Lakeville seniors, history buffs and a veterans group were encouraged this week when the City Council voted 3 to 2, as expected, to approve a $1.1 million plan to remodel a vacant police station for three community groups.

"We will now proceed to put out [bid requests] for architects and a construction manager," said Steve Michaud, city parks director. He said a two-year, $300,000 fund-raising effort will begin in September, followed by a community auction this fall.

The remodeled, 17,000-square-foot building will provide a new home for Lakeville seniors, the city historical society and the Yellow Ribbon group, which works with returning veterans. Some 274 seniors signed a petition favoring the project.

Voting for the project were Council Members Matt Little, Laurie Rieb and Kerrin Swecker. Mayor Mark Bellows and Colleen LaBeau opposed it, saying the old cop shop wasn't adequate for long-term senior needs and should be sold.

Swecker supported the plan with the assurance that it won't require new taxes, which the fundraising will avoid, Michaud said. About $822,000 is available for the project, including $100,000 raised over the years by senior center members, $377,000 from a city building fund and a county loan and grant, Michaud said.

The renovation is expected to begin in March and the remodeled center could be open by November 2012, Michaud said.


New council member to be sworn in

William Coughlin, elected to the Burnsville City Council in a special election last month, will be sworn into office on Tuesday night.

Coughlin received nearly 58 percent of the votes in the special election on July 26. Nine candidates ran for the seat.

Coughlin, a first-time council member, is serving the remaining term of Charlie Crichton, who died in office six months ago. The term ends at the end of 2014.

City Clerk Macheal Brooks said the election totals were certified on July 29, but the city must wait seven days before swearing in the winner.

That will be done Tuesday during a City Council work session, she said.

Are you ready for some football?

Burnsville Community Television (BCTV) will again feature football as part of its schedule of live events this fall, the station has announced.

Burnsville High will be on four different nights on BCTV 14 in Burnsville. The games will start at 7 p.m. The schedule includes games on Sept. 1 against Bloomington Jefferson; Sept. 23 against Prior Lake; Oct. 7 against Eastview of Apple Valley, and Oct. 19 against Lakeville South.

Football is not the only live event the station will cover.

BCTV will also cover other sports and events such as boys' and girls' soccer, volleyball, girls swimming, community parades and the Art &All That Jazz festival.

Golf tourney set

The 32nd annual Burnsville Fire Muster Junior Golf tournament will be held at Birnamwood Golf Course on Aug. 18.

The tournament is open to golfers between ages 8 and 15. Registration is limited to 36 participants per flight. Golfers may register online or at Birnamwood Golf Course. The entry fee of $15 includes golf, lunch, door prizes and trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The registration deadline is Aug. 16.


Delayed funds mean delayed road project

Turns out there won't be major construction on County Road 70 this summer.

Dakota County is delaying the planned resurfacing project because bids came in higher than the expected $2.4 million price tag. County staff members attributed the higher cost to a timeline that was shortened when $1.5 million in federal funding arrived later than expected.

The county will seek new bids next year, giving contractors more time to get the work done in summer 2012.

Educational games, demonstrations at fair

Test your recycling savvy, see Sheriff's Office dogs in action and get your drinking water tested in the government building at the Dakota County Fair, which starts Monday and runs through Aug. 14.

County environmental management staff will be on hand to answer all sorts of questions and explain available resources, and adults and kids are invited to play recycling bingo or spin the recycling trivia wheel.

The Sheriff's Office canines will demonstrate their skill at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

People interested in having their private wells tested while they wait can bring one cup of water in a small bottle or jar to the building Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Or, water samples can be dropped off Monday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.