A one-year moratorium will halt development within a half-mile of five stations proposed for the Bottineau Blue Line light-rail project in Brooklyn Park, giving the city time for a planning study to guide new construction.

The future extension will run from downtown Minneapolis through northwest suburbs, including Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park.

City Council members approved the second reading of the development freeze at a June 26 meeting. The moratorium will have little impact on existing businesses or buildings, said Cindy Sherman, the city’s planning director.

“This would just be for new applications on vacant land or significant modifications to other buildings — expansions, for instance,” Sherman said at the meeting.

The city will be working with a consultant on the study, which will be paid for with grant money secured by the county and the Metropolitan Council. The line is scheduled to open in 2022.

Hannah Covington

St. Croix Region

RiverFest celebrates the St. Croix’s beauty

“A Party with a Purpose,” the fifth annual St. Croix RiverFest celebration in Hudson, Wis., will be held July 18-23. RiverFest is intended to celebrate the St. Croix River while recognizing the need to preserve and protect the river’s health and beauty.

Events in the six-day festival include a St. Croix Valley Community Band concert in the park, American Indian drumming and dancing, Carpenter Nature Center animal ambassadors, RiverFest boat cruise, Civil War encampment, nature hike, river paddle, library story times, kids’ fishing derby and environmental displays.

Details are available at StCroixRiverFest.org and on Facebook at Hudson St. Croix RiverFest.

Kevin Giles


After stumble, Bubble Run is back on

A running event rescheduled at the last minute over permitting issues is back on in Blaine, with the company behind the race promising refunds to runners who registered for the original date.

The Bubble Run event was scheduled for June 11 but changed to July 30 several weeks ahead of the race, leaving many participants seeking a refund.

Blaine City Council members approved a special events license June 15 for the new date after a representative from Cool Events, the race organizer, told city leaders that the company will be offering refunds to runners who signed up for the first event.

The abrupt rescheduling prompted a response from the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, which advised runners to contact Cool Events for refunds through its social media platforms or by e-mail at info@coolevents.com.

The 5K event will be held July 30 at the National Sports Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with about 10,000 people expected to attend, according to the city.

Hannah Covington

New Brighton

City’s license office will expand its offerings

Special legislation that allows New Brighton officials to offer a full plate of services at their license bureau is on track to become reality within the coming months, officials say.

For the first time the office will be able to renew and issue new driver’s licenses and ID cards, rather than just address changes, duplicate licenses and ID cards.

The city expects the new services to be offered by the end of the year. The office will be able to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards that comply with the federal Real ID Act, which enhances security, in 2018.

City officials praised Minnesota Sen. Carolyn Laine and state Reps. Connie Bernardy and Mary Kunesh-Podein for getting the law through.

David Peterson

Ramsey County

Bloomington official takes top county post

Bloomington’s assistant city manager is moving to Ramsey County as director of policy and planning.

Elizabeth Tolzmann, who lives in St. Paul’s Hamline- Midway area, has also been Hennepin County public works’ workplace culture specialist and Brooklyn Park’s community engagement coordinator.

She has a law degree from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

She starts her new job July 10, reporting to the county manager. She replaces Ryan O’Connor, who became deputy county manager for health and wellness.

David Peterson