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MN gets to vote on best of 3 ways to spend $1M in St. Paul

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The Minnesota Idea Open and the St. Paul Foundation announced three finalists Tuesday in the Forever St. Paul Challenge, a contest launched last winter to find and finance the best idea to improve the city.

Why does St. Paul get all the fun? Well, it is the capital city, after all.

Here are the finalists, according to the Star Tribune:

St. Paul Art Train, submitted by Craig Blakely, which would convert unused rail cars into rentable studios for artists and creative businesses.

* St. Paul Center for Creative Arts, submitted by Jack Ray, a hub for youth to learn and practice creative disciplines and use them for the good of the community.

* Urban Oasis, submitted by Tracy Sides, which would remake part of the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary into a unique food hub.

As the Pioneer Press reports, The St. Paul Foundation launched the contest back in February - with a bid to use funds left over from a bipartisan effort that lured the 2008 Republican National Convention to the Twin Cities. In partnership with Minnesota Idea Open, the foundation received 960 submissions, which were winnowed down to 30 and now three.

When the State Fair begins Aug. 22, the foundation will open a booth near the Space Tower to accept more votes, the Pioneer Press reported earlier.

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