Woodbury added nearly 30 more acres of open space with its acquisition of the Lone Lake Kennels property on La Lake in the eastern part of the city.

The City Council approved the purchase this month from Venture Bank. Now the city will own about 100 acres around the lake, including half of its shoreline.

The cost was $715,000, plus closing costs. Washington County will be reimbursing the city $247,500 in exchange for a conservation easement over the acquired property.

The county's share of the purchase cost will come from bond proceeds from its Land and Water Legacy Program approved by voters in 2006. The city's share would come from its Park and Open Space Fund, similarly passed by its voters in 2005 to buy land to spare it from development.

Acquiring the parcel has been a priority of the city for several years, and the purchase links to a larger tract of open space the city owns directly to the south along Military Road.

Some facility improvements could include paved trails, community gardens, picnic facilities and parking. The kennel buildings would be removed and the well and septic system would be retained for future use.

GRH to run eatery at Bielenberg Center

Gartner Restaurant Holdings of Stillwater has been selected as the private food vendor which will contract with Woodbury for a full-service restaurant at the revamped Bielenberg Sports Center. The deal was approved last week by the City Council.

GRH's concept involves a full-service restaurant on the second floor, a concession stand on the first floor and food service carts and potential service in the surrounding fields.

The menu is being developed; GRH would like to offer burgers, chicken, appetizers, pizza, bratwurst and healthy choices such as salads, fresh fruit and deli sandwiches. It also will offer birthday and party packages, pre-order service for games and practices, and it would have the capability to cater to large events.

GRH will apply for a liquor license for its second-floor full-service restaurant.

GRH's proposal for a full-service restaurant includes an estimated $800,000 in interior improvements.

The costs of the improvements are more than the city originally estimated and offer the possibility of greater traffic and long-term revenue for the city, city officials say. Under the deal, the city takes responsibility for $500,000 in added capital costs for the lower level concession area, fireplace, mechanical systems, counters and cabinetry. The money is provided through an internal loan from the city to Bielenberg Sports Center, amortized over 20 years and paid from the gross sales receipts.

With a liquor license, the city will receive 12 percent of gross sales up to $1 million, and 10 percent for sales beyond $1 million.

Washington County

County among best in healthy kid rankings

Four Minnesota counties, including Washington County, were listed among the top 50 healthiest in the nation for children by U.S. News & World Report.

Olmsted County, home to the Mayo Clinic, was 23rd, Washington County 33rd, Dakota County 41st and Carver County 44th.

The rankings are based on data indicating a safe and healthy environment for children, including fewer infant deaths, fewer low-birth-weight babies, fewer deaths from injuries, fewer teen births and fewer children in poverty.

Washington County scored 84 on a scale of 100. Data cited in the county included: 6.1 percent of low-birth-weight babies (under 5½ pounds); 505.6 infant deaths per 100,000 births; a teen birthrate of 14.4 per 1,000; 7.1 percent children living in poverty; and 11.2 injury deaths per 100,000 people aged 1 to 19.

Cottage Grove

Replacement of meters to start

Cottage Grove will begin another round of water meter replacements on July 8 and continuing through Sept. 1.

The city is aiming to replace 1,500 residential water meters each year over the next three years. The meters are 25 to 30 years old and have reached their useful life expectancy.

As water meters age, the moving parts slow down. Replacing the old meters guarantees accurate billing for water usage. There is no cost to the homeowner for this meter replacement.

Homeowners with a water meter needing to be replaced will be notified by mail with instructions to contact the vendor, Midwest Testing, to schedule an appointment to replace the meter, which usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

For more information, call Public Works at 651-458-2808.

Rep. Schoen cited as 'one to watch'

State Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-Cottage Grove, has received the 2013 Leaders in Public Policy award from "Politics in Minnesota" and the "Capitol Report" in the "One to Watch" category.

Schoen received the award because he is considered to be a rising star within his caucus. Others receiving the award this year are state Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake; state Sen. Vicki Jensen, DFL-Owatonna; and Rep. Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine.

Schoen was first elected to the House in 2012 and represents Grey Cloud Township, Newport, St. Paul Park, South St. Paul and Cottage Grove.

Jim Anderson