Homebuilding beginning to pick up

In another sign that housing development is reviving, Prior Lake reports that a 60-unit housing development is getting underway this fall. And Savage is reporting a big jump in housing so far this year.

In Prior Lake, preliminary grading and tree removal is underway at Eagle Creek Estates, an area that is to include both houses and businesses north of the intersection of County Road 21 and Fish Point Road, officials say.

In addition to 60 single-family homes, the area includes about 14 acres of commercial, an expanded Brooksville Hills park and road connections with Fish Point Road and Credit River Road.

The project is to be phased in over a number of years, and there's a plat map available through the city's website home page.

In neighboring Savage, housing permits through October jumped this year from 21 to 73 in attached single-family units such as townhomes, and from 63 to 101 in single-family detached units.

In October alone, the declared value of new units jumped from $1.6 million last year, for five units, to $2.7 million this year, for 11 units.


Take dead holiday lights to City Hall

If your holiday lights don't work, drop them off at Savage City Hall rather than risk pollution through a landfill.

The city is a dropoff point for the Recycling Association of Minnesota's Recycle Your Holidays program. Boxes are just inside the main doors, accessible 24 hours a day.

Every part of each light strand will be removed and recycled. For more information on the program, visit


City refinances bonds to save $670,000

The Farmington City Council has approved refinancing several bond issues to save the city an estimated $670,000, officials said.

Finance Director Robin Hanson said the city is repaying early two bond issues totaling about $5.5 million. The bonds were sold in 2005 and 2006 for road work on Ash and Spruce streets and a subdivision.

New bonds will be sold in December to pay off the debt. The interest rates are expected to be from about .5 to 1.5 percent, compared to the retired bonds' rates of 3.5 to 4 percent, McKnight said.

Mayor Todd Larson noted the city has refinanced bonds several times in the past four years. "Anytime you can save money it's a good thing," he said.


Desire a holiday fire? Take tips to heart

The winter holidays can be deadly, Burnsville firefighters warn, and they're offering a list of cautions to observe this time of year. Among the tips, based on past fires:

• Don't hang stockings on the fireplace near open flames.

• Don't burn gift wrap.

• Don't overload outlets with holiday lights: no more than three sets of lights per extension cord.

• Lights off before heading to bed.

• Three feet of space between a candle and anything that burns. Better yet, surround flames with protective glass.

• Water real trees often.

• When the kitchen's crowded, remember that an electrical coil on a stovetop reaches 800 degrees, and a gas flame can be more than 1,000 degrees, while a dish towel or pot holder can catch fire at 400 degrees -- not to mention a bathrobe, apron or loose sleeve.

For more tips, visit www. or the State Fire Marshal's website at www.


Chorale to present 'Peace on Earth'

The South Metro Chorale will present its holiday concert, "Peace on Earth," at 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Savage.

Directed by Russell Adrian, the chorale will be accompanied by a string quartet, piano and percussion. Its program consists of sacred and secular music.

The chorale also will perform at Woodlake Lutheran Church in Richfield at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

For tickets and more information, go to www.southmetro