The Washington County Board has authorized another land purchase for Big Marine Park Reserve in Scandia.

The purchase was initiated when a property owner purchased the property and applied for a building permit, triggering provisions of the park ordinance that require the county to either grant the permit or begin efforts to acquire the property for the park.

The purchase of the property, appraised at $491,500, will be funded by the county’s voter-approved Land and Water Legacy Program. A request will be made to the Metropolitan Council for reimbursement of 75 percent of the cost of the land.

When completed, the Big Marine Park Reserve will include 1,800 acres with 80 percent of the land set aside for preservation.

Mara Klecker

Shakopee

Canterbury hires new track superintendent

Canterbury Park has hired Johnnie Jamison as its new track superintendent, officials announced Monday.

Jamison, who has 40 years of experience in the racing world, is currently track superintendent at Sunland Park, a casino and racetrack in New Mexico. He has held similar positions in Florida, Texas and Indiana.

A track superintendent oversees and coordinates the maintenance of the racetrack, particularly its surface. Canterbury Park has a one-mile dirt oval and a seven-furlong inner turf course.

“Really it comes down to keeping the right level of moisture on the track,” said Jeff Maday, Canterbury Park spokesman. “It’s a tough job.”

Jamison will move to Minnesota in the spring. The previous track superintendent, Ken Brown, retired in September.

Erin Adler

Brooklyn Park

Council opens up food catering options

Brooklyn Park officials are expanding food options for events at the community center in an effort to make the space more accessible to the city’s diverse population.

The City Council voted Nov. 13 to allow any licensed caterer to provide food and drinks at the community center, rather than limiting it to select caterers.

For years, city officials required groups renting banquet rooms at the center to use one of several preferred caterers, which residents said often prompted them to rent space elsewhere due to limited culturally specific food options.

The new policy, which takes effect May 1, also allows groups of fewer than 150 to serve potluck-style food rather than commercially prepared fare.

Hannah Covington

Hopkins

Brian Hunke appointed to council

The Hopkins City Council appointed resident Brian Hunke to replace former Council Member Katy Campbell, who resigned in October pending a move to Plymouth.

Hunke, a 38-year-old architect at Mohagen Hansen Architecture on Wayzata, took the oath of office at the beginning of the council meeting Nov. 20.

“I look forward to being a voice for the residents and business owners of Hopkins,” he said. Before joining the council, he served in the city’s planning and zoning commission for four years.

Hunke will serve until November 2019. A special election will then be held to determine who will occupy the seat for the remaining two years of the term.

Miguel Otárola