A project to stabilize the eroding banks of the Minnesota River in Shakopee has received $3.5 million in federal funding.

Representatives from the city, Scott County, Three Rivers Park District and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community met earlier this month on the riverbank with Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, who represents the area and pushed for the federal funding.

Officials pointed out a manhole covering an exposed stormwater tank — once firmly planted in Huber Park on solid ground — that is now underwater because the banks of the river have worn away over several decades.

The federal funding was provided as one of Craig's submissions for the federal omnibus bill, which was signed into law earlier this year, according to David McGonigal, a spokesperson for the congresswoman.

"I'm really proud of how this community and this project came together," Craig said.

The award is about half of what the first phase of a stabilization project will cost, according to Shakopee city officials.

The officials estimated that the entire riverbank stabilization project, along with plans to create trails and a cultural corridor near the river to celebrate the area's history as an important transportation hub and meeting place, will cost $12.5 million.

Officials are still trying to determine the exact cost of the multi-phase project, said Steve Lillehaug, city engineer and public works director. Officials also said they are hopeful that the Legislature will provide additional funding for the project in this session's bonding bill.

Erin Adler


City appoints new City Council member

Tom Newland will be sworn in as Blaine's newest City Council member at Monday's meeting.

Newland will represent Ward 1, which covers the southern part of city. He will replace Jason Smith, who recently resigned when he moved out of Blaine.

Newland, who ran for the seat in 2020, was one of seven people who applied to fill the vacancy and the only candidate to receive a ranking from all of Blaine's other council members. He will represent the ward until the end of 2022, and the seat will be on the ballot as part of a special election in November.

Newland previously served on the city's park board, the Blaine Public Safety Association, the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce and the Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department.

Tim Harlow


Stillwater fire department turns 150

The city of Stillwater will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its fire department with a ceremony next month.

The department will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on June 3 at the Stillwater Fire Station, at 250 Maryknoll Drive N.

The Stillwater City Council voted unanimously on May 28, 1872, to establish the fire department. The first official meeting happened on June 3, 1872, where founding members of the department elected officers and approved the official name of the organization: the Stillwater Steam Engine Company, No. 1.

The anniversary event is free to attend, but registration is required for planning purposes.

Shannon Prather