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Continued: Washington County commissioners OK 2014 budget, levy

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  • Last update: December 21, 2013 - 2:56 PM

Businesses help restore city park

Half a dozen businesses in Scandia donated time and materials earlier this month to complete a small gravel parking lot at Lilleskogen Park.

Landmark Surveying, Interstate Cos., Peterson Excavating, Tiller Corp. and Critical Connections all contributed to site surveying, earthwork, sand and gravel materials, and invasive species removal in the $13,000 project. The Scandia City Council formally accepted the donation at its Dec. 17 meeting.

Lilleskogen Park (Little Forest) is the site of the Old Lions Park on Oakhill Road. The Scandia Marine Lions used to maintain the park but turned it over to the city some years ago.

The city of Scandia approved the Lilleskogen Park Restoration Plan in 2008. Since that time, a water control structure has been installed and trails cleared out. But with Park Capital Improvement Funds dwindling, the city had to look for other ways to get the improvements done. Earlier this summer a church youth group began spreading wood chips along trails.

Cottage Grove

Holiday Train raises donations to help the hungry

Pop singer Sheryl Crow headlined the Holiday Train celebration in Cottage Grove last week, which raised more than $236,000 to benefit local food shelves.

About 15,000 people descended on the city’s rail yard for the show, which also featured the gospel group Take 6 and The Claystones, the train’s traveling band. The event also included crafts, a place to meet Santa Claus, Christmas tree displays and other attractions.

Among the night’s beneficiaries was the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park, which, as of Wednesday morning, had received $136,000 in donations and 13,300 pounds of food and toiletries, director Michelle Rageth said in an e-mail. Canadian Pacific Railway, which sponsored the event, sent a check for $20,000 to Friends in Need and another for $100,000 to Feeding America, a national hunger-relief agency.

Rageth said the donated money and generosity exceeded her wildest expectations. Last year’s event drew $116,000 in donations, she said.

Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised about $7.4 million and collected about 3 million pounds of food for North American food shelves. This year the train’s three-week journey includes stops in eight Midwest and Northeast states, including 26 cities in Minnesota.

Kevin Giles, Libor Jany

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