East metro briefs: Voters reject Forest Lake schools referendum

  • Updated: May 24, 2014 - 2:00 PM

James Wedgwood, and friends such as “Uncle Ernie,” is performing at the Newport Library and Community Center.

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A comprehensive plan to overhaul school buildings in the Forest Lake district didn’t persuade voters, who soundly defeated it.

The May 20 bond referendum proposal, seeking $176 million to renovate old buildings, improve security and merge two junior high schools, was rejected in every city in the district except Lino Lakes. Overall, only 39.9 percent of voters supported the measure.

Voters in Forest Lake, Scandia, Columbus, Linwood and Wyoming voted against the proposal by a wide margin.

The largest turnout was in Forest Lake, were 2,133 voters voted no and 1,413 voted yes.

Last week’s defeat follows a smaller, failed one in 2010. The district had worked hard to broaden public appeal on the new referendum. In October 2012, the district assembled a task force, including parents and other residents, to review shortcomings in such areas as building security, antiquated fire alarms and potential energy savings.


County road changes topic at open house

Proposed improvements on County Road 5 will be explained at an open house from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1616 W. Olive St., Stillwater. The meeting is being conducted by Washington County.

County Road 5 is a north-south link in Stillwater. However, it lacks adequate pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and connections to other facilities, such as the new Browns Creek State Trail, the county said. The current study is looking at ways to improve conditions and connections for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as improving safety and mobility for motorists on the 2.5-mile corridor.

The study focuses on four segments:

• Croixwood Boulevard to Pine Tree Trail;

• Pine Tree Trail to Owens Street;

• Linden Street to St. Croix Avenue;

• St. Croix Avenue to Hwy. 96.

Anyone who can’t attend the meeting can find more information at www.co.washington.mn.us/countyroad5, or by contacting Joe Gustafson at 651-430-4351 or joe.gustafson@co.washington.mn.us.

Foundation launches ‘Corporate Partners’

The Stillwater Area Foundation (SAF) has launched its Corporate Partners Program, which enlists corporate and business leaders to provide continuous funding for the foundation.

Money raised supports the Youth Philanthropy program, which enlists students age 15 and older at all schools in the Stillwater Area school district — public, private, or charter — to become agents of change in their community; the Great Idea Competition, which encourages residents to present their great ideas for improving the Stillwater area in a lasting way; and the Civic Leadership Project.

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