The St. Paul Park City Council adopted the proposed 2008 budget and tax levy increase of approximately 8 percent at a special meeting last week. The roughly $1.42 million levy would represent a $14 increase in taxes paid to the city for the average home -- valued somewhere between $180,000 and $200,000 city administrator Barry Sittlow said. But like neighboring Newport and Cottage Grove, not everyone will see their city taxes rise, Sittlow said.
Cottage Grove City Council members authorized officials at its Sept. 5 meeting to enter into a 20-year lease agreement with the Cottage Grove Athletic Association for use of the municipal ice arena. The agreement is another funding mechanism for the expansion of the facility that will add a second full-size rink. Under the lease, the City agrees to rent a minimum of 2,000 hours of ice time during each "ice season" -- which runs from the beginning of September through the end of March -- beginning in September 2008.
Two weeks after a group of Cottage Grove residents told the City Council they felt "violated" by an agressive dog, city Director of Public Safety Craig Woolery will report to council members that the city needs to toughen its laws regarding potentially dangerous and aggressive canines. Hallmark Avenue resident Mark Craig described how in late-August he, his wife and young daughter were attacked by a nearby homeowner's pit bull at the council's Sept. 5 meeting.
Drivers are facing slowdowns beginning this week on north and southbound Highway 61 due to a median barrier installation project that's causing lane closures. The project is closing the left lane in both directions between Highway 10 and the Mississippi River Sept. 17 while Mn/DOT performs median work that is expected to be complete by the week of Oct. 12.
The I-35W bridge fell in a flash Aug. 1; the lights, the cameras and reporters came in soon after. And then, nearly as quickly, they left. MSNBC, CNN, FOX News -- here and gone. But Bill Wagner's still around.
Newport Police Officer Allan Olson and St. Paul Park Officer Rick Redenius were awarded Lifesaving Commendations at last week's Newport City Council meeting for their role in preventing an attempted suicide. Olson and Redenius last month prevented a suicidal man from leaping off the Glen Road overpass onto heavily traveled Highway 61 below. "(Officer Olson) was talking to him, trying to dissuade him from jumping," said Newport Police Chief Veid Muiznieks.
A majority of Cottage Grove homeowners will see the tax dollars they pay to the city drop in 2008 under the initial tax levy and preliminary operating budget approved by the City Council at its Sept. 5 meeting. The $12.2 million preliminary levy adopted by the council is a 3.1 percent increase over 2007 -- but it's a smaller hike than the previous year, which saw a 7 percent increase from 2006. The city is required to adopt a preliminary levy each year before Sept. 15.
Disagreement among City Council members about a proposed development anchored by Wal-Mart at the Cottage View Drive-In site will make getting a needed zoning change difficult for the developer. Before the development -- a "lifestyle center" that would also contain restaurants, an electronics store, a fitness center, a bookstore and a department store -- could occur the city must rezone part of the site, approve extensions of utilities and improve adjacent roadways, including Keats Avenue and East Point Douglas Road.
A summertime staple since 1966, the Cottage View Drive-In may be approaching its closing scene. PariPassu Companies, the development firm that holds options to purchase roughly 90 acres of the 94-acre Cottage View site, presented a concept plan to City Council members at a workshop Wednesday night, detailing a retail development that would include discount-giant Wal-Mart's first foray into Cottage Grove. The preliminary concept plan for the potential development features a 193,000 square-foot Wal-Mart anchoring the retail area, along with a 93,000 square-foot department store and a number of
Greg and Willie Tennis can't quite remember the last time Tennis Sanitation hiked its monthly rate for weekly trash pick-up -- "probably 15 years," Willie guesses. But a $1 monthly increase in their customers' bills isn't through fault of their own, the brothers said. And it's tricky business finding out on whose shoulders the responsibility rests. How political can your garbage be?