Det. Sgt. Randy McAlister, Cottage Grove Department of Public Safety, will speak on "Workplace Violence Prevention" at a Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce business luncheon this week. The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Mississippi Dunes Golf Links, 10351 Grey Cloud Trail S., Cottage Grove.
The cost is $15 for chamber members and $18 for nonmembers, and reservations can be made at www.cottagegrovechamber.org via the Calendar tab.
Sgt. McAlister will discuss the 2011 ANSI/SHRM/ASIS (American National Standards Institute/Society for Human Resource Management/American Society for Industrial Security) national standard for workplace violence prevention and its implications for businesses. Additionally, the luncheon will address behavioral warning signs in workplace violence cases and attendees will watch a short video from the Department of Homeland Security on how to respond to an active shooter situation.
McAlister has been involved in the delivery of emergency services for more than 20 years as an EMT, paramedic and police officer. He has been with the Cottage Grove Police Department since 1998, where he has been assigned as a patrol officer, field training officer, multifamily housing officer, detective, patrol sergeant and administrative sergeant and now supervises investigations. He also served for 14 years on the Washington County SWAT team, retiring from it in 2013 as a team commander. During that time he received thousands of hours of advanced training in hostage rescue, active shooter response, dignitary protection, high-risk warrant service and crowd control.
McAlister is also a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) and specializes in the assessment and management of targeted violence and threats in the areas of school violence, workplace violence, domestic violence and stalking. He is a national trainer for the Stalking Resource Center out of Washington, D.C., and trains locally in the areas of domestic homicide prevention, school violence and workplace violence prevention.
For more information, call 651-458-8334.
Roundabout work begins at intersection
The intersection of County Roads 13 and 20 (Radio Drive and Military Road) has been closed in preparation for construction of a single-lane roundabout.
The intersection closed Aug. 11 and is expected to reopen Aug. 29 to allow bypass lanes to be built. The work is expected to be mostly done by late November, and will entail periodic closures and detours.
Valley Paving Inc., which submitted the low bid of $1.24 million accepted by the Washington County Board, will build the roundabout. The project will be funded with state aid funds.
The project goal is to improve safety and mobility by easing the congestion during peak traffic times.
Cory Slagle, Washington County's construction engineer, told the County Board recently that the roundabout is designed to be expanded to two lanes if development grows in the south part of Woodbury as expected.
Dog park undergoes some renovations
Woodbury's Dale Road Open Space and Off-leash Dog Park, 11664 Dale Rd., has been closed for several weeks for renovations, but will reopen this week.
Although not completely fenced, the 70-acre park includes mowed walking trails with benches, shelter area with picnic tables, pet watering station, pet waste disposal stations with bags, portable restroom, trash containers and kiosk.
Urban coyotes have been spotted at the Dale Road Off-leash Dog Park. Coyotes are adapted to living in cities, suburbs and agricultural areas and when developments are built in and near their habitat, coyotes are not permanently displaced. For more information about the urban coyote, and what to do should you encounter coyotes when using the park, please visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's website: Urban Coyotes, at www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/coyotes/index.html.
City Council approves redevelopment plan
The Woodbury City Council this month unanimously approved the site plan for the former State Farm campus, now called City Place, a 100-acre multiuse development, featuring a hotel, retail, restaurants and banks, and an existing 400,000-square-foot office building.
The 700,000-square-foot development, at Radio Drive and Interstate 94, will also feature 100,000 square feet of new office buildings and 160,000 square feet of retail space, anchored by a 45,000-square-foot grocery store, according to a news release announcing the approval.
In May, City Place announced it had finalized a purchase agreement with TMI Hospitality to buy a site on the northwest part of the property, where it plans to build a 116-room Residence Inn hotel, the release said.
Construction is expected to begin this fall.
"The property sits at the gateway not only to Woodbury but to the entire metropolitan region, and has tremendous potential," Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said in the release.
Washington County officials said the development would increase surrounding traffic and require extensive improvements and expansions to nearby roads, including the widening of Radio Drive and linking City Place with the Woodbury Lakes shopping district.
Food shelf benefits from block grant
The Washington County Board recently approved using $70,000 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to fund the Hugo Good Neighbor Food Shelf.
Annual grant funds for CDBG and HOME programs are used to fund high- and medium-priority activities identified in the Consolidated Plan approved by the board and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Hugo Good Neighbor Food Shelf was approved for funding in the 2014 Annual Action Plan.
The food shelf is south of 152nd Street and east of Hwy. 61 in Hugo. Eighty-seven percent of the households served by this food shelf are low- to moderate-income households.
For the past three years the food shelf has served: 1,381 families in 2011; 1,761 families in 2012; and 2,021 families in 2013.
Veterans Service Office to be open longer
The Washington County Board has agreed to add hours to the staff in the county's Veterans Services Office so that the office will have three full-time staff members.
Veterans Services currently has a veterans services officer and 1.75 full-time equivalent additional veterans assistants. With the addition of this quarter-time position, there will be two full-time veterans assistants.
This position will assist veterans, and their dependents, in applying for state and federal benefits. The position educates veterans and the general public about the different types of benefits available and provides an overall understanding of the complexity involved with each particular benefit as well as acting as a general advocate for veterans.
Veterans and their dependents are becoming more aware of the different benefits available to them. With this increase in awareness comes a need for an increase in staff to explain and assist veterans with the complexity of these benefits.
City gets parcels for road right of way
Washington County will convey six parcels of tax-forfeited land to Stillwater for road right of way. The County Board agreed to turn over the land to the city to be used for road right of way for Creekside Crossing.
The parcels are outlots along the roadway, which goes north from Boutwell Road.
Minnesota law requires counties to manage tax-forfeited property on behalf of the state, and the County Board must approve the disposition of the property.
The land will be conveyed at no cost, except for the transaction fees.