Silent siren? Cue cattle

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Danielle Cabot
Review Staff

Long Cheng-Livestock and Meat Processing Market leads a quiet existence at their South St. Paul Hardman Avenue location, with the exception of squawks and occasional lows from animals awaiting their fate. Now, through a gift to the city of South St. Paul, the company will ensure an even bigger sound is made every time dangerous weather is afoot.

The owners of Long Cheng made a donation of $40,000 to the city - no poultry, umm, paltry sum - which was accepted July 6.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Dan Vujovich has been debating just what to do with an emergency siren in Kaposia Park that failed to make a ruckus during testing in June. The sirens are used to warn of tornado or sever storm conditions.

Replacing the siren will cost $19,421 the city had not anticipated needing - in an already squeaky-tight budget year.

The City Council has decided to use a portion of the donation to pay for a new Kaposia Park siren.

The owners of Long Cheng are averse to making a big deal about the gift, according to City Engineer John Sachi, who has worked with the business on site upgrades. Sachi said the individuals have asked specifically not to have their names listed in connection with the gift.

"He feels this is his civic obligation to do," said Sachi.

A representative of the Hmong American Partnership said civic donations are not necessarily a part of Hmong culture, though the Hmong are often very supportive of their churches.

This won't be the first time the business has contributed to the city. For the past five years or so, the company has been writing checks of $15,000 to $20,000 a year, usually in November or December. Last year they did not make a donation, which could explain the hefty sum this year.

The money goes into a special donation fund to be used for projects that wouldn't otherwise have funding. The Simon's Ravine Trailhead monument on Concord Street, in addition to other trail improvements, have been at least partially funded by the contributions.

"We really appreciate their support. They come through every year," said Mayor Beth Baumann.

Danielle Cabot can be reached at or 651-748-7815


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