealthiest township in Minnesota, can’t we afford $10,000 for a pavilion?”

While the new proposal seemed to have more support from the town board, several township residents spoke up against the spending. Questions were raised on the costs for maintenance, liability and insurance,and the fundraising process, along with the negative comments received on the community survey.

“It all comes down to what the survey said,” said Mike Richard. “It said it didn’t want anything more at the town hall, end of story.”

Others noted that the question of the survey was not specific to the pavilion, and the comments might have been directed towards the construction of more tennis courts, for example.

Noreen Butalla, who is on the recreation committee, said that financially the group will be organized as a small-size non-profit, and that donations would be tax-deductible. Once the building is constructed, it would be donated to the township.

The pavilion plans call for a 30 ft. by 40 ft. pavilion with eight picnic tables and a few outdoor barbecues. There would be electricity and lighting. The design would feature low rock-lined walls and a tongue-and-groove interior ceiling. The pavilion would be available for gatherings such as picnics, reunions, weddings, and graduation parties, as well as being used by those playing bocce ball or playing tennis or pickleball on the new court to be constructed this summer.

Panian says the group hopes to raise the money in time to get the building constructed in June. He noted that three area contractors have already volunteered their time for the project.

Survey results

Possible Actions: Expand recreational

facilities at the town hall property

Strongly Agree- 77

Agree- 134

Don’t Know- 255

Disagree- 195

Strongly Disagree- 129

Other recreation related questions to support a non-motorized paved trail, encourage hiking/biking paths, and expand winter recreation trails for skiing/biking all received much stronger support, and lower numbers of those who disagreed/strongly disagreed.


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'No additional recreational facilities at the townhall.' The voters and property owners have spoken. Do they listen to their own survey?? NO! This board and their minions obviously cannot read or comprehend. Please vote for Carmen DeLuca for supervisor and Sue Drobac for clerk. They will work for the people of the township. Not for some mysterious, twisted agenda. Power to the people, not powerful self-interest groups and individuals!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I was at the meeting when the pavilion vote was held. There were restrictions on the 'yes' vote. A letter was to be sent to all who received a comprehensive plan survey. The letter would ask for donations and also pose the question 'Do you approve the building of a pavilion on township property?' As usual, things changed. The letter was not a survey, it was cheerleading for the pavilion. There was a place for comments, and a 'thank you for your support.' Typical smoke and mirrors in Greedwood.

Thursday, March 3, 2016