Costly garbage carts, and fewer advisers

The Shakopee City Council has decided to spend nearly $1 million to buy new garbage and recycling carts, and axed some advisory groups.

As part of a changeover in garbage providers, the council authorized buying more than 23,000 carts from Cascade Engineering Inc. for $975,100.

The city will take a loan from its Sanitary Sewer Fund, amortized over 10 years. The loan will be repaid through a cart rental fee charged to residents’ bills — just under a dollar a month.

The move stems from a decision last year to own the carts along with switching from the city’s old hauler to Allied Waste Services in June.

More information is on the city’s new website,, or by calling 952 233-9300.

The council last week also dropped three advisory commissions described as seldom meeting.

The City Council voted 4-1, Jay Whiting dissenting, to disband the Transit Commission, Historic Preservation Advisory Commission and Telecommunications Advisory Commission.

For more information, contact Mark McNeill, city administrator, 952-233-9311.


City launches new website at new URL

The city’s website has a new look, new features and a new URL at

The redesigned site “features a fresh look, improved navigation, mobile compatibility, updated content and new interactive tools,” according to a city news release.

Among the new features are a searchable calendar of city meetings and events, an online business directory, an improved search function and a new system for citizens to sign up for e-mail notifications.

Staff e-mail addresses are also changing to the new domain. For example, the public can contact the Administration Department at

In March 2013, the City Council approved funding to upgrade the website, which has last been redesigned in 2007.


City seeks residents for commissions

The city of Rosemount is looking for residents to fill six seats on open advisory commissions.

The paid positions include three- to six-year terms on the Planning Commission, the Parks Commission, the Utility Commission and the Port Authority.

Commissioners serve as advisers to the City Council and Port Authority members work on economic and redevelopment projects in the area to create new jobs, according to the city’s website.

Applications can be filled out online or at City Hall and should be completed by Feb. 10. Commission terms will start April 1.

Prior Lake

Yoga classes offered this winter

Hatha Yoga classes are being offered at the city’s Club Prior through April.

Instructor Leah Goldberg teaches at the River Valley YMCA.

She has Group Fitness Certification through Aerobics and Fitness

Classes are every Wednesday from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. February to April at Club Prior, in the Prior Lake Library building.

Anyone over 18 is welcome and the cost is $15 per month ($20 for nonresidents). Another set of classes is Fridays from 12:30 to 1:15, at $10 a month, $15 for nonresidents.

Income tax help for seniors coming up

The AARP is offering tax help through the tax season at the Prior Lake library.

The service is Tuesdays from Feb. 4 to April 15. It’s free to senior adults and families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

No appointments will be made; it’s drop-in only. Check-in starts at 10 a.m. and stops when the schedule is filled for the day.

Counselors assist only with basic federal and state tax returns; nothing exotic, please.

Dakota County

Create beauty while keeping water clean

Beautiful gardens can help keep waterways clean and provide a habitat for pollinating insects. A series of upcoming workshops in Dakota County will cover the topic.

Burnsville residents are invited to two “Blue Thumb” workshops: An Introduction to Create Gardens that Keep Water Clean, Feb. 19 or April 10, 6:15 to 8 p.m., at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Pkwy.

During the free workshops, participants will learn how to build and maintain native and rain gardens that filter stormwater runoff, stopping pollutants from flowing to lakes and streams through storm drains.

Experts will showcase affordable native gardens, rain gardens and native shoreline stabilization projects that “transform bland urban landscapes into beautiful retreats.”

Some attendees will also qualify for a $250 Blue Thumb grant through Dakota County to install their new gardens. Burnsville offers grants of up to $1,000 for residents who qualify.

Registration is required: e-mail or call 651-480-7777. Visit for more information.

For more information on the Blue Thumb workshops and the Burnsville Natural Resources Department, visit thumb.

Other cities’ dates: Apple Valley Feb. 20 or March 19, Lakeville on March 4, Eagan on March 17, West St. Paul on March 24 and Farmington on June 4.

Staff reports