The winner of the "What would you do with $1 million to make St. Paul great?" challenge will be announced on Monday.
Of nearly a thousand ideas submitted, Minnesotans voted on three finalist proposals selected by a group of judges. One proposal is to build studios for young artists on the Mississippi River as part of a Center for Creative Arts. Another proposes a food hub and event center in a vacant building in the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. The third finalist suggests recycling abandoned railroad cars and placing them on public right-of-ways as spaces for artists.
Two of the ideas come from employees of the city of St. Paul. The third finalist is a small business owner.
The winner was decided by the public. The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Idea Open will announce the winner.
"It exceeded our stretch goal," said Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO,of the Saint Paul Foundation. "I think we were hoping for 12,000 votes and we had I think over 16,000 votes were cast for one of the three ideas."
Rhodes said the main purpose of the challenge was to get people involved in improving St. Paul.
The Saint Paul Foundation will spend the fall working to shape a timetable, action plan and budget.