High levels of toxic algae have been found in Mirror Lake in Edina, prompting officials to warn residents and others to keep themselves and their pets clear of the lake.

Recent water samples collected by the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District revealed high levels of blue-green algae, which appear in bright-green blooms and are associated with the toxin microcystin. Exposure to microcystin may harm the liver and kidneys and in rare cases even cause death. Symptoms include jaundice, shock, abdominal pain, nausea and severe thirst.

The watershed district will collect another sample later this month to determine whether anything has changed. The district issued similar warnings in 2016 and 2017 about Lake Cornelia.



City seeks to improve water treatment

The Ramsey City Council is looking to hire a firm to analyze the city’s groundwater and design a central treatment facility to reduce manganese and iron contaminants in the municipal water supply.

The state Department of Health told city officials earlier this year that several municipal wells had manganese concentrations above state standards. The city switched to water from wells with lower levels of manganese, but those wells produced rusty-colored water with high iron content.

The council wants to scrutinize the city’s Tunnel City/Wonewoc aquifer, develop a water system model and recommend a design for a facility to treat water contaminants. The council tentatively plans to select a firm in October.



‘You Belong Here,’ city slogan proclaims

Burnsville officials unveiled a new city slogan, “Burnsville: You Belong Here,” last week at the annual Fire Muster event.

The City Council chose the slogan last month from among four options, saying it reflected the diverse and welcoming nature of the city that emerged from market research.

The council in April approved up to $195,000 for the slogan and additional brand development in a contract with consulting firm AE2S, including up to $136,000 for branding and up to $55,000 toward ad buys this year. AE2S also will provide marketing services for five years at a rate not to exceed $183 an hour.

The city’s economic development plan last year called for a new brand. “We really wanted to make a statement that if you’re here, you’re family,” Council Member Dan Gustafson said.

Erin Adler

Forest Lake

Council increases age to buy tobacco to 21

Forest Lake has joined a growing number of Minnesota jurisdictions that have raised the age for tobacco sales to 21.

The City Council approved the ordinance last month on a 4-0 vote. Mayor Mara Bain was absent from the meeting.

Council members agreed that the impact of the ordinance may be limited because 18-year-olds will still be able to buy tobacco products from surrounding communities.

But Council Member Kathy Bystrom said the updated ordinance reflects the city’s values.

“It sends a message to our community that we care about the health and well-being of our young people,” she said. “I hope our neighbors to the north, south, east and west will follow our lead.”

Mara Klecker