The Dakota County Board has decided against studying the possible incorporation of the South St. Paul library into the county library system.

“I know it’s only a study, but … I don’t know anything about what the future of the building is going to hold or whether or not we are going to want to be there,” said County Commissioner Joe Atkins.

County Manager Matt Smith said that rather than conduct a formal study, the county will work with South St. Paul to “assist the city in their decisionmaking.” The South St. Paul City Council had already authorized the study.

The library is in a 90-year-old downtown building that needs repairs and, according to some library workers, doesn’t provide the space or amenities offered by modern libraries.

Erin Adler


Work to begin on new city water tower

Construction on Hugo’s new 1.5-million-gallon water tower is set to begin this week, with work expected to be completed by summer 2020 at a cost of $3.5 million.

The city bought the tower site, east of Hwy. 61 on 125th Street near the Oneka Ridge Golf Course, in 2008 and built a well there two years later. Construction of the water tower was delayed when growth in the city slowed, said City Engineer Mark Erichson, but the need to ensure an adequate water supply for future growth has again become a priority.

Once the new 152-foot water tower is done, city officials may decide to remove one of its two other towers, the 500,000-gallon tower at Fenway Avenue and 130th Street.

Mara Klecker

St. Louis Park

Human Rights Award recipients named

The St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission last week presented Sagal Abdirahman and Nadia Mohamed with the city’s 2018 Human Rights Award for their work in increasing understanding of Muslim culture.

Abdirahman, a community service officer, and Mohamed both serve on the St. Louis Park Police Department’s Multicultural Advisory Committee and volunteer with St. Louis Park High School.

The two women, Somali-Americans who grew up in St. Louis Park, have given presentations at Iftar dinners, taught community education classes about Muslim and Somali culture, and hosted a community mourning event following a bombing in Mogadishu.


Coon Rapids

City rolls out new homeowner program

Coon Rapids residents looking to boost their home’s curb appeal may be able to look to the city for help.

The city has launched a $100,000 pilot program called “Front Door” that offers grants of up to $5,000 for exterior home remodeling, including work on siding, roofs, windows, covered front porches, landscaping and front doors.

Grants will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no income limits.

Coon Rapids has worked for years to spruce up its aging housing stock, which is heavy on ramblers and split-levels predating 1980. An existing remodeling program has focused mainly on interior improvements.

For more information, residents should contact the city’s housing programs coordinator, Kristin DeGrande, at 763-767-6517 or

Hannah Covington