Council member dies
Long-time Arden Hills Council Member Dave McClung died Dec. 1 following a battle with multiple myeloma and other health problems. He was 53.
McClung had served on the council since 2007 and had served on a variety of civic committees and commissions dating back to his high school days.
During his most recent re-election campaign, McClung vowed to maintain, enhance and build new parks and trails and move forward plans to build a new fire station and headquarters for the Lake Johanna Fire Department, which serves three Ramsey County suburbs.
McClung also worked as an investigator for the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
A city statement called him a "dedicated public servant."
"He will be missed by his fellow members of the council, staff, and residents of the city," it said.
City leaders are accepting applications to fill the council vacancy.
Council approves purchase of 4 hybrid patrol cars
The Bloomington Police Department is introducing hybrid patrol cars to its fleet, a move officials say is aligned with the city's sustainability goals.
Each year, the city approves eight new fleet vehicles. This year, half of the new squad cars will be hybrid — and so cost more up front.
The Ford Interceptor SUV, which the city said in a news release is the only pursuit-rated hybrid on the market, will cost nearly $37,000. The standard patrol car costs about $33,800.
Public Works Director Karl Keel told the City Council Monday that the hybrids are expected to carry lower operational costs because of better fuel economy, and that the lifetime costs will be about the same as standard squad cars.
"Not only will these hybrid vehicles reduce fuel costs for [the police department], they will produce 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline-powered patrol vehicles," Mayor Tim Busse wrote in the release. "This effort aligns with the city's Energy Action Plan goals, which outlines ways Bloomington can responsibly address climate change."
Sports dome slated for January open
The TCO Dome at Lakeville North High School was inflated for the first time Wednesday, with officials planning for a Jan. 3 opening, said Josh Kutzler, managing partner of Dome Partners LLC.
The facility can be used to play soccer, lacrosse, football or baseball. The dome is seasonal; during warmer months, it deflates and transitions into a turf field.
The dome is a partnership between the school district and Dome Partners, which leases and manages the facility. The school district gets to use it during the day and before and after school, and the fields are rented out for nights and weekends.
The school district paid about $3.5 million to put in the dome-ready turf field in summer 2020 and this summer added additional features, like an asphalt path and utilities. The funding came from a 2019 bond referendum.
Dome Partners put up the dome at a cost of about $1.5 million, Kutzler said.
Lakeville South High School also received a dome-ready turf field via the same referendum. Dome Partners has a year to decide whether to erect a dome there, depending on demand, Kutzler said.