Welcome center to open this week

Rosemount's Front Porch, a new welcome and information service, opens this week in the Steeple Center downtown.

A ribbon-cutting will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday. The ceremony will be hosted by the Rosemount Area Arts Council, whose volunteers will operate the center at 13885 South Robert Trail. The public is invited to come and hear about the unique community-building collaboration by the city, the business community and the Arts Council. Refreshments will be served.

Rosemount's Front Porch will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays, subject to private events taking priority in Steeple Center.


Renting out a home? You'll need a license

Burnsville's new rental licensing ordinance takes effect soon, and the city is reminding anyone who rents out a single-family home, townhouse, condo or manufactured home to get licensed before the end of the year.

Any unit converted from owner-occupied to rental will pay a $500 conversion fee beginning in January.

If you do that now without a license, you can avoid the fee by applying for a license before Jan. 1, 2013.

The fee covers the cost of a home's first-year license and an initial inspection.

All rental-property owners will begin paying an annual fee to cover the costs of additional inspections. The goal is to ensure a clean and safe environment for tenants and neighboring residents and to check on fire, health and other standards.

City officials say that over the past couple of years they've spent more than 600 hours dealing with the living conditions at just one rental complex. The fee is meant to cover the cost of doing more to oversee a wider range of properties.

To apply for a license, call 952-895-4440. For more information, visit www.burnsville .org/rental.


Trading spaces: City staff moves

If you're looking for recreation workers in Savage, you now need to look in a different place.

The city's recreation and engineering divisions have traded work spaces, in a move aimed at increasing the number of things that people from the community can take care of in a single stop.

Recreation staff are now at City Hall, 6000 McColl Drive, after abandoning their old quarters in the public works building, 13770 Dakota Av.

The engineering division has moved out of City Hall and can now be found at public works, where it oversees public works projects and now has "more immediate access to technical resources and operations staff associated with their work," officials say.

Phone numbers and hours for the groups haven't changed.

Meet Santa, donate Toys for Tots

Santa and Savage's chief of police will both be found in the city's police garage next Tuesday as part of a toy drive for the holidays.

Santa Cop Night will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. as a way of encouraging folks to take part in Toys for Tots.

Donors of new, unwrapped toys should drive to the north entrance of the Police Department parking lot, where a volunteer will guide them into the garage to meet Police Chief Rodney Seurer as well as the bearded one.

Items donated to Toys for Tots are distributed through churches and social service organizations.

If you prefer, bring donations to the police department anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There's a collection box in the building's lobby.

If your water's a bit weak...

If that shower isn't blasting you quite as refreshingly as usual, there's a reason.

Customers in the southwest part of town served by the West Summit Oaks water tower at 8325 153rd Place may find themselves with reduced water pressure for two weeks this month. They will temporarily receive water from other Savage reservoirs while the West Summit Oaks tower gets routine maintenance.

The work started Dec. 4 and the tower is expected to be back in service Dec. 21.

You're welcome to call utility services at 952-224-3440 with any questions.