West St. Paul officials are proposing parking permits to handle an overflow of cars parking on side streets because of construction on Robert Street.

West St. Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver, speaking at the City Council meeting May 23, said the Police Department has been receiving more parking complaints from residents about cars parking on side streets in their neighborhoods. The excess cars are coming from nearby apartment complexes and construction on Robert Street, which has forced cars to park in neighborhoods, Shaver said.

The city is looking at posting signs for designated parking zones that would limit parking time and require permits.

To create a parking permit zone, 70 percent of residents or businesses would be required to sign a petition. The city will have a second reading on the ordinance at the next City Council meeting.

Beatrice Dupuy

Dakota County

Candidates file for County Board election

Four of seven seats on the Dakota County Board are up for election this fall.

When the filing period closed Tuesday, 10 people had declared their candidacies. Commissioners Tom Egan, Liz Workman and Chris Gerlach are all running for re-election. Board Chairwoman Nancy Schouweiler is retiring this year after nearly two decades on the board, leaving open a position representing Inver Grove Heights, Eagan and Rosemount.

The board’s seven members each serve three-year terms. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Emma Nelson


Police seek grant for ‘less-lethal’ weapons

The Burnsville Police Department is asking for more than $11,000 in grant dollars to buy “less-than-lethal” equipment ranging from sponge rounds and launchers to Tasers.

Less-than-lethal weapons, also called “less-lethal” weapons, are less likely than a firearm to kill someone. Burnsville police already use such equipment, including Tasers and pepper spray.

The grant is awarded through the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which funds public safety programs at the local government level. As part of the application process, the City Council must sign off on the request after a public comment period.

Public comment may be submitted in person or in writing to the police department through June 3 or to the City Council at its June 7 meeting.

The Police Department has gotten this grant before. In 2013, it was awarded nearly $11,000 for a fume hood system designed to remove hazardous vapor created during the fingerprint development process. And last year, the department received nearly $13,000 for tactical headsets and camera equipment.

Emma Nelson


Ordinance to welcome breweries, distilleries

Prior Lake is ready to join the taproom boom.

The City Council voted May 23 to add ordinances for land uses such as brewpubs, taprooms, small breweries, microdistilleries and cocktail rooms. Under the new ordinance, prospective business owners can apply for permits or conditional use permits for such establishments, depending on the zoning district.

The ordinance is in line with state law revisions that have enabled prospective brewers and distillers to expand and sell products across the metro area — as well as a trend toward local beer and spirits nationwide.

If Prior Lake does attract a new watering hole, its neighbors will meet competition. Badger Hill Brewing Co. opened Shakopee’s first brewery last year. Roots Jordan Brewery in Jordan has been under renovation over the past year and is expected to open soon.

Natalie Daher