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Got An Idea To Improve St. Paul? Could Be Worth $1 Million

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — If you had $1 million, what would you do to improve St. Paul?

That’s a reality, thanks to money left over from the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Some of the surplus money from the host committee was donated to the St. Paul Foundation, and it’s using $1 million of it to sponsor the Minnesota Idea Project and focusing on St. Paul.

A team of volunteers led by local artist Ta-Coumba Aiken is putting together a 500,000 piece Lite-Brite, hoping to set a world record and shed light on a big competition.

“We’re looking for big, bright ideas,” said Forever St. Paul project manager Laura Mylan. “And we want to welcome everyone into that process to submit ideas. And so we have a really big Lite-Brite.”

Not to mention big bucks.

“We really want to inspire people who care about St. Paul, whether they live here or they just love the capitol city, to think of what would make it stronger,” said Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of the sponsoring Minnesota Community Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation.

It could be anything, as long as it has lasting value, and makes a difference in the community.

“What does a third grader think?” she said. “What does a janitor think? What does a professional developer think? What do business types think? All of those folks can suggest their ideas.”

It could be as bold as a year-round crashed ice track, or as basic as promoting business.

The Forever St. Paul challenge will start accepting ideas next Wednesday. But the website has already information posted.

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