Because of road construction and intersection rebuilding near Mahtomedi, a busy roadway will receive a new designation Jan. 1.
Beginning in 2013, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will construct a grade-separated interchange at Hwy. 36 and Hilton Trail in Pine Springs. Hilton Trail is currently designated as County Road 36, which creates driver confusion under existing conditions because it intersects with the state highway, also numbered 36.
New highway signs will establish Hilton Trail as County Road 29. The street name "Hilton Trail" will remain.
A $30,000 donation from the RAFT Charitable Foundation will be used to purchase materials at county branch libraries for children and adults in various formats, including downloadable electronic books. The RAFT Foundation has made donations to the Washington County Library annually over the past several years.
In addition, the J.F. Rooney Family Charitable Foundation contributed $1,000 as part of the library's continuing "Many Hands Together" campaign. The money will be used to purchase library materials for all branches, including electronic books. The foundation was established in 1998 by Bud and Kathy Rooney.County to pay $83,892 for new bridge project
Washington County will provide cost-sharing with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for work on the St. Croix River bridge crossing.
The County Board agreed Dec. 18 to pay $83,892 toward the project. The county's responsibilities will include partial funding for signals and maintenance of certain roadways, multi-use trails, traffic signals, bridges and storm water ponds.Where to drop off Christmas trees
Christmas trees and wreaths can be recycled at one of the following locations in Washington County. Tree stands, plastic bags, tinsel, wire, lights and all other decorations must be removed. Private waste haulers, cities and townships also might accept Christmas trees. Residents should contact these sources directly for more information, the county said.
• Bayport: RSI, 201 2nd Av. S. -- open to all residents. Open year-round. Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Cost: $5 per tree. For more information, call River City Services at 651-430-2809.
• Cottage Grove: Rumpca Companies Inc., 9600 Glendenning Road - open to all residents. Open Jan. 5 and 6, and Jan. 12 and 13. Hours: Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $2 per tree. The fee will be waived if a canned good is donated to the local food shelf. For more information, call Rumpca Companies at 651-459-1556.
• Forest Lake: Public Works, 843 SW. 4th St. - open to Forest Lake residents only. Open Dec. 26 through Jan. 27. Hours: any. Cost: No charge. For more information, call Forest Lake Public Works at 651-464-3220.
• Oakdale: City of Oakdale Public Works, 1900 Hadley Av. N. - open to Oakdale residents only. Dates: Dec. 26 through Jan. 31. Hours: Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost: $3 per tree. For more information, call Oakdale Public Works at 651-730-2740.
• Woodbury: Composting Concepts, 4600 Cottage Grove Drive - open to all residents. Dates: Jan. 5 and Jan. 12. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $6 per tree, $5 per wreath. For more information, call Composting Concepts at 651-436-1213.
The city of Maplewood has honored Century College biology students and Prof. Joy Cedarleaf for 10 years of service related to managing and caring for natural resources in an urban environment.
Over the years, Century students have provided more than 4,500 hours of service on projects such as planting rain gardens, planting trees, removing buckthorn, weeding, seeding prairie, pruning, clearing trails and installing signs.
"It's been good for the city, good for the environment and good for the students," said Cedarleaf, who takes students into the community for service learning projects six to 10 times per semester. "Working in the field makes what students are learning in the classroom much more meaningful."
The Best Burger in the Valley competition returns to Stillwater on Jan. 1 to raise funds for efforts to fight cystic fibrosis.
Burger Cards are now on sale for $20, and are redeemable for a burger at Main Street restaurants during January, February and March. You can purchase your card at: Northern Vineyard, Trade Wind Spice Company, Leo's, Reve 324 or by calling KLBB Radio at 651-439-5006.
The annual competition has raised nearly $23,000 for the benefit of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Participants vote for their favorite burger using the ballot number on the back of the card. Voting ends April 15, and the winning restaurant will be announced in late April.
JIM ANDERSON AND Kevin Giles