Burnsville Fire Department has issued holiday fire prevention tips.
"Unfortunately, winter holidays can often be a deadly time of year, since many traditions include the most common causes of home fires,'' the department said. "In most years, cooking, candles and open flames account for nearly half of Minnesota's residential fires. During the excitement of the holiday season, normal safety precautions can sometimes be overlooked.''
The department recommends that stockings not be hung on the fireplace near open flames. It tells residents not to burn gift wrap in the fireplace and to keep the screen closed.
Holiday lights should be inspected and discarded if damaged.
"Don't overload outlets and circuits, and use no more than three sets of lights per extension cord,'' the department says. "Turn holiday lights off before going to bed.''
The rule for candles is to leave three feet between them and anything that will burn. And never leave them unattended.
As for trees, water them often, place them away from heat sources and keep them out of the way of home exits.
Burnsville is preparing to replace its water chlorination system.
The system, which treats more than 3.3 billion gallons of drinking water, was originally built in 1978 and upgraded in 1997.
Having budgeted $200,000 for study and design of a new system and $1.1 million to install it, the City Council put the plan in motion last week.
The city has determined that the current system's use of chlorine gas is a safety concern for the water plant staff and surrounding businesses.
Seven buses have arrived for the new Cedar Avenue busway set to open in May or June next year. One will be on view for the public at 10:20 a.m. Dec. 10 at the Apple Valley Transit Station, 15450 S. Cedar Av.
At that time officials will discuss the final phase of the busway construction. The bus shoulder lanes are nearly finished and all lanes on Cedar are now open to traffic. What remains is the construction of walk-up stations at 120th and 127th Streets on Cedar in Apple Valley.
Farmington has hired a veteran liquor operations manager from a neighboring city.
Blair Peterson was introduced to the City Council last week. He has 20 years of liquor business experience, the last 16 with Lakeville, where he worked his way up to manager of the city's newest municipal liquor store on 160th Street, said City Administrator David McKnight. The city posted the manager job with a salary between $65,000 to $78,800.
Peterson has been observing how the two Farmington stores operate and will soon make recommended changes.
He replaced longtime manager Randy Petrofske, who resigned in August after a critical review and years of low profits.
City officials hope the new manager and other recent changes will pull the city out of last place for liquor store profitability among 17 metro area cities that have municipal liquor stores, according to the state auditor's most recent annual report.
The city's two stores earned $51,000 in 2010, which was less than one-half of a percent of their sales.
If you live in West St. Paul and are a trail enthusiast, you may want to attend an open house on the North Urban Regional Trail alignment study sponsored by the city and Dakota County.
The open house will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at West St. Paul City Hall, 1616 Humboldt Av. A presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The study will identify and evaluate route options for a one-mile future segment of the trail between Hwy. 110 in Mendota Heights and Garlough Elementary School in West. St. Paul. The alignment study will be available for review and project staff will be on hand to gather public input and answer questions.
For more information about the North Urban Regional Trail Alignment Study, call 952-891-7106 or see www.nurtstudy.com.
LAURIE BLAKE AND JIM ADAMS