White Bear Lake
New site chosen for Rush Line station
The White Bear Lake City Council and an advisory committee have chosen a new site for the Rush Line's White Bear Lake bus station after its original location in the heart of downtown drew protests.
The station will be located at 7th Street and Washington Avenue, with a 120-foot diagonal bus platform planned for the southwest corner of the parcel on the west side of Hwy. 61. Pedestrian improvements are planned for the crossing at Hwy. 61 and 7th Street.
Rush Line bus-rapid transit is expected to operate largely in dedicated bus lanes between Union Depot in downtown St. Paul and White Bear Lake. The 14-mile project, estimated to cost between $420 million and $475 million, is expected to begin service in 2026.
Council debates City Hall office request
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott's recent request for office space at City Hall is stirring debate.
Elliott, who became mayor in January, said the demands of his job make a "home base" necessary. But Council Member Dan Ryan questioned whether the space should be at City Hall and cited concerns about Elliott meeting with city staffers without the approval of the city manager.
After lengthy debate at the Feb. 25 meeting, city officials directed that a conference room be set aside for all City Council members, including Elliott.
City Manager Curt Boganey said staffers are researching how other cities provide council offices. He expects to bring the issue back before the council in the coming weeks.
Gadd named mayor to replace Cummings
The Hopkins City Council last week named one of their own, Jason Gadd, as the city's mayor, replacing Molly Cummings, who resigned after she was appointed to the Metropolitan Council.
Gadd, a Hopkins resident since 1995, has been on the City Council since 2012. He has served on the Hopkins Park Board and was president and board member of the Hopkins Business and Civic Association.
Cummings was elected mayor in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. Before becoming mayor, she served on the City Council.
The council now will seek applicants to fill Gadd's seat. Both positions will be up for election in November.
Grant to help clean Lebanon Hills lakes
Dakota County has received a $267,000 state grant to restore several lakes with elevated phosphorus levels in Lebanon Hills Regional Park.
Officials say that the Minnesota Clean Water Fund grant, along with the required 25 percent match by the county, will reduce the amount of phosphorus in Jensen and McDonough lakes and make a dent in levels in Schulze Lake. The rest of the money needed to rehabilitate Schulze will come from another grant and county funds.
The lakes have seen reduced water clarity and excessive algae growth for several decades, said Mike Behan, a county environmental specialist. While the main problem is too much phosphorus, the money also will address the health of the fish in Schulze Lake, which requires more predators to remain healthy, Behan said.