A proposal to build a 37-room boutique hotel on a historic block in downtown Stillwater has been tabled until City Council members have a chance to see the property for themselves.

Stillwater Caves, LLC, is seeking $1.15 million in tax-increment financing from the city to redevelop the Joseph Wolf Block. The location, at the south end of Main Street, is known for its brewery heritage and proximity to Stillwater's towering outdoor staircase.

The company wants to include a restaurant seating 60 to 80 customers and as much as 4,000 square feet of retail space.

The request for advance funding to improve stability of the buildings drew a mixed response from the City Council, although members acknowledged the project meets the city's goal of preserving historically significant structures.

Abbi Wittman, the city planner, said no date has been set to revisit the proposal.


Aging playground equipment donated

The Woodbury City Council has agreed to donate aging playground equipment from Victoria Park to Kids Around the World, a nonprofit that installs used playgrounds in impoverished communities around the world.

A new $45,000 playground will be installed in early October, officials said. The council approved the proposal to donate the old equipment at its Sept. 25 meeting.

In a letter to council members, City Administrator Clinton Gridley wrote the action would be mutually beneficial, providing "less fortunate children in overseas countries" with a place to play and saving the city the cost of having to dispose of the old playground.

The playground will be dismantled and sent to the organization's Rockford, Ill., headquarters, where it will be refurbished before being shipped overseas.

Soccer Day draws team, city officials

Woodbury Community Soccer Day will be celebrated at on Tuesday, Oct. 1 when the Woodbury and East Ridge high school boys and girls soccer teams play starting at 5 p.m. at the Woodbury High School soccer field, 2665 Woodlane Dr.,Woodbury.

Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens will be on hand, joined by Nick Rogers, president of Minnesota United FC. The professional soccer team based in Blaine recently reached a deal with the city to build a practice facility at the Bielenberg Sports Center in Woodbury.

Woodbury Community Soccer Day was started as a way of recognizing the large number of youth who play soccer in the community. It is an opportunity for Woodbury Area players from all clubs to celebrate youth soccer and proudly wear their team colors. Players who wear their respective team uniforms to the games will get into the game for free.


Volunteers needed for raking yards

Community Thread is organizing its 16th Annual Rake A Difference Day, an initiative that matches seniors and people with disabilities in Washington County with volunteer groups that can assist with raking their yard.

The agency now is accepting applications from people wanting volunteer assistance and registration forms from interested volunteers.

Anyone wishing to receive an application can call Community Thread at 651-439-7434 or visit www.communitythreadmn.org. Volunteer groups will rake yards on or near the national date of Make A Difference Day, which falls on Oct. 26.

Last year, Community Thread organized more than 600 volunteers to rake yards for nearly 90 people.

St. Paul Park

Council candidates square off at forum

Candidates for the St. Paul Park City Council will face off at a forum on Oct. 22 at St. Paul Park City Hall, 600 Portland Av.

The forum — which will include incumbents Jeff Swenson and Sandi Dingle as well as challengers Nathan Kotfis and Darrin Smith — will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Both forums will be hosted by the League of Women Voters and televised by the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission on cable channel 18.


Firefighters plan annual open house

Want to ride a firetruck? The Hugo Fire Department's annual open house will be held Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fire Hall, 5323 140th St. N.

The event will include prizes for children, a bounce house, a bake sale, fire extinguisher demonstrations, hot dogs and sign-ups for CPR/AED classes. The event is being held in observation of Fire Prevention Week.

Cottage Grove

Building torn down for Goodwill

The former Coldwell Banker Burnet building in Cottage Grove was demolished earlier this month to make way for a 19,400-square-foot Goodwill store at the site.

The new secondhand store is expected to open sometime next spring on the northeast corner of 80th Street and Hardwood Avenue.

City officials said they hope the project will spark further development in the area. Other improvements will include a new sidewalk along Hardwood Court and enhanced landscaping.

Library seeks help for used book sale

The Park Grove Branch of the Washington County Library, 7900 Hemingway Av. S. in Cottage Grove, is asking for volunteers to help with a used-book sale from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5.

Workers are needed to help with the setup and cleanup of the sale room and to assist customers. To volunteer, call 651-459-2040 or sign up at Park Grove Library.

Donations for the sale, such as books, CDs and DVDs, will be accepted at Park Grove Library. Bring donated items, in good condition, to the information desk. No textbooks or magazines, but gently used children's materials will be accepted.

Find library hours at www.co.washington.mn.us/library or call the library hours line at 651-275-8525.

Kevin Giles,

Libor Jany