Mounds View is finishing a nearly $25 million project to replace and renovate 26 miles of streets and underground utilities, and the city would like the road surfaces to last.
But a cautious attempt to get public buy-in on a scheme to cut down on the number of heavy garbage trucks pounding those streets has run into trouble, after a city-sponsored telephone survey and comments solicited from citizens.
“We probably heard from more than 500 residents,” City Administrator Jim Ericson said. “And the overwhelming response was, they didn’t support a change for a variety of reasons. Some don’t want to lose their current hauler. Some don’t want to lose the ability to dump their current hauler.
“I think what will happen next is that the City Council will discontinue work on pursuing organized collection.”
Many city officials in the area share similar concerns about the effect of the trucks on their streets. But it’s typically an emotional issue, and Mounds View isn’t alone in backing off: Roseville and Fridley are recent examples, though Bloomington and St. Anthony have made the switch.
Some of the movement on the issue in recent years was prompted by a 2009 state study warning that a single garbage truck’s impact on streets is the equivalent of 857 to 1,429 cars or more.
Revised mall renovation plans to be released
Minneapolis officials will unveil revised plans Wednesday for the proposed overhaul of Nicollet Mall in downtown.
The city was forced to go back to the drawing board on the $50 million project after a lone construction bid this December came in $24 million higher than expected.
The changes will include replacing thousands of brick-like pavers with poured concrete. Except for possible tweaks to the design of a dozen bus shelters, other primary elements of the initial design are expected to remain the same.
The project is being funded largely through state bonding dollars and assessments on nearby businesses. The construction portion of the budget is $35 million.
The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Pohlad Hall in the Minneapolis Central Library. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
Schools saw outbreak of pertussis late last year
The Farmington area saw an outbreak of pertussis that peaked at the end of 2015, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
The Farmington school district has reported 41 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, since September, and seen six cases since Jan. 1, according to disease prevention coordinator Christine Lees.
Across Dakota County, 133 cases were reported in 2015.
“It is important that people get vaccinated,” state epidemiologist Karen Martin said. The vaccine doesn’t completely prevent the disease but reduces risk of contracting it, she added.
Anyone who detects symptoms, Martin said, should avoid group settings, seek antibiotic treatment and wash their hands frequently.
City slated to pass pollinator-safe policy
Eden Prairie is slated to join a growing number of Twin Cities suburbs passing pollinator-safe policies to better protect honeybees.
The city’s parks and recreation commission reviewed and recommended a draft resolution last week, encouraging the planting of bee-friendly flowers and restricting certain pesticides such as neonicotinoids, which can be lethal to insects but not to humans and mammals.
Shorewood became the first city in Minnesota in 2014 to pass a similar policy. Several cities, including Andover, Lake Elmo, St. Louis Park and Stillwater, have approved similar commitments.
The Eden Prairie City Council is expected to take up the measure at its Feb. 16 meeting.