City plans community garage sales in May

Andover will host its fourth annual citywide garage sale May 16-18.

The city will advertise the event on its website, on Craig’s List and other free sites.

Maps of participating garage sales will be available by May 15 on the city’s website and at City Hall, 1685 Crosstown Blvd. NW. To have your garage included on the map free of charge, return a completed form to city hall by May 10. Forms are available at

Coinciding with the event, the Andover Community Center, 15200 Hanson Blvd. NW, will host a one-day indoor garage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18. Booth registration runs from $20 to $60. Those forms can also be found on the city’s website.

The Salvation Army will collect any unsold household items as donations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 19 in the community center parking lot.


Park/sports complex is on the horizon

Andover is wrapping up plans for a new park and sports field complex to be started this summer near Tulip Street and 161st Avenue.

The city bought nearly 40 acres from Legacy Christian Academy, formerly Meadow Creek Christian School, for $305,000, said City Administrator Jim Dickinson.

The site will be graded, an irrigation system will be installed and grass will be planted this summer for three large, lighted fields to be used for soccer, lacrosse and football, said Public Works Director Todd Haas. He said the fields should be ready for play in the spring of 2015. The city plans to have a 150-spot parking lot.

Dickinson said the park will be developed over 10 years as reserve funds and other revenues are available. He said about a third of the site is wetlands, where a nature trail is planned. Picnic facilities will be installed near a stand of pine trees. The plan includes a play area, sand volleyball court, boardwalk, sliding hill, disc golf holes and a concession building with restrooms.

The total cost could approach $3 million for what is now called “Forty Acre Park,” Dickinson said.



Bike helmet sale and fitting session set

The city of Blaine’s Safety Services Division will sell bike helmets and host a fitting session from 4 to 8 p.m. May 7 at city hall, 10801 Town Square Dr. NE. Bell bike helmets, which comply with federal safety standards, will be available for $13 each in sizes ranging from toddler to adult. City safety staff will help fit helmets.

For more information, contact Andrea Hunt of the Blaine Police Department at 763-785-6113 or


Coon Rapids

Meeting will look at property tax valuation

Homeowners questioning their latest property tax valuation are invited to an informational meeting at 7 p.m. April 22 at City Hall, 11155 Robinson Drive. Topics will include how estimated market values are determined and recent residential housing trends.

Homeowners who believe their latest property tax valuation is incorrect can challenge it at the city’s Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting at 7 p.m. on April 30. If you believe the value or classification of your property is incorrect and would like to appear before the board, call 763-767-6446



Study: College delivers much to economy

A Wilder Research study estimated the impact of Anoka-Ramsey Community College on the regional economy at $327 million in 2011.

The sources of these direct and indirect effects, the study said, were the institution’s operations ($93 million), students’ expenditures ($233 million), and Anoka-Ramsey Community College investments ($266,308).

The Wilder report also said the college and its students generated 3,235 jobs in the Twin Cities in 2011, including 2,290 direct jobs and 945 indirect ones created by vendors, contractors and businesses.



April 27 will be recycling drop-off day

Anoka will hold a spring recycling drop-off day on the morning of April 27 at its Public Works Building, 501 Pierce St.

Anoka County residents and small businesses can drop off items from 8 a.m. until noon.

Businesses with up to 50 employees can bring up to a pickup truckload of accepted recyclable materials. Vehicle batteries, freezers and refrigerators are free but minimal fees are charged for items such as tires and fluorescent light bulbs.

The event is funded by Anoka County and a state grant from the Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment.

For more information, go to the city’s website at .


City to honor retiring nature center director

Nature lovers will honor Siah St. Clair, the retiring director of Springbrook Nature Center, at an open house and reception from 3 to 6 p.m. May 5. There will be a presentation at 4 p.m.

St. Clair, is retiring on April 30 after 35 years as director. He started in 1978 and helped turn Springbrook into an environmental education center, an environmental research site and a family-friendly place with hundreds of programs and activities each year. In 2012, more than 750 programs were offered to 24,000 people.


Elk River

Pancake breakfast set for Sunday

The Elk RIver Lions Club will hold a pancake brekfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Lions Park Center, 1104 Lions Park Dr. NW. Pancakes and sausages will be served. A free-will offering will be accepted at the door, with $1 from every meal purchased donated to the 728 Cadets Band.

The band is made up of students from Elk River, Rogers, Dayton, Otsego and Zimmerman, Its 90 members have performed in regional parades and received eight first-place, two second-place and one third-place awards.

Money raised from this event and other efforts will be used for needs such as instruments, uniforms, transportation and scholarships for members who need financial assistance to participate.


Maple Grove

Farmers Market preview coming May 9

The Maple Grove Farmers Market will hold its 10th season this year, starting with an indoor spring preview May 9.

The event will take place from 3-7 p.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Road. It includes 20 vendors offering meats, breads, eggs, bedding plants, Lebanese specialty items, canned goods, BBQ sauces and rubs, and other items.

The outdoor season will begin June 13, with the market open every Thursday through Oct. 24 except for July 4th. Hours will be 3-7 p.m. June to September and 3-6 p.m. in October.

This year, the market will accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. For more information, go to www.maplegrovefarmers or