A controversial proposal to build a cemetery and funeral home in rural Lake Elmo has been voted down.

Lee Rossow wanted to turn property he owns into a cemetery “catering to the needs for modern burials,” which would have included above-ground vaults for cremated remains and traditional in-ground burials.

New in-ground cemeteries have been rare in Minnesota in recent decades because cremations are now so popular. But many neighbors protested plans for Halcyon Cemetery, and the Lake Elmo City Council on Oct. 6 denied the request.

“I feel it’s a large-scale business that’s being presented to us and not a cemetery as according to our [city] code,” said Council Member Julie Fliflet.

The cemetery and funeral home at Lake Elmo Avenue and 50th Street would have increased traffic, affected property values, brought commercial activity to a rural area and put cemetery plots in a flood plain, according to city planner findings.

Mayor Mike Pearson said he found the proposed cemetery acceptable but not the funeral home, and asked Rossow to bring a revised proposal to the city. Objecting neighbors greeted Pearson’s statement with boos.

Kevin Giles

Ramsey County

Candidate debates in three suburbs

Two live candidate debates and one replay of a forum that took place last week are coming up this month in Ramsey County suburbs.

The League of Women Voters of Roseville, Maplewood and Falcon Heights is behind the forums as the Nov. 3 election nears.

Last week, four candidates for two open positions on the Maplewood City Council were to participate in a forum to be rebroadcast, like the others, on government access cable TV.

This week, two candidates for Falcon Heights mayor and several candidates for City Council are invited to participate in a forum to be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19. The venue is Falcon Heights City Hall, 2077 Larpenteur Av. W.

Also this week, four candidates for three positions on the Rose­ville Area school board are invited to a final forum. It will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at Roseville City Hall, 2660 Civic Center Drive.

The forums are free and open to the public.

David Peterson

Woodbury

Free concert features east metro musicians

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Lark Ascending” and Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” are among the familiar works on tap next month in a concert by the East Metro Symphony Orchestra.

The free concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, at Woodbury United Methodist Church, 7465 Steeple­view Rd. A free-will offering will be taken. The concert is billed as “relaxed, informal, and appropriate for all ages.”

Various musicians are featured individually and in small ensembles. There’s a world premiere featuring the brass section. Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” will include the entire orchestra.

David Peterson

Anoka County

Armstrong Blvd. project delayed

The opening of the Hwy. 10/ Armstrong Boulevard interchange will be delayed until Nov. 20, Anoka County officials said. The original scheduled opening date was Oct. 30.

In a letter to local business leaders, Doug Fischer, the county engineer, said the county will be enforcing “strict financial penalties for each day the project is overdue” in order to expedite completion of the project.

“We know this project has tried your patience and your business at a disadvantage for some time. … We are grateful for your patience,” Fischer said in the letter.

The Armstrong Interchange project will eliminate a dangerous bottleneck in Ramsey by removing traffic lights on Hwy. 10 at Armstrong Boulevard. It will include on- and off-ramps and a bridge to carry Armstrong traffic over the highway and adjacent railroad tracks.

Karen Zamora

Blaine

City accepting applicants for boards

The Blaine City Council is looking for applicants for five of its advisory boards and commissions.

Applicants must live in the city and be able to attend monthly meetings. Boards accepting applications are: charter, park, planning, natural resources conservation and senior advisory council.

Applications are available at www.ci.blaine. mn.us. The deadline is Dec. 11. Applicant interviews will occur in January and February.

SHANNON PRATHER