Lots of cities have considered going to one trash hauler to reduce damage to city streets. But Arden Hills officials think their city may be the first to consider putting a whole new development area under a single-hauler system while it’s still being planned.

“Organized collection,” as the one-hauler system is called, has been a fierce battleground in many places, even though public-works departments tend to favor it to save wear and tear on roads. But for new occupants of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) site — now called Rice Creek Commons — it would be part of the deal.

Arden Hills City Council members got a briefing on the matter last week, including a warning from staffers that while the basic five-step process may seem straightforward, “each step has multiple substeps that may require separate actions by the council.”

Hiring a consultant to guide the complex process set forth in legislation could cost $100,000 to $220,000. The whole process could take nine months to two years.

City Attorney Joel Jamnik warned council members in March to brace themselves: All licensed haulers in the city must be invited to weigh in, and “typically these [are] not comfortable meetings.”

David Peterson


Washington County Board approves $12 million road project

The Washington County Board has approved a cost-sharing agreement with Afton to overhaul County Roads 21 and 18 and make sanitary sewer, levee and street improvements.

Under the agreement, the city will design and construct the project, projected to cost $12 million overall. The estimated county cost is $4.75 million, including construction, aesthetic amenities, right of way and easements, and contract administration. Washington County will use bond proceeds to fund its share of the project.

County Engineer Wayne Sandberg told commissioners last week that pavement is in poor condition and that the lack of suitable drainage results in small-scale flooding and standing water. Benefits of the project will include improved pedestrian safety, he said.

Kevin Giles

New Brighton

With work done, water use is back to normal

Work on two deep city wells in New Brighton is complete and normal rules for water use are back, following a period of heightened restrictions, city officials announced last week.

That means that odd-even yard-watering rules are in force again and that residents can use city water to fill swimming pools and wash cars.

New Brighton’s overall water issues remain, however. The announcement added that “we do ask everyone to be responsible with their water use.”

A detailed account of the city’s water obstacles and cautions is set forth on its website and can be found at tinyurl.com/z5wb55n.

David Peterson

Grey Cloud Island

Open house slated for 2017 bridge plans

A new bridge to Grey Cloud Island that would improve habitat as well as access for boaters and commuters will be discussed at an open house this week.

Washington County wants to replace the County Road 75 crossing over the inlet to the Grey Cloud channel, restoring water flow to the Mississippi River’s main channel.

The result should be restored habitat and natural functions as well as recreational access into the channel. A higher roadway also will help keep it open during floods.

The county is working with the South Washington Watershed District on the project. Construction is planned for 2017.

The open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, at the Grey Cloud Island Town Hall, 9910 Grey Cloud Island Dr.

For more information, call 651-430-4349 or e-mail grant.wyffels@co.washington.mn.us.

David Peterson


Prohibition era explored in music, displays

“The Thirst for Giggle Water,” an exhibit on how the residents of the St. Croix Valley survived Prohibition, will open June 4 at the Historic Courthouse in Stillwater. The event, from 5 to 8 p.m., will feature Roaring ’20s music, a Budweiser six-horse hitch model replica and a 1920s-era car.

The exhibit includes artifacts from the Prohibition era, a speakeasy display, an original flapper dress, 1920s-era Victrola, Washington County jail registers, brewing equipment, and local stories of making moonshine and evading federal agents.

A suggested donation of $10 per person will go to the restoration fund for the Historic Courthouse, 101 W. Pine St., Stillwater.

For more information, call 651-275-7075 or go to www.co.washington.mn.us/hc.

Kevin Giles