The annual State of the City and Taste of Hopkins celebration this year will honor former Mayor Gene Maxwell, who stepped down this month after 16 years as mayor and another 16 years of service on several city boards and councils.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, with Taste of Hopkins. Attendees can enjoy a variety of appetizers, entrees, desserts and other items from local restaurants and Farmers Market members.

Patrons are asked to bring a cash donation for the local food shelf.

At 6 p.m., City Council members and staffers will present the State of the City, a program that’s traditionally enlivened with jokes and audience interaction.

This year, all attendees will receive “Gene on a Stick,” a photo of Maxwell’s head mounted on a wooden handle.

Both events will take place at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet.



St. Paul

Disruptive roadwork to be explained at open house

A major thoroughfare in St. Paul will be reconstructed beginning this spring, and a public meeting will be held this week to deal with questions and concerns about the project.

Ramsey County will reconstruct decaying White Bear Avenue from Interstate 94 nearly all the way to Minnehaha Avenue.

The $4 million project includes new curbs, gutters and sewers, and new lantern-style streetlights along with replanted boulevard trees and new sod.

The St. Paul City Council will decide this fall on assessment rates for nearby properties.

The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Grace Lutheran Church, 1730 Old Hudson Road.

It will include a presentation from Ramsey County Public Works and a question and comment period.

David Peterson



Construction permits topped $830M in 2015

St. Paul received numerous requests to build expensive projects last year, blowing 2014 construction permit values out of the water, senior city planner Jake Reilly said Friday.

The total value of projects for which the city issued permits was estimated to reach more than $830 million, up from $535.4 million in 2014, Reilly said.

He went through market trends Friday with the city’s Planning Commission.

A few big projects, including City Limits Apartments, the Midway YMCA and renovation work at the State Capitol, helped contribute to the spike in development totals.

Meanwhile, foreclosures in the city are leveling off and on par with pre-recession levels, Reilly said.

The number of vacant buildings registered in the city is also down 52 percent from 2008, he said.

Jessie Van Berkel



Community Foundation seeking grant applicants

The Eden Prairie Community Foundation is accepting applications for 2016 grants in areas such as social services, education, arts and culture, recreation and environment, and youth development.

The foundation has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to more than 60 nonprofits and agencies that serve the city.

This year’s grants will be announced at the EP Gives celebration on April 30 at the Green Acres Event Center, Eden Prairie.

Grant applicants should first submit a letter with basic information, including a description of the project, to executive director Mark Weber at

For application materials, go and click on “Grants” and “Apply for a Grant.” The deadline for applications is Feb. 19.

For more information, call Katie Castro at 763-245-2420 or Weber at 952-949-8499.

Kevin Duchschere