Citing concerns over safety and lack of storage, Crystal officials are planning a $13.8 million project to expand police headquarters — and hope to get $4 million in state bonding this year to help fund it.
DFL Gov. Tim Walz included $4 million in state bonding for the Crystal project in his $2 billion bonding package presented in January. That price tag is a record for public works projects, which Republican leaders called bloated.
City Manager Anne Norris said most of the expansion will accommodate indoor vehicle storage and will follow through on recommendations from the state Department of Correction to upgrade the city’s jail.
Police headquarters, at Douglas Drive and N. 42nd Avenue, form part of the City Hall complex built in 1963 and renovated in the early 1990s.
County opens drive-through for recycling
Dakota County’s Recycling Zone debuted several changes last week, among them a new drive-through for dropping off recyclable materials.
Patrons with ID will be directed to one of three drop-off lanes. Drivers must stay in their cars while staffers unload their recyclables, which should be in a cardboard box or receptacle that can be left so the process is safe and efficient.
A separate entrance and more space for free paint, pesticides and cleaners also will be added to the reuse area.
The recycling center has seen an average 64,000 visitors annually in the past five years. It accepts recyclables, electronics and household hazardous waste. For more information, go to dakotacounty.us and search “Recycling Zone.”
St. Louis Park
City to seek input on local-option sales tax
The St. Louis Park City Council has decided against seeking legislative approval this session for a local-option sales tax, choosing instead to first do more study and get community input.
Legislation is needed before the city can seek voter approval of a local option sales tax of 0.5%, which would be used to pay for $37.5 million in road improvement projects.
According to a University of Minnesota Extension study, a 0.5% local option sales tax — 5 cents on a $10 purchase — would bring in about $5 million per year, which could cover road funding in about 7½ years.
Depending on feedback they get from the public, city officials may revisit the issue for the 2021 legislative session.
Council weighing commission changes
The Roseville City Council is considering changes in how it fills midterm vacancies on the city’s advisory commissions, which help guide policies for planning, parks, public works and other municipal functions.
The council last week discussed filling midterm vacancies in March and September rather than immediately. A vote is expected this month.
“Given the large number of vacancies over the past years on various commissions, the process for filling the vacancies has been time-consuming as well as confusing for applicants,” a staff report said.
Filling a vacancy involves advertising the position, recruiting people and interviewing them. Commissioners typically serve three-year terms that begin in April.