ProAct is teaming up with the Recycling Association of Minnesota for "Recycle Your Holidays," a program to collect and process holiday lights, electric, appliance and phone cords for recycling from Nov. 15 through Jan. 31.

Note that cord adapters, battery packs, plastic rope lights and CFL lights are not accepted.

The holiday season program is the latest expansion by ProAct, which began with beverage containers and later added plastic bags. The nonprofit serving people with disabilities will contribute toward the association's annual goal to collect 200,000 pounds of holiday lights.

ProAct has 32 collection locations. To find one go to .

Dakota county

Comments sought on Lebanon Hills plan

A 60-day public review and comment period for Dakota County's Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan is open until Jan. 18. The county invites members of the public to comment on a variety of proposed elements in the plan, including natural resource restoration and the construction of a paved trail.

At an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Dakota County Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Av. in Apple Valley, residents may meet with staff, learn more about the plan and comment in person.

Comments may also be offered by e-mail to; by mail to Dakota County Office of Planning, attn.: Mary Jackson, 14955 Galaxie Av., Apple Valley, MN 55124; or by filling out a comment card at the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan.

Highlights of the park's master plan include the restoration of landscapes to promote cleaner water and wildlife habitat; 46 miles of natural trails for hiking, mountain biking and skiing; a 6.5-mile paved trail and up to 1.5 miles of lake loop trails, which would be open in all seasons; lakeside picnic areas, camper cabins and natural play areas.

A draft of the master plan can be viewed online, at the visitor center at the park, or at any Dakota County library. For more information or to see the plan online, visit and search Lebanon Hills Master Plan.

Author Michael Perry at Veterans Center

Dakota County Library will sponsor a book reading and discussion with New York Times best-selling author and humorist Michael Perry from 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at Veterans Memorial Community Center, 8055 Barbara Av., Inver Grove Heights.

Perry will talk about his nonfiction books, Visiting Tom, Population 485, Truck and Coop, and sign copies of the books, which will be available for purchase.

The event is funded by the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

For information, visit and search calendar of events or call 651-450-2900.

South St. Paul

Tree lighting next Sunday at Central Square

South St. Paul will hold its annual tree lighting from 4 to 6 p.m. next Sunday, Dec. 1, at Central Square Community Center, 100 N. 7th Av.

The event offers free pictures taken with Santa, holiday crafts with Mrs. Claus, cards for soldiers and treats with the elves.

At 5:45 p.m., the South St. Paul choirs, Mayor Beth Baumann, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus will lead the procession to the community Christmas tree for caroling and lighting of the tree.

The mayor's youth task force will collect hats and mittens to decorate the tree. All hats and mittens collected will be donated to Neighbors, Inc.

For those who are not able to attend the tree lighting but would like to donate hats or mittens, they will be collected at City Hall, 125 N.Third Av. For additional information, contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at or 651-554-3230.


City OKs contract for animal control

Burnsville approved a one year contract with American Boarding Kennels, Inc., of Burnsville for $90,565 to provide animal control services for the city in 2014.

With the current contract with American Boarding Kennels expiring at the end of this year, the city solicited bids for next year. Proposals were submitted on Oct. 1 by American Boarding Kennels and 4 Paws Animal Control of Shakopee.

A team of city staff from public works and the police and fire departments reviewed and rated the proposals.

The city staff reported that: "American Boarding Kennels, Inc., has been in business for over 30 years and has provided animal control services for the city since 1999. There have been no issues which would cause staff to recommend the discontinuance of contracting with them. Their impound facility is located within the City of Burnsville and they offer convenient hours seven days a week for impounded animal pickup.''

The company is prepared to offer an on-line option for the purchase of animal licenses, the city said.

One rain garden won't work after all

Burnsville has given up on one of the 14 rain gardens it built in the right of way of residential streets in the Keller Lake watershed.

The gardens were designed to catch storm water runoff from streets and clean it before it reached Keller Lake. The city paid for the design and construction of the gardens and homeowners agreed in writing to take care of routine maintenance on the gardens.

The rain garden at 1313 Keller Lane started to show signs that is was not working properly in 2012 and it quit functioning completely in 2013.

"After several discussions with the homeowner and an extensive investigation into why the garden was not functioning, staff determined that there was no cost effective way to get the garden functioning again,'' the city reported.

"It was staff's determination that the best course of action at this point would be to fill the garden in and release the homeowners from the maintenance agreement signed in 2011."

Staff reports