As the old saying goes: “In Minnesota we have two seasons: Winter and Road construction!” With the late, heavy snows in April, it seems this is definitely true! My hope is that all the potholes will soon be filled as well! Some two years ago, the City of St. Cloud informed us that they were going to do some major road construction around the Church of St. Peter and the surrounding neighborhoods and that each household or property would be assessed a specific dollar amount.
This said, some of you might have already noticed that at St. Peter, some serious plans for road construction are already taking place. If you’ve driven by, you will see the construction signs set up, not to mention all the spray paint on sidewalks, pavement, and lawns marking gas lines, water and sewer as well. Currently they are taking out some of the sidewalks. The City of St. Cloud will be undergoing the second phase of its street improvements in our neighborhood. Last year, if you recall, 9th Street (the south side of St. Peter’s parish property) was torn up for most of the summer and only finished this past October. This street improvement assessment cost St. Peter was approx. $59,000 which we took out of some investment funds. This next phase will be much more costly and more substantial as the remaining three sides of our church grounds will be torn up. This would include 30th Ave to our East, 31st Ave., 10th St. to our North. The estimated cost for our parish will be about $250,000 dollars. Our Finance Committee is currently looking into ways that we may finance this. Remember that St. Paul had to go through a similar street improvement some six years ago.
What this means is that it will be a very busy mess around St. Peter with deep holes being dug and the heavy machinery being used in and around the neighborhood all Summer. Because of this I, your pastor, have decided that for the summer of 2019, all funerals will need to take place at our sister parish, the Church of St. Paul. It would be simply unreasonable to ask the road crews to stop all digging each time we have a funeral, not mention no room for the funeral procession to park. I am also considering all weekday Masses to be shifted to St. Paul as well for the summer. Chances are with all the heavy machinery and limited places to park, it may be actually too dangerous to park, walk, or navigate. I am still not sure about this right for now, but am seriously considering this. No matter what final decisions are made, we can certainly do this and share, although it may not be ideal for some! Regarding our Saturday and Sunday Liturgies, last year the construction companies were very good about filling in the trenches and packing down the streets during the weekends, so I don’t anticipate any problems here. At this time, we will continue to plan on having our weekend Masses at St. Peter’s unless something unexpected comes up.
Yes, soon we will be in the middle of Road Construction Season, yet when it’s all done our new streets will be beautiful and will be a great improvement for us! In meantime I encourage everyone to be prayerful and patience with the process!