The Apple Valley City Council last week was expected to award a $6,437 contract to St. Croix Tree Service Inc. to remove 31 ash trees in the city next year.

Three other bids for the work were markedly higher, ranging from $11,500 to $14,450.

The trees that will be cut down will be on city rights of way. They were selected for removal because they were in decline or causing uplifting of sidewalks.

The project is part of the city’s effort to manage ash trees in the face of the emerald ash borer infestation. Apple Valley has about 2,500 ash trees on city rights of way.

The contractor will remove and dispose of each tree, cutting it off within six inches of the ground. The city’s public works division will grind the stumps and restore the boulevard area. The work is expected to be completed by the end of February 2014.

The item was on the council’s consent agenda last Thursday but undecided before the deadline for this section.

DAKOTA COUNTY

Art sought for ‘Heroes’ kids’ exhibit

Kids in grades 6 through 8 who live in Dakota County are invited to create an original work of art that explores the theme “Heroes of Today” and submit it for consideration in a new exhibit sponsored by the Dakota County Public Art Citizen Advisory Committee.

“Heroes of Today” is the fourth open exhibition of work by local artists sponsored by the public art committee. It will run February to August at the Dakota County Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Av, Apple Valley.

Artists must live in Dakota County, and their artwork should be ready for hanging. Entries are limited to one per person. Digital images of submissions may be e-mailed to jean.erickson@co.dakota.mn.us or mailed to Jean Erickson at Dakota County Public Services & Revenue Division, 1590 Hwy. 55, Hastings, MN 55033, by the deadline of Monday, Jan. 7.

For a complete list of criteria for the “Heroes of Today” exhibit or to access a submission form, visit www.dakotacounty.us and search art exhibit. For more information, call 651-438-4286.

EAGAN

City wants feedback on cable services

As part of Eagan’s cable franchise renewal process, the city is asking for feedback from cable and non-cable subscribers on the quality of cable products and services, local television programming and how people get information about the community.

Comcast is seeking to renew its franchise that expires in January 2015. The city wants to document the public’s expectations to help it negotiate new or better standards into any cable franchise.

The city is asking residents, businesses, teachers, and representatives of churches and other organizations to take a brief survey at www.cityofeagan.com/morethancable. It’s hoping to have 1,000 responses by Dec. 19.

Participants will be entered into a drawing for a thank-you gift — a $200 “Family Fun Gift Pack” to Eagan locations including Cascade Bay, the Eagan Community Center and the Civic Arena. Respondents need to submit their names and e-mails on the last screen of the survey to be eligible to win.

Local groups get $30,000 in grants

The Eagan Rotary Club awarded $30,000 in grants to 27 local nonprofits at the end of November.

This year’s award recipients included: 360 Communities, Black Hawk Middle School, Boy Scout Troop 510, Caponi Art Park, Cheerful Givers, DARTS, the Eagan Art Festival, Eagan Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Eagan Citizen’s Crime Prevention Association, Eagan July 4th Funfest, Eagan Men’s Chorus, Eagan Resource Center, Eagan High School FIRST Robotics Team, Glacier Hills Elementary School, The Guild, Inver Hills Community College, Kids N Kinship, Lifeworks, Lincoln Place, ProAct and the Eagan YMCA.

Grant recipients were chosen from a variety of education, social service, youth, arts and civic focused 501(c)(3)-designated organizations. In order to be considered for a grant, applicants needed to demonstrate that their program or project served the Eagan community exclusively or to a significant extent.

“Our club is focused on making a difference, on making Eagan an even better place,” said Quinn Hutson, chairman of the club’s Community Service Committee. “We’re proud to be able to help so many Eagan-serving organizations with an important source of project and program funding.”

LAURIE BLAKE, SUSAN FEYDER and DYLAN BELDEN