The Eagan City Council named Deputy Chief Roger New, a 24-year veteran of the department, to the top cop position on May 22.
New will succeed Chief Jim McDonald when he retires at the end of June. New will start July 1.
New, 47, holds both bachelor's and master's degrees and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
He started with the Eagan Police Department in 1994, rose to patrol sergeant in 2004 and then to lieutenant in 2006. By 2016, he was the department's deputy chief.
New will lead Eagan's force of 89 people, 73 of them sworn officers. A 17-year resident of Eagan, he coaches youth sports and has two children.
"People will find that I am all about building positive community relations," New said in a news release from the city of Eagan.
Dakota County's only shelter for men closes
Cochran House, the Dakota County homeless shelter, closed its doors for good June 1 because of financial struggles. The shelter, the only homeless shelter for single men in the county, opened in 2010.
The nonprofit agency that runs the shelter has been unable to raise enough money for the past few years to keep it open. The shelter has avoided shuttering several times with help from the county.
According to Dakota County officials, residents are receiving help in finding new housing.
The county will work with a new shelter provider, Frazier Recovery, to create more shelter capacity in the coming months, said Madeline Kastler, Dakota County housing manager, in an e-mail.
School district to provide free lunches
Every hungry child will have a place to grab a hot meal this summer.
The Shakopee School District will serve free breakfast and lunch to all children, from toddlers to 18-year-olds, from June 11 to July 19.
Meals are provided through the federal Summer Food Service Program, which reimburses school districts that offer free, nutritious meals to low-income kids and teens when school is not in session. The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to serve around 200 million free meals across the nation this summer.
Two Shakopee schools will host the meals:
• Sweeney Elementary, 1001 Adams St. S.: breakfast 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Tokata Learning Center, 1110 Shakopee Town Square Hall: breakfast 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Shakopee students enrolled in summer school will automatically receive a free breakfast and lunch.
Inquiries should be directed to Deb Ross, food and nutrition services manager, 952-496-5140.
Elko New Market
City breaks ground on first townhouses
A new townhouse development may be the beginning of a rental boom in Elko New Market, an affluent bedroom community about 30 miles south of Minneapolis.
The small exurban city has long been a draw for growing families who can afford to build their own homes and send their children to high-quality schools in the friendly community. Now, an abundance of single-family homes will be joined by a pocket of rentals.
"With high growth in Lakeville, I think people are looking at nearby areas that are a little cheaper," said Renee Christianson, the city's community development specialist. In recent weeks, Elko New Market has fielded more housing inquires than it has in decades, she said.
Syndicated Properties broke ground on a 13-unit townhouse development last month on the southwest quadrant of Dakota Avenue and James Parkway. A second phase plans to add an additional 28 units but still requires City Council approval. Each floor plan contains three bedrooms and a two-car garage.
Construction should be completed by the fall.
Nestled along the Interstate 35 corridor, Elko New Market lacks a fast-food outlet and a supermarket, but boasts one of the highest annual median household incomes in the state — about $113,600 compared to $70,900 for the seven-county metro area, according to 2016 data from the Metropolitan Council.
Newcomers also flock to the city for its low crime rate.
It was recently named the safest city in Minnesota — and a top 10 safest city in America — by home security company Safewise. The study used FBI crime reports from 2016 to compare rates of violent and property crimes.
The town of 4,800 reported no violent crimes and just 2.7 property crimes per 1,000 people.
City meets drinking water standards
Farmington's drinking water meets state standards, according to the Consumer Confidence Report, also known as the Annual Drinking Water Report. The city's groundwater serves 18, 735 people, according to the report.
Farmington's water comes from seven wells ranging from 402 to 512 feet deep. They draw water from the Prairie du Chien-Jordan and Jordan aquifers.
The state works with cities each year to analyze drinking water samples to make sure they are suitable for consumption, a city news release said.
"Once again, the city has met all drinking water standards for 2017," said Katy Gehler, public works director.
The city's supply wasn't free of pollutants but tested within ranges recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for every contaminant for which it was tested.
For more information, go to FarmingtonMN.gov/WaterReport.