Lakeville has approved an electronic sign ordinance allowing freestanding signs with images that can change no more often than once a minute.
The City Council approved the ordinance last week after some debate on whether the images should be able to change more often, as favored by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Any business can erect one sign on its land at intersections, freeway interchanges or along streets in intensive commercial districts. The signs can be up to 15 feet tall and cover up to 40 square feet.
The council also updated its mailbox-replacement policy, reflecting the rise in box costs since its last policy change in 1999, said City Administrator Steve Mielke. Back then, if a city snowplow hit your box, the city would replace it or pay the owner $50. The reimbursement has increased to $125 during the city's snow- and ice-control season.
As winter begins to settle in, a reminder from Dakota County: A cross-country ski pass is required for all skiers ages 18 and older on trails in the county's parks. The fees help support the parks' ski facilities, including trail grooming and maintenance.
Cross-country ski passes may be purchased through the Dakota County website or at the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center.
Passes cost $5 a day or $20 for the season.
The Minnesota Ski Pass is a separate program and is neither accepted nor required to use Dakota County Parks ski trails.
Lakeville utility superintendent Ken Seurer has been voted state superintendent of the year by the Minnesota American Public Works Association.
Seurer, who has served the city for 35 years, "is well-deserving of the honor," said city Public Works Director Christopher Petree. "He has a wealth of knowledge and has built a truly quality infrastructure here in Lakeville with the council and the rest of our staff."
The City Council recognized Seurer at its last meeting.
Unwanted or non-functioning holiday lights may be recycled at a drop-off bin at the Burnsville Ice Center, 251 Civic Pkwy., through Jan. 31.
Since 2009, the Recycling Association of Minnesota has collected the lights for recycling. The cords are stripped down to collect the copper wire, and even the little lights are broken down to reclaim the glass and metal.
Extension cords also will be accepted for free, but not cord adapters and battery packs.
For more information, including hours and a complete list of drop-off locations in the area, see www.dakotavalleyrecycling.org or call 952-895-4511,
The winners of Caponi Art Park's fifth annual photo contest will be on display in January and February at the Eagan Community Center.
Images submitted by more than 40 contestants were taken at the park from May through October. Three volunteer judges picked the winners:
Adult category: "First Kiss" by Karen Biwersi, first place; Untitled by Mitch Pieper, second place; Untitled by Tim Girton, third place.
Youth category: "Campfire" by Lukas Laube, age 12, first place; "Art and Me" by Ava Girton, 7, second place; "Hidden Eye" by Jack Girton, 9, third place.
Honorable mention: Untitled by Tim Girton; "Crown of Thorns" by Nancy Schulzetenberg; "Jewels" by Jolene Day; "My Imagination" by Ava Girton, age 7.
The exhibition runs Jan. 4 to Feb. 2; an opening reception and awards ceremony is 7 p.m. Jan 7. View the winning images and all photo submissions at www.caponiartpark.org. The community center is at 1501 Central Pkwy.
JIM ADAMS, LAURIE BLAKE AND DYLAN BELDEN