For the fifth consecutive year, Stillwater will host a competition among seven participating Main Street restaurants, each with hopes of being named as having the "Best Burger in the Valley." Participating establishments — raising money for charity — will be Brine's Restaurant & Bar, Leo's Grill & Malt Shop, Pub 112, Rafter's, Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque, Water Street Inn and the defending 2013 winner, Oasis Cafe.
The public can buy Best Burger cards for $30, redeemable for burgers at each of the participating restaurants during January, February and March. Cards can be purchased at Leo's or via mail or phone through KLBB Radio at 651-275-1220.
Participants vote for their favorite burger using the ballot number on the back of their Best Burger card by visiting or by mailing the card to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 8011 34th Ave. S., Suite 116, Bloomington 55425. Voting ends April 15, and the winning restaurant will be announced in late April. Since 2010, the Best Burger event has raised more than $50,000 in the fight against cystic fibrosis.
More information is available at www.BestBurgerintheValley.org.
Volunteers appointed to advisory committees
The Washington County Board has approved appointments of citizen volunteers to advisory committees for 2014.
• From District 1: John Miller, Forest Lake, Community Corrections; Darlene Anderson, Dellwood, Historic Courthouse Advisory; Judy Bull, Forest Lake, Library Board; Daniel Parnell, Mahtomedi, Mental Health Advisory Council; Benjamin Meyer, Hugo, Parks and Open Space Commission.
• From District 2: Robert Bankers, Woodbury, Historic Courthouse Advisory; Stanley Karwoski, Oakdale, Parks and Open Space Commission.
• From District 3: George Dierberger, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Terry Zoller, Stillwater, Planning Advisory Commission.
• From District 4: John Burbank, Cottage Grove, Community Development Block Grant Citizens Advisory.
• At Large: James Honsvall, Stillwater, Audit Committee; Anthony Tedesco, Woodbury, Board of Adjustment & Appeals; Shane Bauer, Denmark Township, Board of Adjustment & Appeals; John Belisle, Hugo, Community Development Block Grant Citizen's Advisory; Bob Fossum, Lake Elmo, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Steven Duff, Hugo, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Brian Zeller, Lakeland, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Sara Meher, St. Marys Point, Library Board; Lisa Thibodeau, Stillwater, Housing and Redevelopment Authority; Colleen Millard, Cottage Grove, Minnesota Extension; Ann McLellan, Stillwater, Minnesota Extension; Vincent Anderson, Stillwater, Personnel Board of Appeals.
• Reappointments: Charles Ochocki, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Police Chief Bill Sullivan, Oakdale, Community Corrections; Christine VonDelinde, Community Corrections; Carol Treague, Oakdale, Mental Health Advisory Council; Sue Seiler, Stillwater, Mental Health Advisory Council; Stacy Kislenger, Stillwater, Mental Health Advisory Council; Gail Burns, Oakdale, Mental Health Advisory Council.
Yellow Ribbon Network offers $500 scholarship
A scholarship fund is being established by the Yellow Ribbon Network of Washington County to award one $500 scholarship annually to any veteran or veteran's family member who lives in, or served in, Washington County.
Applicants must be accepted to attend an institution of higher education beginning this fall. The Yellow Ribbon organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports Stillwater, Hugo, Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi, Oakdale, Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Forest Lake, Oak Park Heights, Bayport, Baytown Township, and the Yellow Ribbon Alliance of Lower St. Croix Valley.
Donations can be sent to: YRNWC, P.O. Box 43, Lakeland, MN 55043. For further information or to request an application to the board of directors, send an inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due May 1.
OK'd for pay raises
The Washington County Board approved a contract agreement with the county's Association of Supervisors on Jan. 7. The two-year contract is effective Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015, and includes:
• A 2.5 percent general raise effective Jan. 1, 2014, and a 2.5 percent general raise effective Jan. 1, 2015;
• For 2014 and 2015, employees below the maximum of the salary range shall be eligible for a 4 percent increase not to exceed the salary range maximum on their classification date;
• Employees will be eligible for merit pay based on job performance if they are being paid at the maximum of their salary range;
• For 2014 and 2015, merit pay equals up to 5 percent of the employee's salary range maximum.
Engineering firm inspects buildings
Wold Architects and Engineers will perform a building assessment for Washington County buildings, after the County Board agreed to the contract Jan. 7.
The assessment will include Hardwood Creek Service Center and Library, Cottage Grove Service Center, Woodbury Service Center, Law Enforcement Center, Oakdale Library, Park Grove Library and R.H. Stafford Library to determine the condition and remaining life of each of the buildings. Wold will review electrical, mechanical, plumbing, building automation, architectural finishes, doors and hardware, interior signage, and exteriors.
The review will provide a plan to reduce deferred capital and routine maintenance projects, the county said. The contract is for $60,000.
Open house planned for business center
An open house to showcase the new Cottage Grove Business Enterprise Center (BEC) will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 3-6 p.m. in the former Cottage Grove City Hall at 7516 80th St. S. The space has five new tenants and additional remodeling and updating has been completed.
The BEC is meant to provide entrepreneurs with affordable work space and supportive services to increase their chances for business success. It also offers meeting rooms, training opportunities, a mentorship program and networking with other small-business owners.
GopherMods, Conexspace, Premier Biotech Labs, Renew Solar Store and the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce have moved into the BEC since its opening in March 2013. Space is still available for businesses that fit the targeted criteria. Call 651-458-2833 for more information.
Pheasant hunt set for returning troops
Organizers of a "Welcome Home the Troops" pheasant hunt scheduled for March 29 are seeking sponsorships. Sponsored by the Yellow Ribbon Networks of Hugo and Stillwater, the hunt will be held at Wild Wings of Oneka and will include a guided hunt, bird cleaning, a round of sporting clays, shells, and a wild game dinner.
Five hunts have been held since the inaugural one in 2010, involving nearly 500 returning military members. Sponsorships for individual military members cost $200. Field sponsorships, which cost $1,000, include dining with four military members and other benefits.
Details, including a sponsorship form, are available at www.ci.stillwater.mn.us.
Kevin Giles, Libor Jany