Area residents and business owners can attend one of two public meetings to discuss Hwy. 36 and Hwy. 95 bridge construction. The meetings will take place on March 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Oak Park Heights City Hall, 14168 Oak Park Blvd. N.
Project staff will be present to discuss this year's construction schedule, which includes utility installation and trail construction. Information about the Wisconsin highway approach and actual bridge work on the St. Croix River also will be available. Representatives from the city of Oak Park Heights and Washington County will share information about additional local road construction projects occurring in the area.
During construction this year, Hwy. 36 and Hwy. 95 will remain open, as will access to businesses and residences. Hwy. 36 traffic will be confined to a single lane in each direction between Washington/Norell Avenue and Hwy. 95 for all of the 2014 construction season, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.
St. Paul Park
Longtime Heritage Days organizer resigns
Just as it seemed that things could be settling down with St. Paul Park's annual Heritage Days celebration, preparations for this year's festival have hit another snag.
Jim Domeier, a longtime organizer who had wavered between staying on or resigning as manager of the event, has decided to step down after all. Domeier announced his decision after the Feb. 18 City Council meeting, after an earlier disagreement over creative control.
Domeier had decided last year to quit as manager of the celebration but later told city officials he planned to return.
City Administrator Kevin Walsh said last week that the City Council will hold a workshop next month to consider how best to proceed.
"I know the Lions Club was interested at one point," he said, in organizing the three-day event. "I think if nothing else, the city could do it."
Child protection panel needing new members
The Washington County Citizen Review Panel is seeking new members. The panel is an advisory group that meets monthly with the mission of "citizens partnering with child protection services advocating to keep children safe."
Panel members volunteer to work with child-protection staff of Washington County Community Services and the state of Minnesota. Members analyze trends, provide a citizen's perspective of the child-protection system, recommend changes and resources, and promote cooperation among community resources and child-protection service agencies.
The panel currently has eight members who serve two-year terms. They are eligible to serve up to three two-year terms.
Anyone interested in becoming a member can apply by calling Don Pelton at 651-430-6631 or e-mailing him at Don.Pelton@co.washington.mn.us.location.
County Road 5 study topic at open house
Residents can attend an open house March 11 at the Stillwater Public Library to comment on a study exploring improvements to County Road 5 in Stillwater.
The meeting is being conducted by Washington County. It will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the Margaret Rivers Room of the library, at 224 Third St. N.
County Road 5, an important north-south link, lacks adequate pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and connections to the new Browns Creek Trail, the county said. The study also will look at ways to improve safety and mobility for motorists on this 2.5-mile corridor.
The study will focus on four segments of the roadway: Croixwood Boulevard to Pine Tree Trail; Pine Tree Trail to Owens Street; Linden Street to St. Croix Avenue, and St. Croix Avenue to Hwy. 96. The segment of County Road 5 from Olive Street to Linden Street is not part of the study.
More information is available at www.co.washington.mn.us/countyroad5, or by contacting engineer Joe Gustafson at 651-430-4351 or email@example.com.
Another open house will be held in May where designs of potential solutions will be presented. The study should be complete in early summer, the county said.
Frozen pipes prompt warning from city
Bayport has joined the growing list of cities having problems with frozen water mains over the past several weeks. Residents in areas where freeze-ups have already occurred have been notified and are encouraged to run a small, continuous stream of water from a faucet in their homes.
The city is urging residents to monitor their water flow and temperature. Anyone noticing a reduction in flow or pressure should run a pencil-size, continuous stream of water, and should contact City Hall at 651-275-4404 to arrange a water bill adjustment to avoid being charged.
Deadline in March for recycling grants
New grants of $5,000 and $12,000 are available from the Community POWER program, which provides grants to nonprofit groups and schools to help teach about waste reduction and recycling. POWER stands for Partners on Waste Education and Reduction. Washington County participates in the program.
Apply online at RethinkRecycling.com/Grants. The application deadline is March 24.
Recent grantees include schools, churches, nature centers and community organizations. Projects focused on reducing waste, composting, recycling and using nontoxic cleaners.
County to provide election services for District 831
Washington County will provide election administration services for Forest Lake Area Schools for a May 20 special election after the County Board approved an agreement with the district.
In February, the school district approved a joint powers agreement that will require it to cover all costs of the election, which are expected to be $11,800. The county will train and recruit election judges, schedule polling places, test the election equipment, and deliver it to polling places. This agreement is similar to agreements the county has with other school districts, officials said.
Kevin Giles, Libor Jany, Jim Anderson