A hotly debated Hy-Vee project in Blaine is moving forward with City Council approval.

Council members voted Thursday to grant final approval to the development, which includes a Hy-Vee grocery, gas station and car wash on the corner of NE. Jefferson Street and 125th Avenue.

Neighborhood worries over traffic and safety led the council to initially table the project before granting tentative approval last month.

Mayor Tom Ryan said the growing city of 64,000 long has been hungry for more grocery options, “the most requested thing in the history of this city.”

Construction is expected to begin in the spring, with an opening sometime next fall, according to officials.

Hannah Covington


City getting new fire truck, water tower

Tiny Hamburg, Minn., is making a couple of big improvements: It’s buying a new fire truck and getting a new water tower.

The new water tower for the Carver County city, population 526, will replace the existing tower, which is 105 years old and needs almost $200,000 in repairs, said City Clerk and Treasurer Jeremy Gruenhagen. Construction of the tower, funded with a low-interest state loan, will begin this spring and is expected to be finished by next winter.

Mayor Chris Lund had called the water tower the major issue in the last election.

The new fire truck replaces a 1993 model and features updated firefighting equipment, such as a foam system. Young America and Washington Lake townships are contributing a quarter of its $395,000 cost.

Katy Read


Council rejects dog ordinance tweaks

The Eagan City Council last week rejected two proposals on dogs to limit the number of dogs deemed dangerous in a single household and to require dogs to be quarantined at a kennel (rather than at the owner’s home) after biting someone.

Two residents had asked the council to consider those changes after a dog bite incident over the summer. The owner of the dog had another dog also declared dangerous and euthanized both after the biting incident, said Jodie Opstad, Eagan’s animal control officer.

Council members decided that there would be no benefit in making either change. They said a dog’s home seemed like the best place for quarantine because they would be comfortable there.

“It’s a shame what happened with the neighbors, and I feel for you,” said City Council Member Cyndee Fields. “But … I think we just need to keep it as is.”

Erin Adler

Houlton, Wis.

River Loop Trail work wraps up for year

Construction on the Wisconsin Loop Trail project near the St. Croix River has ended for the year, with the trail and trailheads closed for the winter. Construction will resume next spring.

Crews have completed the trail from the pedestrian underpass at Hwy. 35 to the Stillwater Lift Bridge through Houlton, including three parking lots and two trailheads.

The full Loop Trail, a 4.7-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that will connect Stillwater and Houlton, is expected to be completed by next summer.

Mara Klecker