A subdivision that was auctioned for delinquent taxes has finally been sold, and Woodbury officials said they hope construction of the houses on the city's east side could begin this summer by a leading national builder.
Ryland Homes bought the 28 platted lots in the Highland Knoll development, paying a non-refundable deposit of $156,800 on the tax-forfeited parcels. The remaining balance of approximately $1.5 million is due to Washington County by April 23, said Associate City Planner Eric Searles.
"This is a positive step forward for the development and for the surrounding residents," Searles said. "Most importantly, the transaction means the city will be fully reimbursed for all public dollars invested for the necessary utilities and streets."
Last July, Central Bank forfeited the development in Woodbury to the state of Minnesota for not paying taxes for five years on the lots. Washington County tried to sell all 28 lots in one package on March 21, in the first tax sale that the county's ever had for an entire subdivision, officials said.
No one bid, however. The offer from Ryland, a leading national home builder, came afterward. Now the city of Woodbury intends to collect more than $1.43 million it's owed for streets and utilities. Special assessments for those properties were never paid because the lots were never sold, Searles said.
Ryland Homes has built 295,000 homes and financed 245,000 mortgages in its 45-year existence, the company says.
Highland Knoll is north of Oak View Drive, west of Cottage Grove Drive and south of the Eagle Valley Development.
Glen Brolander of Boutwells Landing senior center will be awarded the Swedish Council of America's Great Achievement Award for his longtime leadership in Swedish activities in America.
He and Eva Eriksson, governor of Varmland, Sweden, each will receive the Council's Great Achievement Award on Friday in conjunction with SCA's 40th anniversary celebration at the Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington.
Begun in 1980, the award recognizes Americans and Swedes who strengthen relations between the two countries. Past recipients included Minnesota business leader Curt Carlson, former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, University of Minnesota President Nils Hasselmo and Ambassador Franklin Forsberg. Posthumous presentations were made to poet Carl Sandberg, aviator Charles Lindbergh and Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold.
Brolander is a former vice president for financial affairs at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., the oldest of all Swedish-American colleges. He has served as chair of the Swedish-American Historical Society and the Swedish Council of America. He secured financial support for the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College while chairman of the advisory committee.
Washington County and the City of Hugo will work together on a County Road 8 design and construction project.
Improvements on the stretch of County Road 8 from Hwy. 61 to Goodview Avenue North in Hugo will consist of bituminous surfacing of the roadway, replacement of isolated curb and gutter sections, and adjustment of a water main gate valve and manhole castings.
The City of Hugo has approved the agreement. The project will be completed before July, the county said.
Household hazardous waste collections are planned in seven Washington County cities from April 21 through Oct. 2: April 21 in Hugo; May 5 in Cottage Grove; May 19 in Stillwater; June 2 in Forest Lake; Sept. 8 in Forest Lake; Sept. 15 in Forest Lake; and Oct. 2 in Hugo.
In addition to these collections, the Washington County Environmental Center at 4039 Cottage Grove Drive in Woodbury provides residents with free disposal for household hazardous waste, electronics and recyclables year-round.
It is open noon-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays. The center also has a Reuse Room where residents can browse the shelves and take home previously owned products.
Kat Hill of Hope House has received the 2012 Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership at the annual Community Thread meeting.
In her role as care director, Hill runs the household, hires staff and works with employees and residents. She also manages volunteers.
Hope House provides assisted care for people living with HIV/AIDS. It is one of five such houses in Minnesota and the only one outside the urban Twin Cities.
Community Thread is a non-profit human service agency that promotes volunteerism. Its programs include the Stillwater and Bayport senior centers, Neighborhood Service Exchange, Medical Reserve Corps and the Holiday Bureau. For more information on any Community Thread program, contact Valerie Jones at 651-439-7434.
The RITE (Really into the Earth) of Spring Event will be held from 9 a.m.-noon April 21 at the Mahtomedi School District Education Center at 1520 Mahtomedi Av.
The theme for this year's free Earth Day event will be "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose," and hands-on workshops will include demonstrations on how to build backyard playgrounds and make laundry soap and compost. Other workshop topics will include bike safety checks, native plants and disc golf.
New this year will be the Free Market, a place to bring unwanted household items to trade for other items. Dropoffs should be made at the District Ed Center from 6-8 p.m. on April 20.
The city's annual cleanup day will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Grant Town Hall.
If it rains, the event will be rescheduled for April 21. Residents are advised to watch the City of Grant website, www.cityofgrant.com, for upcoming details about accepted disposal items and costs.
KEVIN GILES, JOY POWELL