Blaine

Work begins on new, larger senior center

Crews have started work to replace Blaine’s cramped senior center with a building that offers triple the space.

The 15,000-square-foot facility is being built in Aquatore Park next to the existing center at 9150 Central Av. NE., which will be torn down. Crews broke ground last month, and construction is expected to wrap in December.

The Blaine City Council voted in February to set the project budget at $3.9 million, with funding coming from the city’s Capital Improvement Fund.

As the city of 62,000 has grown, officials have grappled for years over what to do with the 37-year-old senior center. The latest effort to replace the existing facility follows a failed referendum in 2016 that proposed building a new senior center along with a community center.

Hannah Covington

Burnsville

Officials hire firm to develop city’s brand

Burnsville officials have hired a marketing firm for $190,000 to develop the city’s brand, a goal outlined in its development strategic plan.

The City Council agreed to hire AE2S Communications of Grand Forks, N.D., a firm that has worked with South St. Paul, St. Cloud and Fargo.

City officials want to promote growth, including helping Burnsville Center succeed, continuing with development in the Heart of the City area and bettering the image of the city and the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district.

Andrea Boe, AE2S’  business development director, said the first steps will be collecting data and researching the city’s previous efforts. The firm is scheduled to present its plan in December.

Erin Adler

Wayzata

Police memorial to be dedicated next week

Wayzata city officials will dedicate a memorial on May 13 to honor police generally and two officers who were killed in the line of duty.

The City Council approved the memorial’s design just three days before officer Bill Mathews was killed in 2017. Mathews was struck by an impaired and distracted driver while he was clearing debris from Hwy. 12. The other officer killed while on duty, Sgt. James (J.W.) Anderson, was shot and killed in 1982.

The memorial consists of a 12-foot circular plaza surrounding three stones for Mathews, Anderson and all police officers. The memorial is next to City Hall, 600 Rice St. E.

Katy Read

Cottage Grove

Goats return to eat weeds in county parks

Goats returned to Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park last week to help with vegetation management on the park’s 38 acres.

Through a partnership between South Washington Watershed District and Washington County Parks, the goats are being used to control invasive shrubs and ground cover, mainly garlic mustard and buckthorn shrubs.

They are contained by two sets of fences, one electric. Park users are reminded to stay away from the fences and to keep their dogs leashed.

The effort is a part of the watershed district’s multiphase project to create an outlet for stormwater runoff from large rains in Woodbury and Cottage Grove.

The goats will stay in the parks through June.

Mara Klecker